Codrin started seven years ago when he was writing reports and interviews in a local newspaper in Romania. At this point he had no clue about the work that he would go on to do in organizing over 100 action projects within the aims and ideas that the World Youth Congress convey. He started working with ‘Life Link’, an organization that is deeply emerged in the aims of the congress and from there has carried out many incredible schemes. He is also an organizer behind ‘National Earth Day and a national representative in a one week world clean up campaign called, ‘Clean up the World’. Pollution is a main focus for Codrin and so he put together a base of youth led development programs which were extremely successful and worked together with adults under the realization that they must work together to achieve their goals. He went on to lead a national campaign for one of the biggest environmental issues in Romania, relating to the implementation of a canal which would destroy the local area. He has attained 2 grants from the E.U through local government in his efforts in aiding Romania’s process in becoming part of the E.U. This was done through over 100 action projects which made people aware of the European Union who were unsure of Romania's future under their influence.
Codrin carries out research through 'testing the market' and checking the project is good for the area. It is necessary to come up with a strategy and find out if the youth will actually get involved and find out what's important for them. Decisions should be made as a group and not individually. Brain storming is also recommended strongly! It is also recommended to form strong partnership with local NGOs and simply ask for information etc.
Codrin often found himself having problems with local governments as it was frequently difficult to find out how to present ideas to politicians. This was solved by finding out as much about the 'market' and the politicians with a strong emphasis on maintaining self-confidence. A careful approach is also important and can be ensured by presenting evidence behind your suggestions and make the leader aware that you are offering your services for free.
Motivation comes with time as Codrin states; "there are days you want to give up everything but hopes will come with time as somehow you find the sparkle... if you share your dream it makes the dream stronger." When the solution of the problem is found it makes it worthwhile especially in a team and everyone can motivate each other.
Through networking Codrin could share his ideas and therefore discover who shares his ideas and work on fund raising ideas. "People are tired of giving money and therefore we must find alternatives. It's harder to convince people than getting funding. Perseverance is important without harassing, however the key is to catch people in the right mood. "I waited one month to talk to someone having been told "not today...not in the right mood...come back later!""
Codrin found funding through politicians, city council, major companies (phone companies), unions, small companies, National government, European Union and the United Nations and has been funded by all of these in the last year. Major companies paid for trips like conferences and therefore he has managed to be in 14 different countries within the last two year. However, you need courage as "so many people prefer to close the door than help."
Codrin has been involved in a scheme this year called "By Folklore", which encourages traditional culture through CDs and films and putting an emphasis on local culture. This helps people who are scared of the EU by assuring them that their culture will remain.
Young people were briefed in their local hotspots such as schools to ensure that they had all the necessary information as Codrin states "information is power". Codrin chatted to youths in schools and indirectly asked them key questions by solely making allusions and not putting words in people’s mouths. "Advertise your ideas as they have to fit everyone in some way.
Costs were kept low by using volunteers and testing the market to find out the lowest costs by asking around different places. Codrin has carried out campaigns with a budget of only $200 using hand-made posters and flyers, using own cameras and not using excessive objects. Communication Codrin has done a lot of public speaking and advises that you must not be shy but impulsive and conident. It is important to adapt to your audience and even if you do not feel confident, you must make people believe that you are. "They will not follow someone who is afraid. They need strong leaders."
You must make the event sound more exciting than it really is. "`you have nothing to lose`!' The press is far more interested is breaking news and simple and effective stories. You must be specific but brief.
Codrin's experience working in the media worked well to his advantage. "Make sure you are not in the limelight all the time; surprise them... they will come if they are shocked." Try not to fall into the category of weekly/monthly projects as these are uninteresting for the media. The internet is a weapon and it is important to use it to your advantage. The 'Taking it Global Network' is excellent for this purpose and Codrin ensures he goes on it at least once a day where he can find out about things like the WYC. Occasionally, you may find a leader or VIP such as David Woollcombe online. For people with no internet, Codrin went to the places where he knew he could find them no matter how embarrassing he found it. "you have nothing to lose, you can only gain."
When he has a project, Codrin carries out an evaluation everyday and sees them as incredibly important. This is not necessary carried out on paper, even by simply recording the opinions and ideas of members of the project; "it is honest and real." Codrin advises that you should find someone to build a website if possible. Evaluations are presented to all funders along with feedback. Codrin finds this extremely advantageous as on occasion; funders may increase their funding if they are impressed with results. For example, a 100 page evaluation statement was made for Earth Day for the entire world.
Now, he is the executive director of Romanian Youth Corps. “RYC” is a not-for-profit, non-political, non-religious youth organization founded as a national network whose primary target is to promote the Millennium Development Goals and the UN Charter among young people without disregarding the European Union vision on critical issues to which the Romanian society is confronting with. The NGO is also open to global partnerships among youth organizations and tries to facilitate youth participation in the decision-making process. It acts as a supporter and mediator between youth and the national governmental organizations. We are open to all youth who are working on peace, eradication poverty strategies and social programs. We work on building a strong international group of Romanian students & youth activists who will learn to collaborate efficiently with the adults in order to achieve the common goals and eliminate the global problems which affect everyone, no matter the age or the social status. Codrin started seven years ago when he was writing reports and interviews in a local newspaper in Romania. At this point he had no clue about the work that he would go on to do in organizing over 100 action projects within the aims and ideas that... (more)
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