Summer camps for children at the Mihai Eminescu Trust

2015. The first year in which Maria from Mălâncrav participates in a summer camp for children organized by MET. After five consecutive years of camps, from a shy and very quiet child, she developed into a responsible person, our right hand when working with that village, being our volunteer coordinator there.

During the first camp she learned to sew and make wool slippers, the following year she painted models of house facades and made clay houses. In 2018, in Mălâncrav, right in her village, she took the role of the grandmother’s daughter in the play “The grandmother’s daughter and the grandfather’s daughter”. She went on stage and played her part well. The play travelled through four villages, the children being practically in a mini-tour. Last year, Maria became the coordinator of the activities. The camp was about architecture, and the children built the model of how their ideal village would look in 50 years’ time. Maria organized games for the little ones and constantly supervised them. The camps meant for her learning about self-confidence and countless more and more unique experiences. Just like her, other children have had the same wonderful experience and they grew up attending these camps.

Since 2014 until the last year, the members of the MET team organized 7 summer camps in the villages of Alma Vii, Archita, Nou Săsesc and Mălâncrav. In total, over 180 children participated, i.e., over 180 different stories. Each time a group of children from several villages was formed. For many of them, it was their first occasion to spend a few days away from their parents.

The first summer camp was funded by the Horizon Foundation, the following ones being organized through other contributions, such as the ones from the AFCN or the Order of Architects of Romania. In addition to the camps, within these projects, the foundation organized sessions to attract children and young people in the project activities, and they were followed by practical and creative workshops, the most active children being selected to participate in the camps. The results of the creative activities were promoted in a public event, by arranging exhibitions.

The villages included in the projects were Alma Vii, Archita, Mălâncrav, Viscri, villages that have a rich cultural heritage included in the List of Historical Monuments, category A, Viscri being on the list of UNESCO monuments. The Mihai Eminescu Trust Foundation has been working with these communities since 2000, Archita and Mălâncrav being the newest communities, where we started to carry out projects in 2008. These communities are unique due to their multi-ethnic and multicultural heritage, which, in the long run, is threatened by the weak involvement of the younger generations in the life of the community. Although there is a built base, these communities need constant motivation and involvement in activities to protect and promote local cultural heritage, and special attention must be paid to young generations.

The summer camps are part of the 24 educational projects carried out by MET from 2000 to the present, with total costs of 217,970 euros.

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