Great Expectations from HOPE

By Viorica Alexandru


HOPE was launched at Braila, Romania just before Christmas 2017, on the 22nd of December. However many events were taking place in the town at that time, we had some 60 audience including citizens, students, teachers, city counsellors , the head of the municipal sanitation services.

The venue made available by the public library was   friendly, equipped for presentations and debates  and reminding about local personalities gone national and international.

The idea to have it live on the Internet brought us over 300 viewers fronm two sites and raised interest among Romanian environment NGOs .  The agenda included everything needed to raise great expectations .

Aurelia Ion made a short video of some moments of waste management history  reviewed by the Western Riverside Waste Authority Materials Recycling Facility  visited in October upon kick off meeting in Londoan and introduced them to the audience. A tour of London summarized in a few minutes gave the participants the grasp of the City of London street and parks management services.

Viorica Alexandru  talked the audience into the four HOPE themes to be approached in the HOPE e-handbook, the training events in view of the Green Week Festival to enable  HOPE participants make HOPE  films, photos and talks as well as the HOPE Mobil, an exhibition  in the main Romanian cities  enabling full contact with the Romaniana best practice examples of waste management. 

The HOPE Festival to take place in 21-26 May  2018 in the  EU Green Week at Braila as a competition between teams of youth lead by teachers was introduced by Veronica Picus. An exhibition of films, videos and posters made by the contenders and a final public speaking competition should add to each of the portfolios competing in front of a  public form all over the county.

An expert presentation was made by  Mihaela Sofronea from the Green Group on their SIGUREC project which made debate flourish and proved time was too short particularly because  municipal councellors and the head of the local town sanitation service were asked impatients questions from the audience.

The SIGUREC people met the Mayor Marian Dragomir and Vice-Mayor Doinita Ciocan later on the day to discuss installing a number of SIGUREC units in the town.

Isn’t that great?   


By Viorica Alexandru
2017-12-14 in Braila, Romania


ECO CIRCLE is the second  Ersamus+ Strategic Partenership approved for funding drawing on the experience and partial partnership of the previous innovation project Useful Usability Disposabilty finished this September and illustrated on this website

ECO CIRCLE will involve four organizations over 18 months from January 2018 to June 2019 with the main objective  to educate youth workers about circular economy, develop their  Eco-art , public speaking and civic event design skills with a purpose to support circular economy progress.

Ativitiesand related results  include the collection of good practices in the field of circular economy, development of an Eco Circle Handbook, providing youth worker mobility training and local training, hosting national multiplier events, and dissemination info days and a project Facebook page.

The envisaged impact: we expect that youth workers with specific skills will acquire more skills to enable them to cope with the everyday working challenges, to be more motivated to participate in EU projects, to be more fluent users of European languages; equal learning opportunities will be provided for young disadvantaged people, by combining more specific skills to become self-motivated for continuously improving and extending the gained skills; an environmental mind-set will be developed and it will be interesting for people to start eco activities.

The potential long-term benefits  concern low-skilled youth, facing economic obstacles and cultural differences, who will find attractive ways both to learn about circular economy and practice it. The positive impact at local and national levels are expected in sectors such as energy resou rces. The added value is critical thinking, decreasing the consumption of plastic, digital skills, raised awareness of eco protection of Europe. We expect multiplication of the project results, their implementation into their daily practice and creation of strong network in environmental protection by actively involving youth.

The coordinator of ECO CIRCLE is Biedriba "Ecological Future Education" from Latvia.  BASD - Bulgaria with partners from  Plastic Food Centro Culturale - Italy and Asociatia Initiativa Cetatenilor Seniori - Romania ..


Launching HOPE in Romania

By Viorica Alexandru
2017-12-01 in Braila, Romania



     HOPE - Hands On Plastic Environment is being launched on the 22nd of December 2017at the County Public Library 'Panait Istrati' at Braila, Romania. Citizens, children, youth, educators, NGO staff, the media and  Municipality staff are invited. The event will introduce the HOPE project to the local stakeholders, inform about the HOPE strategy in Romania and launch the call for the Green Week Festival to take place in 21-26 May 2018.

In short, the project is about creating a handbook containing portfolios of photos, films, and talks meant to illustrate the plastic journey within exhibitions taking place in the partner countries.  The handbook is an informal  learning resource for civic education professionals, environment activists, civic events organizers and the likes.

The HOPE Romanian strategy  aims to

  • produce  a HOPE exhibition format including  portfolios on 4 themes : plastics beginnings, plastic invasion,  fighting global disaster and Plastic destination;
  • contribute to the  content of the HOPE Handbook  structured along the four themes;
  • attract activist and experts to speak and document one  or more of the 4 HOPE themes;
  • produce portfolios of photos, films and talks on one or more of the 4 HOPE topics for the HOPE handbook .

The EU Green Week will take place in May 21-26 2018 at Braila. It will be a HOPE Festival where portfolios on the four themes will be  shown to the public by teams of youth, children and their educators. The winners will be awarded prizes and certificates and their portfolios will be part of the HOPE handbook in the chapter about Romania.  

HOPE is funded by Erasmus+ of the EU  for Strategic Parnerships - adult education and will last for 18 months in the period 2017-2019.
Asociatia Initiativa Cetatenilor Seniori from Braila is a partner alongside organizations from Bulgaria, Poland, Slovakia and Turkey coordinated by ProArt&Co, UK.

Here is a reason why you should be concerned and interested in HOPE 



HOPE - Hands on Plastic Environment

By Viorica Alexandru
2017-10-24 in Braila, Romania

HOPE is a new project expanding  the experience gained through the UUD; it brings in  new partners and new learning initiatives for partners' staff and beneficiaries  such as  educators, young people, diverse stakeholders and the local general public . Organizations from Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Turkey lead by the UK partner plan to tackle the plastic journey from birth, growth and  decay to future visions on mankind wealth and health.  

There will be workshops including photo exhibitions, public  talks, digital video VR/3D presentations related to plastic junk disposed in natural and urban/rural environment and how to reduce irresponsible and harmful impact on people and promote acceptable behaviour.

All will build on experience exchange published on a blog and feed a joint HOPE handbook  which the partner’s organisations' will spread in the local languages to their staff, target groups, stakeholders, professionals and public participants. A wider HOPE network will grow to sustain the project outcomes after the project lifetime.

Links will be added to the UUD Tutorial 2 Info-Doc to enrich its content and educational remit as agreed with all partners.

Project data

  • Title : HOPE - Hands on Plastic Environment
  • Lifetime: 18 months
  • Coordinator : Pro Art & Co, United Kingdom and partners from : Bulgaria - BASD; Poland - Fundacja Wymiany Kulturowej TO TU TO TAM; Romania - Initiativa Cetatenilor Seniori; Slovakia - Institút socialneho, profesijneho a karieroveho rozvoja, n.o.;Turkey - KECIOREN MUNICIPALITY


Kick off meeting, London, 13-14 Oct 2017


Webinar in Spain

By Inercia Digital
2017-09-08 in Huelva

In April 2017, Inercia Digital organised a webinar with their young students in order to disseminate the e-learning platform as well as to raise awareness of the necessities of understanding the state of the environment.

Young people carry out the responsability of ensuring the future of our planet, and so we consider important that they know how to communicate with their community and promote them into ecological activism.

The webinar presentation can be found here.

Europe Freedom

By Pierluigi Monsignori
2017-09-04 in Italy

August 29, 2017, Umbria-Berlin- New installation of Plastic Food, conceived by Pierluigi Monsignori, under the Erasmus + UUD project aimed at reducing waste and spreading good practices through art; but not only does Plastic Food always succeed in transmitting social and moral values ​​by extrapolating what is the objective reality of modern society. Pierluigi Monsignori, for years active in this field, speaks in the natural and universal language of art, succeeding in reaching everyone. The new installation is embedded in a wider and more complex project that seeks to cross the environmental issues and the fundamental values ​​of Europe, presented to the children of Umbrian schools, and to the Umbertide town authorities, went on to Berlin. A model dressed in black garbage bags, personifies Europe and its values, which today seems to be drifting: the black coat that suffocates it wants to highlight the cloak of loss of values; but also in a strictly material sense it addresses the need of its citizens to see a wider application of the reduction of waste production from origin to all member states of the union. Here, then, Europe is dressed as a model, wandering in search of lost historical values, of its deepest roots, sacrificed to economic formulas and social theories. Thus a Europe is exaggerated by itself, as in a devastating modern history, in which the risk is to no longer find objective and dignified valuation parameters, particularly in relation to the family, the fundamental brick of society, this modern one. As in a swirl, we are catapulted by the difficulty of truly integrating and offering our values ​​and comparison, guaranteed by the awareness of historical and social roots. Thus, that black cloth, which also symbolizes the waste of all kinds that Europe produces in its territory and which is responsible for it, wants to highlight a culture that is no longer the one of the indiscriminate and betrayed; but through self-consciousness and self-consciousness, it is a reversal of the tendency toward closer retrieval of moral values ​​and care of its territory and its citizens.


29 Agosto 2017, Umbria-Berlino-


Nuova installazione di Plastic Food, ideata da Pierluigi Monsignori, nell'ambito del progetto Erasmus+ UUD, rivolto alla riduzione dei rifiuti, e della diffusione di buone pratiche, attraverso l'arte; ma non solo Plastic Food riesce ogni volta a trasmettere valori sociali e morali, estrapolando quella che è la realtà oggettiva della società moderna.

Pierluigi Monsignori, da anni attivo in questo campo, parla con il linguaggio naturale e universale dell'arte, riuscendo a raggiungere tutti. 

La nuova installazione è inserita in un progetto più amplio e complesso, che vede attraversare le tematiche ambientali e i valori fondamentali dell'Europa, presentata ai ragazzi delle scuole umbre, e alle autorità cittadine di Umbertide, ha proseguito per Berlino.

Una modella vestita con sacchi neri della spazzatura, personifica l'Europa e i suoi valori, che oggi sembra proprio che stiano andando alla deriva: proprio il mantello nero, che la fa soffocare, vuole evidenziare il mantello della perdita di valori; ma anche in senso strettamente materiale si rivolge al bisogno dei suoi cittadini di vedere applicato in modo più amplio la riduzione della produzione dei rifiuti già dall'origine, in tutti gli stati membri dell'unione.

Ecco allora l'Europa, vestita da modella, che vaga alla ricerca dei valori storici perduti, delle sue radici più profonde, sacrificata a formule economiche e teorie sociali. Ne esce così un'Europa appesantita da se stessa, come da una storia moderna deviante, in cui il rischio è quello di non ritrovare più parametri di valutazione oggettivi e dignitosi, in modo particolare in riferimento alla famiglia, mattone fondamentale della società, anche di questa moderna.  

Come in un turbinio, ci siamo catapultati nella difficoltà ad integrare veramente ed offrire all'altro i nostri valori e il confronto, garantito dalla consapevolezza delle radici storiche e sociali.

Così, quel telo nero, che simboleggia anche i rifiuti di ogni tipo che l'Europa produce nel suo territorio e di cui ne è responsabile, vuole evidenziare una cultura che non sia più quella dell'usa e getta indiscriminato; ma che attraverso la consapevolezza e la presa di coscienza di se stessa attui un'inversione di tendenza verso il recupero più stretto di valori morali, e di cura del proprio territorio e dei suoi cittadini.


Installazione: Pierluigi Monsignori videomaker: StraneVisioni, Rosi Pix

Breaking the Wall of Indifference

By Viorica Alexandru
2017-06-20 in Braila, Romania


9-10 JUNE 2017

Breaking the wall of indifference” is title of the European Conference that took place on 9-10 June 2017 at Braila, Romania.  It is one of the four multiplier events under UUD, our Erasmus+ project. It was dedicated to sharing the PLASTICSFREE E-LEARNING PLATFORM and its potential with stakeholders from Braila, Braila county, Romania as well as Central and Eastern Europe . The event was designed and managed based on the tutorials hosted on the e-learning platform PLASTICSFREE  at  under the co-ordination of Viorica Alexandru, the UUD project co-ordinator

The exhibition of art installations. The  7 teams which  attended  the 5 tutorials on the e-learning platform displayed their art installations based on plastic wastes. Together with the visitors they  got involved in a show  and competed  for eco-prizes such as flowers,  fruit and biscuits.  Four sets of 20 questions covered the platform content, project partners,  definitions of art installations and  civic events as well as project  partnership. 80 prizes were handed to those who took time to draw questions, look for information and got back to give the right answer.  It took 2 hours of loud  talk in the Old Centre of Braila about UUD with vivid enjoyment.    There was music background and plastic zomby girls  with pompons gave a tour around the exhibition  to groups of visitors.  The lunch break  was an occasion for a practical  selective waste collection exercise: after eating their lunch, all had to go and dispose of wastes in three different containers : plastic, paper and cans. Then all went to push down the “all of indifference”  built next to the city symbol, the big blue clock...

The round table chaired by Viorica Alexandru  got together some 12 people and over 50 audience  in the beautiful Municipal Theatre “Maria Filotti” ; representatives of the Municipality, local services, NGOs, local and county schools, media, colleagues from countrywide,  Poland and  UK were present. We shared the outcome of Tutorial 2 –Informatioan about plastic wastes and  waste management  good practice in partner countreis and worldwide. Marian Dragomir, the mayor of Braila disclosed the Municipality plan for selective waste collection  taking account of the results obtained by the project in 5 day  selective waste collection under the UUD project.  Vesna Petcovic presented the practice of waste collection and initial processing in London right in the basement of the buildings.  Alexandra Dragomir from the

Viorica Alexandru introduced the campaign “Breaking the wall of indifference” and learners and volunteer leaders took turns to share their experience with the  5 days competition of selective collection “Cycling and collecting”...  the public speaking competition with its 3 stages : 1. Plastic pollution; 2. Waste Selective Collection and 3. Circular economy.

A brief presentation was given by the Chair of the round table concerning the contact meeting that had taken place one day before and came out with 3 civic project ideas to be submitted for funding under Erasmus+ in 2018 : 1. How to make you visit my town – to promote smaller and less known towns  via an application on environment and access to treasures  in towns such  as Braila, Przemysl, and taking example from  London and Cracow ;  2. Share with me the underground multiculturality of Europe to produce a multicultural game recognizing the common values of different believs and their impact on community life quality, with academnic partners, NGOs, museums  and libraries from Poland, UK , Romania. 3. Cycling in family – to promote health and clean environment through cycling routs in the local community.  

The final part was awarding certificates to adult learners  and volunteers on a ship sailing on the Danube. Winners were given cerificates and prizes for waste collection (bicycles) , public speaking (rucksaks, books and gadgets) ; three schools were awarded diplomas for special civic envolvemengt and budget allocation by the Municipality to start a selective collection and rest area in their yards. 586 volunteers were certified for their work along the  two project years.  

Many thanks to  The Municipal Theatre, County Library and partner colleges „Gh. Munteanu Murgoci”, “Ana Aslan”, “Edmond Nicolau”, “N. Iorga” , “Panait Cerna”, “Mihail Sebastian şi “Hariclea Darclee”from Braila as well as to  RoRec Romania and the Municipality for their support all along the conference and the follow up.

All was done with a hope that selective collection becomes a habit both for the municipality and the citizens in Braila and  other places and that circular economy where wastes become raw materials advances faster . 

Is it too much ?  It will be too little in the next 25 years