Between 26th and 30th June 2016 we held an intercultural event for the primary schoolchildren of Șimonești. The programme was primarily aimed at community development, and – judging by the children playing and experiencing the camp together – was a real success.
The village of Șimonești is situated in the valley of the Feernic River, with a considerable Roma community. Here, over a five day period, we organised various play activities in the local cultural house, offering those who participated the possibility of getting to know each other better, and to collaborate.
Among the activities in this period, there was a day of creation, and a day of folk dances and folk songs, through which the children were able to discover each other’s differing traditions and cultures. With the collaboration of the staff of the Programme for Roma Integration and of the Family Assistance Service of the Caritas Association from Alba Iulia, we also organised a multicultural day, where we discussed the differences between behaviour models and values. One of the most successful programmes proved to be the fireman and first aid day, where – with the guidance of members of the Volunteer Firemen’s Association “Lightning” – the children had first-hand experience of putting out a fire, and learned about rescue operations. On the last day, the activities of the preceding 4 days were presented to parents, who had the opportunity to see their children’s drawings and other practical work, and hear them singing and dancing. Together we looked at photographs taken during the week, played the children’s favourite games, and finally said goodbye with a small gift for each child.
We would like to thank the painter Enikő Istók, the Volunteer Firemen’s Association “Lightning”, the Family Assistance Service of the Caritas Association from Alba Iulia (led by Barbara Leskó), the volunteers Csenge Olosz, Teréz Simon, Mária András and Vivien Lakatos, and the health mediator Enikő Lakatos for their help offered in the organisation of this event. Thanks are also due to the management of the school and kindergarten of Șimonești, the local council, and Harghita County Council for their help.