Breaking barriers, organizing together!


This is an application for the community connector job and also a way of expressing my happines to be a part of this group.

My name is Ana. I graduated Art History and during the last year of my masters program I studied one semester in Madrid. There, I visited numerous alternative cultural spaces which succeeded in offering educational programs regarding urban development and also  strengthening the community spirit and social integration. I returned in Bucharest determined to find such a space which would allow me to creatively interfere in the city’s ever changing common spaces. So I joined an NGO that beside organizing cultural events, wishes to create an affective bond between the people and the city they live in, so as to determine them to act when, for example, a heritage building is in danger.

Presently I’m part of a team that is implementing an urban education project for high school students. We have noticed that there is a need for students to get involved in their communities, and that is why we are focusing on offering them the know how and the tools necessary for them to act on solving the issues that concern them. The courses are divided in four modules: Community, Heritage, Architecture and Cultural Institutions.

Among other tasks within the Community module I  teach the children how art in public space plays a significant role in building a sustainable and vibrant community both culturally and socially. I also work part time as an assistant educator for a Montessori kindergarten which made me understand the importance of alternative teaching methods.

The main challenge I have encountered in trying to implement this project was the lack of support from the state public institutions. NGOs are involved in a on going process of changing mentalities and I believe that this can be achieved through communication and debates.

Now, more than ever, in Bucharest it is necessary that people with interesting projects to be themselves part of a community. There are allot of people with great initiatives who work passionately on their ideas, but being dispersed it’s hard for their projects to grow and gain relevance. A community connector would link them together and help the people interested in creating awareness, social change, community building, urban education, culture etc. to gain trust and support one another. I believe that the hardest thing when you want to initiate a program which would solve an issue present in your community is the feeling that you are alone.  

If we were to unite the creative forces of these individuals, wonderful things might happen. I think that people with common interests react positively to initiatives meant to bring them together. In order to do so, I would set up meetings with representatives  from different NGOs (for example Komunitas, A.R.C.E.N, Platforma pentru Bucuresti) for sharing their visions about creating friendly common spaces so that people would feel  they are truly part of the town.

Hope to meet you all in person!

Why the disconnection?

Ana hi, and welcome to Edgeryders :slight_smile: We too have discovered that people working for change, especially the one driven by passion first and foremost, tend to work in somewhat isolated conditions. Why do you think that is? Especially if starting something one would look at what others are doing along the same lines, wouldn’t it be logical to just hook up?  Have you seen the work @RazvanZamfira is doing? It feels like you have something in common. And by the way, since I’ve moved to Bucharest I have heard a lot of talking about urban development, but mainly framed as complaints and not so much constructive approaches. So I guess you people are in low numbers, and high value for communities.

Hei Noemi,

It’s so nice to receive a reply.

Of course, it’s logical that people with common interests to collaborate, but I think in Bucuresti are several factors that make this a little bit difficult. Until now, there wasn’t an online common platform with interesting projects in different areas, where people simply  share ideas and seek potential collaborators as is Edgeryders. If you are not part of an NGO or start up which have already a formed  team that would be willing to help, it’s a little more difficult to connect with people. There are very few events taking place meant to create communities. People tend to be a little skeptical,  until you prove that you are  very good in one area, it’s hard to walk into a group. Anyway, I am optimistic and  I believe  things start to improve. NGOs are becoming more open and start doing joint projects.

And speaking of  Bucuresti, if you want to know it  better and enjoy it, we organize a series of guided tours on architecture and small stories about Bucuresti and people, starting in June, so I’ll let you know:) .


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Welcome from me too

Thanks for your testimony. I find it really valuable, especially this comment. Of course you are right. We are betting on the idea that Bucharest is ready, and that it will “only” take a push to ignite at least some collaboration. If it takes roots, an “island” of collaboration will then expand on its own.