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CreActorii of Iași on the Crosswalk

Iași, Romania
11/18/2015

IMPACT Club 36 CreActorii from the Vasile Conta Elementary School of Iași, coordinated by leader Liliana Olărașu, noticed that many people were crossing the street without any regulation in the area around the Nicolina Train Station -- an area with relatively heavy traffic.  They decided that resolving this problem would be the subject of their first advocacy campaign.

What they proposed 

In order to meet their objective, the young IMPACT members decided first to initiate an informational campaign for their target audience (residents of the Nicolina neighborhood and 200 commuters using the train station regularly).  The informational campaign would focus on the risks of jaywalking.  Secondly, the club decided to try to convince the authorities to install a crosswalk and traffic light which would legally and efficiently control traffic between the train station and the Nicolina neighborhood.  In order to be more convincing, the club decided to partner with their elementary school and the local homeowners’ association which helped them collect signatures for a petition which they sent to the City Hall and the local police. 

What they did

For their information campaign, the CreActorii produced a variety of informational materials: posters, banners, and a form for signatures which they circulated in many different spots: the area around the train station; the schools in the neighborhood (Vasile Conta Elementary, Dimitrie Cantemir Theoretical High School, and Titu Maiorescu School); the Nicolina Community Center; and the Gheorghe Asachi Library of Nicolina.  They first approached the Iași City Hall with 1,800 signatures, but quickly realized that their voice would only be heard if they had more supporters.  Assisted by their partners – Vasile Conta Elementary School and the Gheorghe Doja Homeowners’ Association Nr. 6 – they were able to collect 3,000 signatures.  The club sent this new petition back to the City Hall and the police, together with pictures of jaywalkers crossing the street illegally in the chosen area.  They also participated in a debate called “Culture in your neighborhood” organized by the Nicolina Neighborhood Center under the project “Iași 2021, European Cultural Capital,” where representatives of the Iași City Hall were present and the club members were able to remind them again of the importance of implementing their project.

After all this effort, the club still hasn’t received a response from the authorities.  The CreActorii members say that they have learned a lot from implementing an advocacy campaign: they have identified a community problem and developed abilities in the area of advocacy that they say will be incredibly useful in their next projects as well.  One of the greatest achievements of the project has been that the local community has been able to learn more about IMPACT youth, as reflected in this statement from Cristina Leonte, a member of the Gheorghe Doja Homeowners’ Association Nr. 6: “It was a pleasure and a challenge for me to collaborate in this project with members of the IMPACT club from the Vasile Conta Elementary School.  From this advocacy project I have learned that if you wat to make a change in your community for the better, you first have to believe in the change ad then, by strategically involving other community members and convincing local authorities, you can make your proposition a reality.  IMPACT clubs are a revelation for me and a hope that we can really change things.”

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Advocacy campaign organized through the project “Nonformal education, still education!” – a project financed by the 2009-2014 SEE grants through the NGO Fund for Romania.             

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