After analyzing the 124 applications, we selected 16 people to join the 6-month program. Below you can find out who they are:
A sports lover, a dedicated coach and eager to attract people in this direction, in winter on skis and snowboards, in summer in kayaks, I gather around 2,000 children and adults around me. I train 20 children from the Club for performance in international competitions, where we represent Romania in the Olympic sport of kayak slalom, they, as competitors, I, as an international referee in this sport. I, Ionuț Stancovici, consider that SPORT represents both physical and mental therapy, therefore, my orientation, in particular, is directed towards people with disabilities and children from disadvantaged backgrounds, thus helping them to integrate into society and to overcome the barriers of their situation. I am the initiator of several projects, most of them on the social side: “Kayaking with disabilities”, “Skiing with disabilities”, “Adventure in nature”, etc.
Organization - Caiac Smile
My name is Raluca Dima and I am 31 years old. I love sports since childhood and until the age of 19 I did performance-athletics sports (marathon test), within CSM Olimpia Ploiesti. Following an injury, I had to give up, but after a long recovery, I resumed my connection with sports and set up a fitness room for women.
Later, with the help of a good friend Irina Ismail, Coordinator of the Communication and Media Department within the Conil Association, I entered the world of children with disabilities. It was the first time I saw a reality that I had not realized before. That was the moment when I realized that I can offer my help and that together with it I can contribute to something great. Thus was born our project, namely the Development of Motor Recovery Programs for Children with Disabilities, currently, I am the Coordinator of the Sports Projects and Programs Department.
It is a long-term project, which although it aims to develop motor skills, brings many benefits, both in terms of physical and psycho-emotional development. We promote the social inclusion of these children and together we break down barriers. To support this program, we developed several projects, the most recent of which was the "CONIL cross-virtual cross".
Organization - Asociația CONIL
I'm Odile Turcu and after a lifetime of organizing events I went to the NGO sector, an old wish of mine that I didn't start due to lack of time, but the pandemic solved this aspect quickly and suddenly. Together with Janina Brașoveanu we are the Răsăritul de Argint Association, and our first project is Yoga for Seniors - online and free. I was looking for a yoga instructor to explain, empathize and have measurable results, and that's how I found Desirée Halaseh, right in Bali, Indonesia. After a month of programming, we can already see the benefits of yoga and we want to develop this sport together, to make it known throughout the country, for as many seniors as possible without pain.
Organization - Asociația Răsăritul de Argint
My name is Andrei and I like to believe that simple solutions are the basis of complex problems in society. I set out to design cycling experiences for the daily routines of all categories of urban citizens, and to demonstrate how our individual behaviors can contribute to transforming society.
Organization - Urban Bike Revolution
Passionate about running, swimming, cycling, hiking and physical activity in general
From 2015 I started something more serious with sports and participated in numerous running, cycling and triathlon competitions, since the beginning of 2018 together with a group of equally enthusiastic and passionate friends I developed the Running Iași project through which we have promoted, supported and developed the local running culture as a pleasant and accessible way to practice sports/leisure running in a friendly environment and with a minimum of information about running equipment, warm-up and stretching exercises.
Project - Running Iași
In 2014 we founded the organization Te Aud Romania, starting from the idea that all children deserve the opportunities that most of us grew up with. I consider sports to be one of the most powerful non-formal education tools we have at hand. In this sense, the organization Te Aud Romania has been implementing the Rugby for All program since 2017 - a complex and integrated project of non-formal education, dedicated to children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds talented in rugby.
Organization - Te Aud România
Roxana Lupu is a communicator with experience in marketing and PR, and with a strong background in journalism. 6 years ago, he co-founded Adrenallina Media, the first communication agency in Romania focused on sports and healthy living. He is president of the Plogging for Romania association, an ecological movement through sports that aims to sanitize green areas, at national level, with the help of amateur sports volunteers and nature lovers, through greening sports camps. Roxana is also an endurance amateur athlete and writes at https://adrenallina.ro/, the most popular platform addressed to amateur athletes in Romania, which she founded 10 years ago.
Organization - Asociația Plogging pentru România
I understood, over time, from both personal and other people's experiences, that a healthy mind really works better in a healthy body, forming a unitary whole. I like nature and exercising outdoors. Practically almost daily, at amateur level, several individual sports (fitness, tennis) or team sports (volleyball, football, basketball). We have operationalized the principles of education through sports and in the professional sphere. I've been working in a penitentiary for 15 years. Detainees need and want to practice sports in an organized setting. Together with my colleagues, we constantly organize sports projects for detainees, some being, at the time of initiation, the first initiatives of that kind in the Romanian penitentiary system.
Organization: Aiud Penitentiary, ALMA Social Assistance Association
Until 2016, Bogdana Pascal divided her professional life between television production, visual arts and creative workshops for children. But as for her the professional and the staff have a rather flexible border, she realized one day that she wants to get more involved in the world of sports, but also in the needs of the community: too few spaces for sports, unhealthy, non-compliant , too little concern and no more programs for table sports, to which everyone has access.
The daughter of a former performance athlete and mother of a young athlete, she has been swinging between the stories of the nostalgic past and the hopeful aspirations of an uncertain, exclusive future, carefully observing the shortcomings and weighing the possibilities. Wondering how it can contribute to the healthy development of our children? So, a year later, attracting other enthusiasts to the project, he founded Creative Sports, an NGO with strong values and objectives, with a clear vision, that of investing in the education of young people. In short, under the slogan Sports Art Fusion, the main goal of the organization is not only to attract children to do outdoor sports and to develop healthy habits, including food, but also to develop a taste for beauty and to have inspiring, constructive experiences.
After coloring a basketball court in Sibiu and two courts in CCSS Tei Bucharest, Bogdana Pascal and Creative Sports with the help of other friendly organizations and companies, volunteers and supporters, organized there HIT - "Come to Tei to 3la3!", A free streetball and streetart festival, which already had 2 editions in 2018-2019 that brought together over 150 participating teams, girls and boys of all ages. In the summer, it organizes a Creative Camp for children and young people, a camp that focuses on sports and creative activities, ecology workshops and healthy eating.
He started by coloring equipment and outdoor basketball courts, an activity that Bogdana would like to do as often as possible, but she wants more, to rehabilitate old courts and even build new ones, with free access, in all neighborhoods. He dreams that all young people will have access to multisport rooms that will also include spaces for workshops and meetings, as well as bistros with food specially cooked for athletes - to offer healthy, normal, useful experiences on all levels.
Here is how, among Bogdana Pascal's preoccupations, the community leadership slipped in: an activity in which she seeks to accumulate as much knowledge as possible by participating in internships, meetings, workshops. For her, learning is a continuous process, it is a way of life similar to practicing sports, especially when you take responsibility to contribute to the common good with what you know, with what you receive, with what you are.
Organization - Creative Sports
Cristian Airinei, passionate about mountains and cycling. Since 2010 I have started cycling again, and every year the number of kilometers traveled increases. As my wife has insulin-dependent type 1 diabetes, and as I noticed that the movement was good for her, we started going out together more and more often on bicycles. Thus, in 2017, the idea of the project "Yes, I can too!" Was born, which meant the first person with diabetes to tour Romania by bicycle, 3,000 km. I felt we were doing well, we were becoming an example for the diabetes community, we were raising funds and helping children with diabetes. That's how the NGO "Yes, I can fight diabetes!" who continued the projects. This was followed by "Interior of the Carpathians by bicycle", "Go West - Romania from east to west", "Danube by bicycle", "Dunav Ultra - the Bulgarian bank of the Danube" - tours of over 1,000 km. But, there were also educational projects, through schools, about diabetes, nutrition, healthy lifestyle and volunteering. For this year we set out to continue the series of educational meetings, but also the organization of a contest "Carpathian Arch Race" which means following the Carpathian arch from Bratislava to Cluj.
Organization - Yes, I can too!
I am Cristina from Satu Mare and I have been active in the NGO environment for more than 16 years, at the Stea Association where I found my vocation in supporting children, young people and adults from disadvantaged backgrounds in discovering their potential and having the courage to reach aspirations. Unfortunately, there is a great inequity between the development opportunities that children living in vulnerable and marginalized communities have compared to other children. Most of the time, these children grow up without the proper support to come to truly believe that they too are capable of success. The experiences of discrimination they often experience reduce their chances of social inclusion.
In search of solutions, we had the opportunity to discover together with the Star Association team the enormous potential of chess, as a tool for empowerment and personal development of children. Combining the experience of social specialists with that of chess coaches from Romania and Hungary, together with our partners, the CREST Association and the DAVID Sports Club, we have built an innovative program for developing life skills through chess. It is based on combining chess training with non-formal education and personal development activities. Children love chess because it allows them to realize that they too are able to win on their own. Successful experiences motivate them to move forward in their educational path. The child thus becomes our partner in the process of his own development. The program includes creating concrete opportunities for positive interactions through sport between community members and vulnerable people, thus contributing to changing the mindset anchored in negative stereotypes. The results obtained since 2019 with over 100 children show that chess has become for them an anchor that supports their social inclusion.
Organization: Asociatia Stea
Costi launched in 2018 the project "Iasi, the City of Bicycles" to support the transformation of cycling into a social habit, in the city of the seven hills. In fact, the vision of the project is as simple as possible and applies to all cities in Romania: “A cyclist on the street, a car less in traffic. More people on bicycles means a more active and healthier community, which can enjoy a cleaner, less crowded and less noisy city. ”
Costi is of the opinion that within the local communities there is a need for collaboration and a deliberate and sustained transition from the level of Activists to that of Catalysts. An idea that was the basis for the formation of APTA - Alliance for the Promotion of Alternative Transport in Iasi - a collaborative structure between NGOs with the same concerns.
When not in charge of the project, Costi is an entrepreneur, business analyst and trainer at University.
Daniela is a person who loves nature and being around young people. That's why she creates and gets involved in educational projects that bring them closer to nature - and lately, the initiatives are also aimed at adults who want to spend their time differently.
She has been a scout for several years and is proud of all the things she does there; things that develop good generations of young people. The idea of Traventuras came somewhat naturally and, although it is in its infancy, is already changing the status quo in the regional community. He organizes canoe and bicycle tours, sleeping in a tent and cooking by the fire - on both sides of the Danube, through Romania and Serbia.
Organization - Traventuras
Based on the desire to change and bring a ray of sunshine in the lives of children in the area of Lunca Muresului commune in Alba County, in 2014, 10 kind-hearted volunteers founded the Cserevar Association. Personally, I did not think that in the 21st century there are other children who have never been to the pool or worn football boots even if they are second hand. The Cserevar Association is non-profit, it operates 100% in rural areas because we want to offer children from rural areas (villages and communes) the opportunity to carry out activities as children from urban areas (from cities).
From our main activities:
-We organize free annual camps: English language, folk dances, sculpture, swimming + football tournaments for children
-we celebrate annually with children and their parents: June 1 Children's Day, Santa Claus and Santa Claus
-We develop the relations between minorities and majority (Roma, Hungarians, Romanians - it was organized at Lunca Muresului - Interethnic Days of the commune - project won from the Department of Interethnic Relations of the Romanian Government)
-We provide support to children with good learning outcomes (scholarships, trips, books, etc.).
-We keep the local traditions and customs (carols, songs, folk dances, recipes, etc.)
-we organize seminars, events and presentations for local farmers
-we support the establishment and development of economic activities in and in rural areas (organization of information sessions on European projects, scientific and economic presentations on animal / vegetable breeding, etc.).
Organization - Cserevar Association
Hi, I'm Cristina and I'm happy, free and smiling whenever I go up the mountain, run or take my bike and go on a tour. Sport does me a lot of good, in all its forms, it is part of who I am and who I want to be. For the last 11 years we have had the chance to facilitate and promote the methodology "Movement, Game and Sport" in various and beautiful projects of the Terre des hommes foundation - projects dedicated to children and respect for their rights, especially the vulnerable and whose voice must be listened to.
Sport and psychosocial activities have always been my most natural and good "ally", they opened the space to connect and smile together, a space where children - regardless of the difficult situations they sometimes went through - felt free to feel free. express, cooperate, make new friends, discover personal resources. Starting with October 2019, I coordinate the Keeping Children Safe in Sports project pilot project in Romania of the Terre des hommes foundation, funded by the EU through the REC program (2014-2020) and implemented in partnership with FRG, FRF and ANDPDCA. Its mission is very important, namely to develop and promote child safety and protection policies (eng "child safeguarding") in sports and recreation. The heart of this project, its strength comes from the passion of the network of trainers - gymnastics coaches, football but also coaches from other sports (karate, dance, handball, badmington, baseball) who currently conduct information courses for colleagues on safety and protection children from any form of abuse. It is a wonderful network, in which I believe again, that is constantly expanding with new members involved and eager to create and maintain together a safe environment for children. Out of respect and love for children. Together, because that's the only way we can succeed!
Organization - Terre des hommes
Hi, I'm Ciprian Gaica, I'm a ski monitor and climbing coach for children and I'm passionate about the mountains and the "extreme".
First of all, I would like to say a few words about me, so that we can get to know each other better. I am from the town of Caransebeș, which is 35 km away from Muntele Mic, so at the age of 14, like any “young adventurer”, I also started my mountain sports activity. First with climbing and skiing, and then, until almost 30 years of age, I go through almost everything that means mountain sports activities, trying to reach a level as advanced as possible with each of them.
So over time, I participated in various regional and national competitions, from climbing, skiing, snowboarding to mountain biking and snowmobile competitions. To finally get to each time, either in the position of "coach", both for my friends and their children, or in the position of "organizer", for various competitions in which I had been a participant at one time. Alternatively in the summer we work as a utilitarian climber.
But there came a time when I started thinking about what to do with my life… so the first impulse was to leave the country and in 2012 I went to Germany, where I worked for 2 years, of course in high-rise construction 😊. There, however, I was struck by the social environment, both in the field of work, but especially in respect for nature and especially in terms of mentality regarding people with disabilities. So I made a plan and returned to the country full of enthusiasm to bring this "culture" to Romania.
This is how the Muntele Mic Extrem Association was born in 2014, an association that carries out activities in the field of ecology and in the field of sports activities with various disadvantaged social categories, activities still "extreme" at that time in Romania, but even today viewed with restraint. by many. Basically, the first project, my soul project, around which I built the association, is Smiles on Skis, a winter camp dedicated to children with special needs and their parents, a camp where we try a "therapy" on skis to stimulate confidence children in our own strength and we achieve a closeness and mutual trust between children and parents, but also with us, those involved, as representatives of society and therefore, to give these children an extra chance for social integration.
With the help of this project we confirmed that in sports, regardless of the discipline, there are no "special needs", but on the contrary, it is a very beneficial therapy from all points of view. In the last 7 editions, we managed to introduce more than 200 children to skiing, who thus "smiled" on skis at Muntele Mic. Now I realize that thanks to the sport we have managed all this, every step leading to this moment, in which we brought together several associations, NGOs, volunteers, old and new friends and implicitly the necessary sponsors. All being vital to our projects.
In the following years, together with the above, we added other projects with annual editions to our “extreme” activities, from mountain or urban greening campaigns, such as Clean your mountain! and Clean your lake! or Clean up in the neighborhood !, at various climbing and MTB competitions within the project Other Sports For Caransebeș, in 2020 having the honor to organize together with the Romanian Mountaineering and Climbing Federation, the National Climbing Championship 2020.
Organization - Little Extreme Mountain Association
1. The learning dimension
The program consists of 6 learning and practice modules, starting from the following questions:
- How do I develop a solution-oriented mindset?
- How can I reach and increase my impact?
- How do I raise funds and position my project / organization?
- How do I build a community around my project / organization to achieve the desired impact?
- How do I manage the human resources needed to make an impact (volunteers, employees)?
- How do I use the online environment to increase my impact?
Each module will start with an online session of 2-4 hours (depending on the topic) followed by a work task for which participants receive feedback from the session facilitator, from Ashoka Fellows and the Ashoka Romania team.
In parallel with the learning sessions, each month, we will host a space where the group can learn more about each other's initiatives, to explore together how they can grow and learn. This will be a safe space for community members only for the reflections and conversations that participants need. The process will be guided by a professional facilitator and is the basis for building and developing the community after the end of the program.
1. you have an ongoing program / project that uses sport to make a positive contribution to society;
2. coming from the public (schools, universities, public institutions in the field of sports), associative (associations, foundations, federations), journalistic, private (business with social impact), civil society;
3. you have the ability to use both Romanian and English in communication;
4. You undertake to allocate 6-8 hours per month for the program (each selected person will sign a participation agreement before joining the program).
Together with the strategic partner of the program, Decathlon, we will select the 15 people based on the following criteria of diversity and impact:
1. the impact region (people with initiatives from different parts of Romania);
2. the potential to bring about change through sport (we will select the people who are most likely to achieve a greater social impact by being part of the program);
3. the sport used to make an impact (people who use different sports in their initiatives);
4. the type of social problem addressed and the intervention used (we will take into account that the program includes people who address different social problems, with different means of intervention);
5. gender distribution.