With the nice weather hovering in the air in the city of Craiova, nothing better as a group of motivated volunteers to start a project that can make a huge change for the local community and their future lives.
That’s right, a team composed with ten volunteers just arrived to implement SHIFT, a project that has the ambition to raise aware, inform and develop skills about media literacy contents. To do such a job, volunteers from Spain, France, Italy, Georgia, Estonia and Denmark came to Romania to develop even more the work with local partners that ACT (Associatia Comunitati pentru Tineret) have been developing in the last two years in areas like social inclusion, cultural awareness and active citizenship, just as an example.
As all the starts, they need adaptation and acculturation so the process of settlement could be as effective as possible. For that, after being received and transported by the ACT members for their future houses, given the equipment for their first communication, SIM cards, info packs, opening bank accounts, the volunteers started their new lives in a new environment for a lot of challenges and learning opportunities.
To make the process of learning faster, stronger, easier and more efficient, ACT provides a capacity building for the newcomers, all together so all the information about the association, our mission, vision, strategy, nature and values could be passed in the first moment. During this training, the members of ACT provided information about the project framework, the roles and support network, the rules and instruments within the association, cultural shock presentation, personal development plan and non-formal education activities. This formation happened in sessions in ACT office and public spaces in the city. Team buildings, group dynamics, ice breakers and energizers were also, all the time an important tool, to integrate the volunteers as a team and to demonstrate our perspective and mindset of working, but also, methodologies of possible implementation for their future activities.
The next step was to start to create their own identity, a logo for the project, a poster for their identification, social network accounts so they can start to share the content their producing and sharing who are they, what are they doing, where are they going to intervene, why their job is such important, when are they going to work and how they will implement the project.
Once created the image, the volunteers started to develop their ideas related with the subjects of media literacy they wanted to see developed in the project. Topics like fake news, traditional media vs digital media, hate speech, privacy and media footprints, cyber bulling and much more. For this exercise, after chosen the contents, the volunteers started to make research about them and later, after collected the data, to present to all their colleagues so they could be also familiarized with them.
Finally, during the last week of August, they went to Bucharest for the on-arrival training. Once there, they met new volunteers from other projects in Romania, trainers with experience and knowledge about the Erasmus plus programs with whom they learned tools, methodologies and details about the program so they could be prepared to face they’re challenges and overcome barriers to reach the objective of their project and their individual objectives once here.