Tuesday, August 29, 2017


Name of the project: Learn About Traditions
Date: 10th to 21st August 2017
Country/City: Romania, Milcoveni and Teregova

What was the main topic of the event?

Villiam Põldma - Traditions. To learn about the local traditions, especially in small rural areas and of all the participant countries.
Andreas Hein - The main topic was traditions. How to maintain traditions, how to get younger people interested in their own traditions. What are the possible ways to pass on our traditions to next generations.
Sander Mölder - The aim of the project was to create awareness in our youth regarding their civic responsibility to research, capitalize and promote folk traditions for the inclusion of disadvantaged young people in the country and to develop a continuous dialogue between generations and nations, to assert the rural communities in the European space for their economic, cultural and touristic development. The second main topic was to learn about our traditions!
Marek Runga - Main topic of the project was to create awareness within our youth regarding their civic responsibility to research, capitalize and promote folk traditions,  to assert the rural communities in the European space for their economic, cultural and touristic development. To understand do we need traditions and do they help to get people together
Kadri Spriit - Active citizenship, mobilizing and motivating youth.
Mihkel Kotkas - Main topic of the whole event was to promote folk traditions from different countries and how to keep the traditions of the nation active in rural areas. In addition, how important it is to be aware of your country’s native traditions.
Raimond Põld - How can we preserve and continue our rural and age-old traditions. Also taking action and being more active speaker.
Reti Randorg - To learn each other traditions and support young people living in rural areas by learning how to preserve active citizenship in rural areas. More active are people in rural areas, means more jobs and leisure time activities.

What was the biggest learning moments on the event for you?

Villiam Põldma - That local traditions of individual countries are actually dying, because of the urbanization.
Andreas Hein - 1) I am not afraid to approach people in English anymore; 2) learned that many cultures are very similar; 3) gained a lot of knowledge about traditions in different countries, specially about Romanian and Estonian tradition; 4) Learned how to work as a group; 5) Learned how to lead a group; 6) Learned how different tasks helped us relax and get to know each other better
Sander Mölder - My biggest learning moments were the workshops and energizers. For me, I had to jump over my shadow to perform those kinds of things. I wanted to know more about myself – what I am capable of and what I am not. So the biggest learning moments for me were the moments, when I though I am not going to manage something – I am going to fail. While in reality, I was successful and did more than OK! Moments where I was brave and made a statement where the biggest learning moments for me! (Usually I am very modest and humble).
Marek Runga - Learned that due to religion most of the countries have similar traditions with other countries.
Me as a Citizen of Estonia I didn`t know so much about Estonian traditions, thanks to this project and my Estonian group who taught me and informed me more about our traditions and cultures.
Kadri Spriit - Different methods used. Non-formal education at its BEST! Instead of long lectures we learnt from our peers: about traditions and culture in their home countries, about experience they have had, and of course their personal self. Various energizers and team-building games united us together as a group and made us closer than I would have anticipated. A true injection of positive emotions!
Mihkel Kotkas - Unfortunately my health let me down just before the flight to Romania, going through one of the most serious illnesses of my life so far kept me from participating in this project. But thanks to this great invention called “Internet” I was given brief overviews about the activities and the awesome people who attended the project. After the project was over, I had a chance to listen to all these stories live from one of my group members and the image created by the story was unbelievable. It was a story about people who in 10 days got so close, that after this time they spent together they were closer than they ever expected would be possible in such a short time period. Giving me will to participate in similar projects in the future.
Raimond Põld - Biggest learning moment was Oxford debate, performing my rap song about Estonian Midsummer Eve in front of 150 people. Also learned how to make business plan-i got very excited and that Czech men whip women during one holiday, which i dont remember anymore. Speed Dating energizer got us well connected-should have done that on the second day and also mystical, spiritual eye contact game, where we gazed each other deeply in two circles, about 1 minute to each participants eyes. That got me thinking what is my higher goal in this life and that is my producing music passion, which is part of being active citizen.
Reti Randorg - Technically, I learned how to debate and what are most important analysis when starting a company.
Socially, I learned how to express myself clearer, improved my English, how to be/not to be a good leader, learned new traditions.

Do you have any plans to continue active in the field? If yes, what?

Villiam Põldma - I will definitely try to keep the traditions alive, at least among my people and try to remind others to do the same.
Andreas Hein - Well I guess so. I do respect our traditions now a little bit more. I have always loved the simple things that traditions have, like making gingerbreads turning the Christmas time. I promise to focus on the little things that usually make people fell in love more and more with their country and what eventually will increase the patriotism.
Sander Mölder - If you mean in active citizenship field, then yes of course. This project motivated me to take responsibility – in this case I have many ideas in my mind, which I would like to initiate (I did not have the courage to it before).
If the question is about staying active in Erasmus field, then the answer would also be a yes from me, because I liked the project very much and I learned very much from there. So therefore I would certainly like to continue working with Erasmus!
Marek Runga - Would like to promote Erasmus plus projects for youngsters. Maybe write project by myself.
Kadri Spriit - Yes, I would like to explore more, what Erasmus+ has to offer.
Mihkel Kotkas - The field of promoting traditions and keeping them alive is something, which should involve every individual in a nation and starting from the personal level. As will I, start to pay more attention to the traditions, keeping them in mind and maybe create some interesting new traditions in addition to existing ones.
Raimond Põld - Im going to support my best friend who is going to do Evs in Portugal. Also keeping my eyes open for new projects, where i can encourage others to be more active and just give value to that unity. Making songs that promote such lifestyle and also who to vote in Estonia, because im active citizen and my voice is bigger than average Joe s, because fans.
Reti Randorg - I can see that these projects are good opportunity to actually learn how to socialize, new cultures and the things that are taught in workshops. I can see myself being in the projects in the future. Maybe even a team leader. I need to have opportunity to learn new things.

Would you recommend it to your friends? I yes, why? If not, why not?
Villiam Põldma  - Yes, I definitely recommend it. It will make them aware of the problem about dying traditions.
Andreas Hein - Of course I would. It is a wonderful opportunity to develop yourself, gain some knowledge, meet very-very different people, you can practice your english…it is a perfect opportunity to do that guys! and as well maybe make life long international contacts. And the emotion you will get after sharing information/thoughts with others who eventually give you positive feedback… is amazing. Everyone in this project were awesome, super friendly and helpful…so I could not imagine better way to spend 2weeks of my summer.
Sander Mölder - I would definitely recommend this project to my friends, because I learned so much from this project. Firstly I learned some new things about myself and secondly I made new friends, so now I have new acquaintances all over Europe! But the most important thing for me was to upgrade and motivate myself, to overcome my fears and in that I succeeded!
Marek Runga - Of course, these project courage and pushes you do go out of your comfort zone and try things that you never tried. Also it is good teaching but non formal and more interesting. Because in projects there are involved many different counries with different points of views.
Kadri Spriit - I will definitely share my knowledge about the programme, because it is a good initiative, which helps to grow tolerance, learn about others and reflect about you.
Mihkel Kotkas - Definitely, if YOU have a chance, TAKE IT! You will have the best time of your life and possibly make friends for the rest of your life.
Raimond Põld - You can bet on it, that i will recommend it to my friends. I have even  talked about NYH blog and Erasmus plus with total strangers i have met on streets, in clubs and in shops- mostly girls, but hey, i am not gay and most of them have heard about that kind of projects, but they are too scared and need to have at least one friend with them i guess.
I recommend this, because they learn how to be better person in this society, how to help others, reach out to share love, get good at public speaking, teamwork and they get to experience funny social situations in the case of energizers and also breathtaking views, stunning girls and guys and delicious food from all over Europe, my brothers and sisters.
Reti Randorg - Yes, I have already recommended the projects to my friends. These are good opportunities to find new friends with similar interests.

More comments or anything else you would like to share? You can add here in your own language, if you want!

Villiam Põldma  - One of the best projects I’ve been to, so far! Thank You!
Andreas Hein - What surprised me was the fact that many people loved Estonian songs and national dance. Also it was nice to see that people hit it off from the start of the project. I think those few days without electricity, wifi and water brought us all much closer together. There were no awkward silences or anything. And man…our project leaders were out of this world. Huge thanks to them. Project was super J Thank you!
Sander Mölder - I would like to share my respect and tänutunne to our main two guys: Alex and Iasmin, the two organisers and leaders. They were amazing and thanks to them the project was so special – they made it work and made the group so united! Thank you for that!
Marek Runga - Big thank you to Alex, Iasmin and Krzysztof  (project facilitators in Romania). Also thank you to our group leader Villiam Põldma and to whole our group.
Kadri Spriit - This project was useful in many ways. I got to experience the Erasmus Spirit again over many years, and collect great ideas, how to work with a group.
Mihkel Kotkas - I hope all the friendships, that were made during these 10 days will last as long as the participants would imagine them to last in their wildest dreams.
Raimond Põld - Silma vaatamise harjutus ja speed dating harjutus oleks võinud projekti alguses olla. Teema oli kerge, aga ma tahtsin ja sain omale 4 minutilise osa Oxfordi debatis ja kus ma närvitsesin, kuigi me harjutasime enne kõik väitlejad koos nende ees, kes ei julgenud esineda. Ma tahtsin ja lihtsalt pidin ka üksi oma laulu laulma ja tantsisin improviseerisin liigutusi, et maha rahuneda veits, vaatasin sõnad maha telefonist-see ei olnud tähtis ning oleks pidanud rohkem rahvast kaasa plaksutama kutsuma. Meie grupp(mina, Villiam ja Marek) kaotasime vist debati sellepärast, et ma mainisin, et naiste iq on madalam kui meestel ja selle peale reageeriti.(top 1 on mees, aga keskmiselt on naised targemad) Kahjuks me ei saanud oma esitlust teha intercultural õhtul ja videosid Milcovenist pole ka näinud. Väga toredad kohad ja jääb eluks ajaks meelde. Ainuke miinus oli see, et Teregovast Milcoveni sõites oli meil reckless driver ja ma palvetasin, et ma surma ei saaks haha:) Ma olin ka kolmanda debati idee autoriks, sest enamus hääletas minu poolt. Oleksin võinud valida (kas rohkem raha teeb õnnelikumaks) või (samasooliste abielu), sest Illuminati kohta ei teatud eriti  ja ei saanud midagi teada selle kohta, ainult et see dollari rahatähe peal, mis oli ühel tüdrukul kaasas. Magasin end välja iga päev, keskmiselt 7 tundi. Algul 4,5,8,10,1 ja siis 8,7,10,1,10 vms. See et wifi ära kadus, mul oli ükskõik sellest ja elekter kui ära kadus, siis ka suva. Algul oli veits paanika, sest nii palav oli nagu oleks saunas, aga harjus kiiresti ära.Parem kui Eestis ilm ikkagi. Ühe korra tegime tornaadot ainult söögilauas, maitea, miks see ei meeldinud mõnedele, aga ma istusin vahel ikka teistega ka peale eestlaste. Eure sain vahetada mõlemas külas, algul 4.5 ja siis 4.4 kursiga. Jõin mõõdukalt.
Reti Randorg - I loved the project! I love the people who took part in it. I love the organizers. Accommodation was awesome and I liked that we lived in two different parts of Romania.
Unfortunately, it seems that a lot of the participants comes to these projects mostly to party and are not interested in hard core learning. That was the main reason why workshops were not really hard for most of us. Sometimes it seemed that we were playing games all day without any deeper conversations.

This Project was financed by European Commission's Erasmus + Programme

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

EVS goes Carinthia - EVA KOBIN - 12 months in EVS in GEMMA, Villach, Austria - Article in English!

About Me…

Hallo Ich bin Eva und Ich komme aus Estland!   
I grew up in the little cosy village in Kildu and before I moved to Austria I worked in Suure-Jaani Youth Centre as a youth worker. For the last six years I have been involved with Erasmus+ projects like Youth Exchanges and International training courses. I had experience being as volunteer in smaller projects and events, but never longer then one week.

My decision to go Austria..

In august 2015, I took part of the training course in Austria “LAB: Technology of Involvement” in Velden am Wörthersee. This was my first time to visit Austria and I felt really amazed from the nature and culture there. During this project we visited Villach Youth Centre and I found out that they are also receiving volunteers under the Erasmus+ program. After the project I kept the contacts and asked for possibility to make my one year EVS in Villach. At this point I was 29 years old and as the voluntary projects are meant for the young people age 17-30. Regarding my age, it was really “now or never” decision and to be honest, the sound of “never” it really didn´t fit to my thought’s. It was time to step out of my comfort zone, apply my project together with my sending and receiving organisation and about five months later I found myself living in the most southern corner of Austria, in the beautiful city, called Villach.

My Team and Work in Villach Youth Centre…

Duration of my project was one year and I really loved to work together in the Villach Youth Centre (JUZ) team. During my voluntary time, my team really created a supportive and friendly environment for me.

Regarding my precious experience as a youth worker and Erasmus+ projects it was really interesting to learn how things are done here. Learn more about the youth work and improve my organising skills.

My assignments in the Youth Centre were to help them on daily basis, but also to create new inputs. For example, there is a saying we use in EVS projects on and it is: “Creating your project inside of a project.” It means that as you are already part of the EVS project, you go there with a mission to bring your own initiative and create projects.

Firstly, I had always been passionate with areas witch needed many use of creativity. I looked around and saw the possibilities and on the start of the spring I created the “Urban Gardening” project in the Villach Youth Centre. It was a project with the aim to introduce the possibilities of gardening inside of the city, to create interest of green lifestyle and educate the young people of the “gardening ABC”, plant and grow their own vegetables.

Besides of my projects I started creativity workshops “DIY (do it yourself) with Eva every Wednesday and all the young people had the possibility to participate and as cooking have been my passion all life- it was always great to make cooking evening. Now I also know how to make traditional Carinthia’n Christmas cookies and nudels.

All of it was actually just a small part of my full experience. For example every year Villach Youth Centre organizes several bigger events like the sport and hobby festival “Trendsporttag”, Intercultural Street festival, youth literature festival “Lesezeichnen”.

In every event I had the chance to be part of the team, share my ideas and learning by doing. I had a really great team and it is actually always nice to experience in those projects how the people you have never met before on your life, becoming good friends of you. Even after my voluntary service in JUZ, I can feel that this is the place, I can always visit and feel like home.

During the voluntary year I also had the chance to have two German courses and I have to say, that if someone would have told me that after one year I could speak and understand German- I would never believed it. I came to Austria knowing only eins, zwei, drei…but never say never- here I am understanding and talking German quite well. J


My year in Villach was full of amazements, new experiences and positive surprises. Villach is a really nice city surrounded with wonderful nature-with mountains and beautiful lakes.  Already by location it is really centre of the Europe. One of my free day I had a breakfast in Villach (Austria), lunch in Slovenia and nice dinner in Italy.

I really find people in this city friendly and welcoming. The city itself promotes also many cultural events during all year. Villach is famous of it´s every year carnival celebration called “Fasching” and “Villacher Kirchtag” what means a week along festival with traditional clothes, good food, beer, folkmusic, dances and party. People here really do love their traditions as in every true Villacher person (young and old) has their traditional clothes what they love to wear in many events and in Kirchtag it is a must-a-wear. Shortly to say – it is a city worth of discovering! J

My life now…

After my voluntary year I decided to stay in Austria longer. I wish to continue my German lessons and start my Master degree studies at the Alpean Adria University in this autumn.

I will happily continue my work as a volunteer in the association “Gemma” and cooperating projects together with my sending organisation “Noored Ühiskonna Heaks” in Estonia. My wish is to give my contribution back to the society and help to coordinate the future projects under Erasmus+ program in Carinthia. I think there are many young people of the similar wishes, what I once had before I took the possibilities of this program. I wish to get information of possibilities of Erasmus+ as many young people as possible.

During the time I have been in Austria my organization started series on meetings for the young people called “Eramus+ Frühstück “ (“Erasmus+ Breakfast”) to promote the Erasmus+ program and the possibilities inside it, especially possibilities in European Voluntary Service. I am always there to share my experience and stories with them. And my favourite sentences to tell them and now for you is:
“This is a program for every young people and the offer is free for you- a new culture and working area, new experiences and friends, but in the same do something for the society as well. And in the end you will be proud of yourself- “back-bag ”full of experiences and memories to share even years later.

Now looking back of my voluntary year, I am proud and happy to took this possibility and if possible I would do it again- without hesitation.
I am really thankful of all the part´s who helped me during my voluntary year, especially my sending organisation in Estonia “Noored Ühiskonna heaks” , “Verein Gemma” and Villach Youth Centre. And of course Erasmus+ Youth In Action program for financing my European voluntary service project.

Thank you! Danke!

This Project was financed by European Commission's Erasmus + Programme