Member news

Youth work during a pandemic – Making masks and helping communities in need

The Covid-19 pandemic took the world by surprise and youth organisations had to adapt, all over the world. How are European youth organisations coping with this crisis? Here are the stories of some of our member organisations, our way of documenting this common page in our History, and mapping samples of the impact this pandemic had on youth work throughout Europe!

NEVO PARUDIMOS
Romania

Nevo Parudimos is a non profit organisation, founded in 2008 by a group of Roma teachers in Caras-Severin. The aim of Nevo Parudimos is to reduce economical, social and educational disparities in society, whilst using formal and non-formal education to empower Roma youth.

Thanks to Daniel Grebeldinger, Executive Director or Nevo Parudimos, for sharing with us what was implemented by the NGO during the Covid-19 crisis.

At the pic of the crisis, the state of emergency was declared in Romania and measures ordered by the government included: the closing of schools and public places, the closing of borders, and a national lockdown.

Distributing cleaning supplies

In Romania, as in all countries, the Covid-19 crisis specially hit disadvantaged communities. Unable to work, people who already lacked ressources ended up unable to access the most basic needs. Nevo Parudimos and its international volunteers quickly took action to support these communities (Reșița city, and Caras-Severin county). One of the first action was providing families with hundreds of cleaning supplies: soaps, basins, hand sanitizer, with the collaboration of the City Hall of Reșița.

Making masks

In partnership with the Municipality of Reșița and Resiconf, one of the local textile companies, Nevo Parudimos started in March the campaign “We do the mask”, a production of protective masks aimed at being distributed for free in local institutions and to people in disadvantaged communities. This campaign also required material donations and loans for sewing machines. Over 20 international volunteers of Nevo Parudimos and 12 retired ladies contributed to this production of mask, from their own apartments, while being isolated. At the end of the campaign, 5 000 masks were distributed free of charge.

Raising donations

To provide packages of food and other types of products to families in need, Nevo Parudimos raised donations, in partnership with the Caras-Severin county authorities and Red Cross Caras-Severin. 500 packages of food were distributed in total after this campaign.

Weekly videos and the promotion of local producers

Nevo Parudimos’ international volunteers continued their work at local level. Their activities usually addressed to children were converted into weekly short videos, introducing various games, intercultural facts, creative and educational activities.

Together with a regional news platform Express de Banat, the NGO also created an online HUB aimed at promoting the local and regional producers, highly affected by the Covid-19 crisis.

SOMETHING POSITIVE

To bring a touch of joy, hope and trust to the little ones, the actors of the DA theater, the Reșița City Hall and volunteers of Nevo Parudimos organised a parade with the easter bunny and a dozen of famous cartoon characters through the streets of Bârzava. The children were able to greet them from their windows. A way of reminding them that "Everything will be fine". All the characters wore masks and protective gloves, to show a good example.
Daniel Grebeldinger
Executive director of Nevo Parudimos