Young people on City Tour

The Find your way to the world of work project is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment.

The name of the game is City Tour. It was invented by Bojoievschi Éva and Székely Áron, mentors of the Find Your Way To The World Of Work project of Caritas Alba Iulia. They discovered that some of the young people who attend their activities, – mainly from rural areas – are reluctant to go to a bigger city alone for fear of getting lost, having to manage their own affairs, using public transport and the Romanian language. Therefore, they came up with the idea of a game, in which small groups of young people have to adventure in an unfamiliar city, to visit certain locations and to carry out various tasks. Meanwhile, they learn to work in teams, to find their way around, to organise their tasks, to manage their time and pocket money, to use technical tools, such as: Google Maps and Translate, the Moovit bus and train application, to share location and to take and send photos. This experiential pedagogical method develops the participants’ social, communicational and language skills too, as they have to talk to unknown people and to communicate in Romanian during their adventures.

The first City Tour was organised for young people from Sovata in Tîrgu-Mureş last spring. Taking into account the participants’ feedback, mentors taught this method to their colleagues from Odorheiu Secuiesc and Gheorgheni. Thus, the second urban adventure took place soon, this time with young adults from Odorheiu Secuiesc and Gheorgheni. They met at the Caritas House in Tîrgu-Mureş, formed some groups of four or five and were accompanied by volunteers. There were common tasks and locations, but there were some that varied from team to team. They had to get to, for example, the nearest pharmacy, to buy water at the convenience store across the street, to find out the departure time of the next train at the train station, to order coffee in Romanian at the bistro, to address letters at the post office, to find a polyclinic, a police station, a hospital, and finally to get a flyer at the job fair that was taking place at the National Theatre. They were free to travel on foot, by bus or even by taxi. At each location, photos had to be taken and sent to the mentors with a location share.

The adventure lasted almost four hours, and the young people arrived back at Caritas House late in the afternoon, tired. “I felt lost.” “There was good cooperation in the team.” “There was a lot of traffic, one has to pay attention.” “We got to all the locations, we managed to complete all the tasks.” “It was difficult, because I don’t speak Romanian.” “We didn’t complete all the tasks, because we wouldn’t have got back in time.” “There was no team spirit. Everyone wanted to go in a different direction.” “The five-minute trip turned into a fifteen-minute trip just because we didn’t walk across a pedestrian crossing.” “It was a success that I could make myself understood in Romanian.” “I liked the city, even though I didn’t like it before.” “At the post office, the clerk was swearing at us, making us say quickly what we wanted, because she didn’t have time to go to the bathroom.” “The taxi driver was nice, even though we replied mostly with `yes`.” “The pocket money was enough, and there was some left” – participants reported on their experiences.

As they reflected on the day’s events and listened to each other, they were able to draw lessons and to become aware of the skills that need to be strengthened. When looking at the photos they sent with share location, they started to chatter and laugh, which they probably continued on their way home.

Júlia Orbán
Translation: Ingrid Puskás-Bajkó

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The Find your way to the world of work project is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment.

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