Education. Civic Engagement
Education. Civic Engagement
Forum Apulum is a ”child” of the 2017 protests, when in the aftermath of it all, tired and afraid that this will not be our last fight against unfairness, we decided to work more to prevent it from happening again, than just waiting for the next protest. We were a group of random people from the protests, we barely knew eachother, but the frustration had reached within us to a point it had to be solved in a different way. So we gathered our forces and started the work to create a civic NGO, especially focused on bringing up new generations of engaged citizens. We wanted to create generations that will understand that democracy needs to be guarded, protected, it needs us to fight for it, otherwise the dark clouds of authoritarianism will return upon us.
It sounds sentimental and emotional because it is. Forum is a project made from tears and frustrations, but most of all from hope. We hope that all our work, thousands upon thousands of hours of volunteer work will and already are making a difference around us. We are the embodiment of the idea that if you wish something hard enough, it will happen. Coming from Alba Iulia, a small town in Transylvania, we come from the not-so-many people who decided to stay and work in the community and the chances for us to succeed and expand outside our town were small, but somehow we did it. We plan and mentor and cry and smile together with tens of young people from all over the country, with whom we plan to push Romania on the right path and make sure it stays there. We managed to reach tens of thousands of teenagers from small towns, big cities, forgotten villages and even outside the borders, with Romanian students studying abroad, but feeling homesick and with a duty to help the country.
We consider ourselves a bridge organization that brings together young people and exposes them to new ideas, new inspiring people and teaches them how to navigate through the overwhelmingly information from online, how to get involved and how to become community leaders. We believe that by working especially with young people, we can help make systemic changes. Our goal is to prepare future citizens - proper citizens, involved in their communities. And for that we support and nurture active involvement in society's problems.
We create projects that curate information for young generations, bringing civic engagement closer to them: a national network of Civic Influencers mentored by us, a civic/cultural publication written and illustrated by 40 young Romanians all over the world, an Illustrated Guide of the Romanian Communism , one about rights and obligations for students and also an illustrated guide for civic engagement, simplifying and explaining the necessary steps for every type of involvement: solving a particular problem, interacting with authorities, making a protest or even starting an NGO.
We monitor disinformation in Romania with a group of volunteers, in partnership with colleagues from Greece, Georgia and Kosovo and we are preparing reports about the situation for the European Commission Representatives in Romania. We train young people into mastering media literacy, discuss with them in workshops about the phenomenon and build in them resilience to disinformation and conspiracy theories.
The core of our NGO is critical thinking, open discussion and tollerance. We use, whenever possible, art and history and we collaborate with artists and historians in order to obtain adequate and also "catchy" messages for the people we work with. We try to inspire young people to find their "civic niche" - everyone can decide what and how much can he/she give to the community - because we believe that everyone can do something. They just need to find out what.