Teamwork makes the dream work: My YEAs experience visiting schools in Moldova

Teamwork makes the dream work: My YEAs experience visiting schools in Moldova

October 22, 2019

This year, for the third time, the Young European Ambassadors (YEAs) in Moldova teamed up with Young European Ambassadors from the EU to visit schools all across Moldova. School visits are an exceptional way of keeping Moldovan youth informed about the opportunities that the European Union upholds. Hence, a small group of Young European Ambassadors visited schools all over the country organising presentations and workshops with local students.

Even though I am eighteen, I have never really had the occasion to travel through my country. Even though I like “wandering” all over the world and visiting places and cities, seeing Moldova was never a “future plan”, or at least that was what I used to think. I never knew what education was like in other cities. I always lived with the vague impression that everywhere is the same and everybody cares about the same things, such as maths, universities and English. However, my whole perception of life and Moldovan educational system was turned upside-down during this week of school visits that I had the opportunity to be a part of.

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There were thirteen YEAs, including our colleagues from Romania and Germany. On the first day when we arrived at the school located in the district Căușeni, everything made me feel like I was a celebrity.

We had to get up on stage and speak into a microphone, we had our YEAs banners in the background and all the pupils and their teachers used the polite pronouns when addressing us. There is no way one can elucidate all the emotions I felt when suddenly the thirteen of us became the center of attention in a room with one hundred people. All the YEAs asked questions and made the presentation as interactive as possible in order for people to understand easier some of the more complicated content. We received a wave of positive vibes from the audience and we were sincerely happy that a great number of kids knew about the values we share with the EU.

The second day continued as well as the first – we visited a school in Ungheni and the students were just as enthused and excited to learn about the EU and to engage with us in an informal manner. We answered all their questions and informed them of our lives and the opportunities we had, while the students were just as glad to share and test their knowledge with us.

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The third day, however, held a surprise for us. On that day, we visited the only Romanian-speaking school within a Russian-speaking district called Gagauzia – the Autonomous Territorial Unit with its own flag, but still part of Moldova.

To be honest, our experience with the students in Gaugazia went far beyond our expectations. The room was full of ambitious youth who, despite speaking Russian their whole lives, were still making giant efforts to study Romanian. They did not know as much about the EU and its relationship with Moldova as students in other regions – their interest, however, was just as great. We felt the great impact we had on them when they started approaching us asking for more information and for ways to stay in touch with us. During the workshop, most of the pupils wanted to impress us with the projects they had already done and projects they are looking forward to implement in their school in the near future. It was clear that our visit inspired a new wave of activism among the local students. All of us YEAs who participated in this school visit consider our trip to Gaugazia as our “peak performance day”.

Over our five days together visiting and connecting with young people all over the country, our group of YEAs became a real team. We started having inside jokes, began performing karaoke concerts on the bus and talked about future meet-ups. Personally I feel like I was not only part of a team of ambitious and smart people, but a group of friends who help each other succeed and become a better version of themselves. This was possible thanks to our coordinator and national team-leader who both knew how to make everybody feel important during this week.

In the end, I want to say that this project has changed me a lot and made me understand what I want to do with my future studies and career. Even though it was only a week, I feel that these people are really the kind of people worth spending time with. This project inspired not only the audience, but me too, and I am grateful that I could be a part of this team.

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Lena Gladun


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