On Friday, June 15, a multiplication marathon event organized by Habilitas Association within the Erasmus + project “CREA.TYV – Creative Drama for Training Young Volunteers in Intergenerational Learning Environments” took place in Bucharest.

The conference was attended by representatives of Bucharest and national NGOs, of associations for pensioners ‘rights, social assistance and child protections agencies from Bucharest and Ialomita, seniors’ clubs, and of the National Council for the Elderly. The event was also honored by the presence of representatives of non-governmental organizations promoting volunteering in Ireland, Bulgaria and Hungary: Volunteer Ireland, Values, Virtues and Integrity Foundation, Bulgaria, Future 21 Century Foundation, Volunteering Hungary – Center for Social Innovation.

CREAT.Y.V. conference started with a radiography of the project delivered by Ioana Caciula, Habilitas Association president, followed by three video presentations on intergenerational workshops piloted by European partners organizations in the project: The Gaiety School of Acting, Ireland, Anziani e Non Solo, Italy and the European Development Agency, Czech Republic.

Honorary guest Stuart Garland, training and programmes manager with Volunteer Ireland and the initiator of Event Volunteers, then spoke about volunteering for older people and inter-generational volunteering in the Republic of Ireland. Stuart pointed out the reasons why seniors did or did not engage in voluntary activities, listing a number of good-practice and intergenerational volunteer projects, and providing relevant statistics on formal involvement of older people in volunteering. Thus, in 2017, volunteer centers in Ireland had 14,255 senior volunteers, 79% of whom were between 50 and 64 years of age.

Daniela Buzducea, director of World Vision Romania, stressed that all programmes of the organization aim to increase the quality of life of children and their families, especially in rural areas, where the educational and social problems are more needed. In these national programmes, such as „Paine and Maine” (”Bread and Tomorrow”) or ”I want in the 9th grade”, there are hundreds of volunteers involved – who work directly with the children, who raise funds, who get involved as they can and simply promote the good in communities, whether they are former beneficiaries, ordinary people or public figures.

Dana Nicolescu, Opportunity Associates Romania, talked about formal and non-formal education. About what we know (knowledge), what we can do (abilities) and and what we really do (attitude, values) in a field. Many of us know, many of us can do, but not all of us do. Doing something actually makes the difference.

Diana Bere, Pro Vobis Association, and Ioana Caciula, Habilitas Association, ended the first part of the event with presentations of two of the results obtained so far: the comparative E-Book on volunteering in the four partner countries and the methodology of using creative drama techniques in inter-generational volunteering and, respectively, the conclusions of piloting the training program CEREAT.YV in Romania, the Czech Republic and Italy.

The second part of the conference was dedicated to practical workshops on intergenerational and family volunteering (facilitator, Stuart Garland), national and international volunteering as an opportunity for young people (facilitator, Corina Pintea, Pro Vobis Association) and training programmes for young people in the field of volunteering (facilitator, Rodica Caciula, Habilitas Association).

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CREA.T.Y.V. International Conference – a Landmark Event in Promoting Intergenerational Volunteering in Romania