I am very glad to announce that the 2013 year was a good year for the young ostomates from Romania and from other European countries as well. We initiated and implemented here two European projects for young people with IBD (Inflamatory Bowel Diseases) and ostomates.
24th June – 1st July: “Developing Our Lifelong Learning Skills”/ Calarasi
1st – 10th October: “Non-Formal Medieval Festival” / Sighisoara
Both projects tried to put in contact young ostomates, young disabled people and non-disabled who came from very different environments where they have different living conditions, different medical system. Through these projects and their follow-up, we tried to raise the awareness about the condition of young ostomates and disabled young people from Europe, no matter where they live, and about their needs.On the other hand , our main aim was to make participants to realize that they are all the same no matter what kind of health problem they have or of which part of Europe they come from.
The first project took place in Calarasi, a small town on the branch of Danube.The focus of the project was the utilization of art/ creation (building giant puppets) as a smooth and easy way to foster the young people with IBD and ostomates to give up to the inhibitions and complexes and get involved in a social life and on the other hand, to foster the non-disabled youngsters to accept them, have tolerance and help their social inclusion as well. The overall objectives of the project were to promote young people’s active citizenship in general, and their European citizenship in particular, to develop solidarity and promote tolerance among young people, in particular, in order to foster social cohesion in the European Union; and we have been mainly focused on the inclusion of people with disabilities and participation of the young people. Also strengthening the dialog between different cultures in Europe and promotion of social and cultural values and attitudes. Another goal was also to enhance the interest and knowledge of the participants in arts and their importance in the European cultural integrity. The target group consisted mainly of youngsters between 18 – 25 years old, 4 participants from each country plus a leader, 20 participants and 5 leaders in total, from Italy, Serbia, Denmark, Republica Srpska /Bosnia&Herzegovina. We organized workshops for building giant puppets and also games, energizers, non-formal activities. The main theme was building two giant puppets: one puppet normally standing and another one sitting in a wheelchair and through this symbiosis we tried to suggest the idea of tolerance, understanding between disabled and non-disabled people.
The participants visited Bucharest/ The Parliament House, met actors of “Masca” Theater , had the opportunity to taste a Romanian traditional lunch, to learn traditional dances, to discover Romanian landmarks.
We would like to thank to all those who joined us to make possible this project or help the youngsters to travel in Romania or participated to our activities (E.O.A., F.A.I.S., Isilco, C.O.P.A., Medical Express, Zenyth Pharmaceuticals, “Masca”Theater, ‘Balada Dunarii” Folk Ensemble, the “Family Club” sport club).
The second project, ‘Non-Formal Medieval Festival” took place in the medieval Transylvanian of legendary Dracula – Sighisoara and gathered 25 disabled and non-disabled youngsters from Spain, Croatia, Czech Republic, Romania and Italy. Our activities here have been focused on the Dracula legend and the participants created masks on this theme, organized an intercultural evening, visited the Sighisoara Museum and the City Hall, the Bran Castel ,Cheile Gradistei mountain resort. They have presented their organizations, have shared experience and made plans for the next projects. The project has integrated other NGO’s and schools from community as well and we cooperated with the Cultural and Scientific Foundation “Gaudeamus”, the “M.Eliade” College, the “Veritas” Foundation . At the end of the activities, the participants organized a non-formal medieval parade in the Old Citadel of Sighisoara.
Starting with January 2014 , a new European Union Programme started for 2014 – 2020 and I hope we will manage other projects for youngsters in general and in the benefit of ostomates in particular. I also hope that other new organizations will join us on this way.
This material represents only the point of view of its author and the European Commision cannot be held responsible of its content.
Vice-president of the Romanian Ostomy Association
President of the Association of People with IBD.