This was my first project and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew I will meet a lot of people from 11 countries, different ages and lifestyles but still gathered against bullying.
The trip started in Belgrade, Serbia on our plane to Bucharest. Unfortunately, we only had just a few hours to meet this lovely capital, but, hey, the real adventure waited for us in Craiova! 🙂
I was so excited to see The Palace of the Parliament which is the seat of the Parliament of Romania.
It is actually the second largest administrative building in the world, after The Pentagon in the United States. After we had really great time in beautiful and cozy coffee Van Gogh in Bucharest we bought a ticket for train.
We were so exhausted so we used those 3 hours to get some sleep. Finally around midnight we came to our destination. With heavy suitcases (which we put in a cab), lots of hopes and with heavy eyes we arrived to our new home – Hotel Craiovita.
A stunning and beautiful lady Camelia gave us the warmth welcome – she was an organizator of a project “Take a stand, lend a hand – Stop bullying now!”
The very next day I realized she gave all her heart and soul in this project and that fact was unavoidable till the end. She was always full of energy and ready to share our emotions with us. Maybe we were a little bit confused and shy on our first workshop and immediately after breaking the ice things started to be more comfortable.
Our first task was to make our own tie which will attract (or not) other participant. If there were attracted by it, they would have a chance to have conversation with us and get to know our wishes, things we are really good at etc. That was endlessly funny because I realized I have at least one common thing with the others! Yeah, that was the moment when I started thinking we are going to be a huge family.
Our breaks, meals, parties and free time after all activities were excellent time to meet each others in best possible way. For many occasions we had to grab a taxi – which was very cheap compared to my country! For one ride I had to give about half of euro (if there are 4 of us in it).
Some of the catchy phrases during our stay were:
– Realeeee ?
– Lovely innit?
I don’t know why, but I heard every person saying It’s so hot in here! So guys, I think this is our hymn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeZZr_p6vB8
In the following days we had an opportunity to visit TV and radio station in Craiova, which was the first time for some participant to see media from the inside. We made some crazy photos as you can see in our gallery 🙂
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Each of us had our own family during our stay in Craiova. For example, I was a stepchild in Ionescu family, Mustafa (UK) was my sister, Славея Русева (Bulgaria) was my mother and Judita Kasperiunine (Lithuania) was my brother. Each family had its tasks, for example, to go to the Treasure hunt – to find certain object and make a selfie in front of it and to record a video about bullying in a family. The video of each family was completely hilarious and serious at the same time – we know that what we are doing is just an act, but we didn’t feel comfortable because we knew this is a real situation in almost every family in Europe.
Our job during the whole project was to raise awareness about this issue. We have finished the story with Flash mob in the centre of Craiova. During those two hours kids could write or draw something and everyone was invited! In the following picture you can see fantastic atmosphere! 🙂
Only after 7 days in Romania I started valuable friendships, made beautiful photos and the most important things – wished that we can do the same in our countries. I wanted to know does everybody feel the same, so I asked them.
Camelia Dumitrache (Asociația Allons-y):
Before I even start, I want to make sure that I wholeheartedly thank everyone that were present and that believed that we, as a multicultural group can truly make a change. Bullying is a serious problem that we face daily and that can take many forms, of course it is easy to talk about it but when we have to take actions, well that is when it becomes harder. Our purpose was to find viable solutions for youth workers in order to fight against it, to take a stand and to stop ignoring the serious effects this phenomenon has on people. For me, it was a great experience because as a trainer you also want to see a reaction and in this project, the people were so cooperative and emphatic that they made me realize that my job it is not done, that I will continue my search and I will look for ways to raise awareness. The solutions are apparently simple but in fact it is more than meets the eye, people are uninformed and afraid, they don’t know that some laws do protect them. Information is the key, so being an active citizen that is willing to help the others in need is our ultimate goal.
Kim Delos Reyes (UK):
I had such an amazing experience in Craiova and very blessed to have had the opportunity to meet the amazing people who have been through similar journeys as me. It’s great to see a group of people gathered to find out ways of how we can prevent bullying from happening and it shows just how much love can be given to those around us.
Carolina Perreira (Portugal):
Being in Craiova was a great experience, especially for the people we met. 11 countries, such different cultures and in the end it seemed like a big family and actually in the end we became a big family. We got to know each other, we got to know more about Bullying and we got to make interventions that had impact in Craiova, as being on the radio and on the news. I believe that for all the participants this was a one life time experience and we will never forget it! Thanks everyone! With love from Portugal!
Kristina Dančetović (Serbia):
People say, when life gives you lemons, make a lemonade. So, as for me, when life gives you opportunity to travel, use it. So I did… I started my journey with two amazing girls.. Full of excitement, our journey started… Romania was waiting for us. Amongst the clouds I knew that was the best week ever,in my entire life. Meet amazing people… And that was the true. Starting from day one, my adventure started! I fell in love with the city instantly… And people. Our project, against bullying, us ,all of us trying to make some difference in the world. I felt like i was flying. We had an amazing week. The best week of this year of my life. I gave away my heart, piece by piece to so many people, that were my support. Forever will they remain in my memory!!!! I only have to thank this amazing thing i felt.. And to give advice, everywhere.. Just go.. Travel!
Стоян Тодоров (Bulgaria):
Craiova was my first project and went without any expectations. Fortunately it was the most memorable, most emotional and most valuable experience ever. I met the most unique people in the world, thank you friends for the wonderful moments.. I’m sure we’ll meet again.
Ilias Karachalios (Greece):
In 29 of October 2016 I took the train with Greek guy I just met… from Bucharest to Craiova, we were attending the same Erasmus+ training course about anti bullying behavior. I didn’t know what to expect. Normally at these kinds of training courses you meet nice and interesting people, but every time is different. The Greek team, was very interesting, 4 people in total. Two guys and two girls. Different, but similar in a way. We arrived at the hotel, with the Spanish team, that we met before we enter the train too. Nice hotel, smiles from the other attendants. The organizers were waiting for us wearing their traditional dresses. We didn’t stay long. We were tired. Next day the training course started. New people. Interesting. With different backgrounds. Younger, older. Huge variety. You didn’t really understand but after few days, we were like a family. Of course not everyone can like everyone. But we were a team. Dancing smiling all the time. It was the first time in my life that I had 2 surprise parties for my birthday the same day, and it was from people I just met!!! So amazing.
I think the most amazing time thought, was the time when we had to dance in front of the public. In the main square of Craiova. A professional dancer was giving the rhythm, and we all try to follow. And suddenly MAGIC happen. Paulo went in the front and in just seconds, everyone were dancing the same way, like a professional dancing group… everyone was enjoying… laughing… and dancing like pro. That was the magical moment. We even danced a second song. No one wanted to stop. People were joying. We have spread our message. We had fun. We enjoyed… a lot… We were one… Thank you all for that…
Maciej Lazar (Poland):
I had a great time in Craiova. First of all meet great people. Whole project was very well organised and we had many opportunities to know problem of bullying. Personally now I am aware even more about this problem and I really think that everyone can help and make changes.
Mustafa Seyrek (UK):
It was a great experience with lots of new adventures and I learned a lot about bullying. I have met a lot of new people and I learned how to work in a team with them which is a pretty cool thing. I have heard a lot of life stories and I have got to know myself and my limits more. I would like to thanks all organiser and participants to making this event possible.
Fay Eosef (Greece):
In this project I had many beautiful and creative moments !!! I have met people that I would love to have in my every day life and they inspire me in every way !!! I felt so many emotions these days …. thrills … joy … excitement … !!! Most important for me is that i have developed as a person in every possible way !!! The only thing I could say is that I am grateful !!!! I can not describe something so strongly with words … it’s difficult …. Thank you for the chance to meet you people there…and get to know you the most of you a..i miss every moment with you !!! You filled me with joy and inspiration !!! I love you all very much and I hope in some reunion….someday..somehow..somewhere !!!! I wish you a beautiful and creative life !!! !!! with so much love…FAY!!!!!
When I was asked if I want to be part of this project I was not expecting anything like that! I wanted to participate in the project but I had a number of mishaps that I questioned myself if I really want to go! I was so close to giving up then I decided to give myself another chance. My journey started earlier than I expected as I had to change my plans at the very last moment. I spent two days in Bucharest with an old friend who I was extremely surprised to meet. I was given a lift to Craiova as my friend did not want me to stay alone and he wanted to make sure that I was safe. The moment we arrived Craiova, an amazing team met us in Hotel Craiovita and my friend was sure that I was in safe hands. Everyone was extremely friendly and excited. Romanian team was putting all their effort to make all of us happy regardless of their being exhausted. Everyday we got connected and attached more and more… The eexperiencece I had in Craiova was once in a life time and I believe I met people from 11 different countries that I will meet many more times in the future…
Written by Marija Tomić
Lecture: Kristina Dančetović
Photos: Ilias Karachalios