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duminică, 16 august 2020


A.C.U.M.* -Agricultură Circulară în Universitatea Mea 
*Word game, meaning NOW
Written by Marius Constantin, Georgiana Strat și Mădălina Deaconu

The dream of having a space available for recreation, learning and socializing. That's how our project started, with a dream.

The foundations of the project were laid when we realized the importance of nature in everyone’s lives, especially in the lives of the students from the Facultiy of Agri-Food and Environmental Economics. During our time in the courses, we discovered the need to get closer to nature, to agriculture, and especially the need to reconnect man with the principles of a wasteless farming.

Circular agriculture can be defined in different forms, but the essence of this way of farming can be summarized in one sentence: “Nothing is lost, everything transforms” under this motto, we are aiming to convert the organic  materials vegetetal waste of the Moxa canteen into valuable resources for the urban garden growing medium that we want to base on the canteen roof.

Thus, in this project, the team proposes the implementation of an “agro-urban” ecosystem model, with circular agriculture at its core. The project involves the free supply of the student canteen with fresh vegetables and fruits, obtained in an urban garden, for which we require funding.

Covered Issues

(Current Situation)

Proposed Solution

(via implementing

the proposed project)

Sustainable Development Goals

(to which the proposed solutions respond)

The exit of compostable organic waste out of the system from the Moxa Canteen.

Composting the organic waste and using it as input, as a culture substrate in the urban garden which we propose building on the canteen’s rooftop.

GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production


Not exploiting some spaces within the university campus.

Exploiting the unused spaces within the university campus, so that the space acquires new functions: production, education, research, relaxation, food - for the members of the urban ecosystem.

GOAL 4: Quality Education


Costs incurred by the Moxa  Student Canteen for vegetables and fruits.

Decreasing the costs incurred by the Moxa Student Canteen for agricultural products by providing these free of charge from the production generated within the “agro-urban” ecosystem in the campus.


GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth


High  level of carbon footprint caused by the transportation to and storage of agricultural products at  the Moxa Canteen.

Decreasing the carbon footprint through local production of agricultural products, decreasing the amount packaging used and reducing the food miles.

GOAL 13: Climate action


Labor force management at the Moxa Student Canteen during the summer period, when the activity is reduced.

Efficiently allocating human resources during summer by ensuring the continuity of the activity by preserving the surplus vegetables and fruits.

GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth


Lack of recreational spaces for students.

Making good use of the  space resource (which is not tended) through interventions meant to ensure the students' comfort by placing gardens, multifunctional furniture, various therapeutic plants, color spots meant to reduce the stress of the academic community.

GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being


Lack of practical  experience for disciplines taught at the Faculty of Agrifood and Environmental Economics.

Ensuring the practice base on campus by reorienting the students towards the activities undertaken in the urban garden. Currently this activity is carried out at partner universities. By creating the practice base, the carbon footprint of the campus is reduced.

GOAL 15: Life on Land


Reduced attractiveness of the agricultural field for young people. Their negative perception related to agriculture.

Ensure the development of some practical skills, via:

·promoting the attractiveness, usefulness and benefits of circular agriculture by its practical character (through explanations offered to those interested on the spot, in the urban garden);

·development of multiple functions within the urban garden (cocktail parties, book launches, open-air seminar / courses etc.), so that the principles of circular agriculture can be disseminated through other events with different themes to the one mentioned above;

·providing a favorable theoretical framework for understanding the importance of circular agriculture, by implementing in the digital environment a theoretical guide that can be accessed on the spot based on a QR code;

·creation of legends written in the Braille alphabet, accessible to the visually impaired;

·usage of an app where didactic activities are transcribed in real time on the telephone screen for the hearing impaired.

GOAL 4: Quality Education


Reduced visibility on campus of circular agriculture concepts and ways to put them into practice.

Promoting the project through different methods and channels, including: live streaming of the urban garden on TVs in building "3" of the university campus (Moxa building), posting news related to the urban garden on the students' personal page and on the Blended Learning platform of the university.

GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities


Lack of water needed for fresh vegetables and fruits growth.

·Efficient collection, storage and management of rainwater in specially arranged places on the rooftops of the Moxa  building and of the Student Canteen, for the use of this resource in the production system of the urban garden;

·Choosing the varieties of vegetables with low water requirements, mulching, shading.

GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation


Poor collaboration between universities and the business environment, both nationally and internationally.

Promoting partnerships between universities and the business environment, raising the interest towards collaboration opportunities and prospects with potential actors interested in circular agriculture.

GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal


For most of  the problems emerging in the project's development stage, our team has found an innovative solution to respond to the challenge launched by this initiative. Addressing the topic in an integrated manner,  it is noticeable that the solutions given correspond to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on the UN 2030 Agenda.

In the event that there will be a surplus of production, it will be offered free of charge to other institutions (children's centers, nursing homes etc.), thus supporting as many social categories as possible.

This project supports the Ecological Pact and ensures the transition towards circular agriculture. This project has direct social impact on the community of the Bucharest University of Economic Studies (≈23,000 people).

Through the A.C.U.M. project we join the global initiative to meet the needs of the present, without compromising the possibility for future generations to meet their own needs.

luni, 30 octombrie 2017


Facultatea de Economie Agroalimentara si a Mediului, din cadrul ACADEMIEI DE STUDII ECONOMICE DIN BUCURESTI, în calitate de partener extern în proiectul CIVITAS intitulat "Respectă mediul natural! Lui îi aparții!", împreună cu ASEAM și Agrifood and Environmental Economics Club organizează în data de 17 noiembrie 2017 următoarele activități:

  • Prelegere -conf.univ.dr. Carmen Lenuța TRICĂ -Academia de Studii Economice, dr. Bogdan BAZGĂ, Expert National Securitate alimentară, Coordonator național OCDE/COAG-TAD, Andrei CORLAN, Inspector General Adjunct, Garda Națională de Mediu, COMISARIATUL MUNICIPIULUI BUCURESTI, ora 9.00, sala 3M8
  • Ateliere, cu următoarea tematică:
            -Amprenta de carbon, ora 10.30, sala 3205
            -Reciclare creativă, ora 10.30, sala 3607

            -Ambalare ecologică, metoda furoshiki, ora 10.30, sala 3009

Vor participa 120 elevi ai Colegiului Național Ion Neculce, Liceului Teoretic Nicolae Iorga, Colegiului Tehnologic Viaceslav Harnaj, Colegiului Național Spiru Haret, Colegiului Național Matei Basarab, Colegiului Național Gheorghe Șincai, Colegiului Național Gheorghe Lazăr, Colegiului Național Elena Cuza, și profesorii acestora.

marți, 12 septembrie 2017

INTERVIEW - Research Assistant PhD. Alina Zaharia - From student to future teacher - only one step

Written by Manda Florina Claudia and Cucu Marian Catalin

Alina Zaharia, research assistant and PhD. at Faculty of Agri-Food and Environmental Economics from The Bucharest University of Economic Studies, highlights in an interview for Agrifood and Environmental Economics Club, organized by the Faculty of Agri-Food and Environmental Economics and coordinated by Associate Professor PhD Simona Roxana Pătărlăgeanu, the importance of choosing a career from the beginning of the studies, as well as that of extracurricular activities. Alina Zaharia encourages students focusing on their dreams and believes that everyone has to follow their inclinations, professional interests as well as personal interests. 

We fully present the interview of Alina Zaharia.
Reporter: Why the Faculty of Agri-Food and Environmental Economics?
Alina Zaharia: At the time of admission, I knew for what disciplines I had a more predominant inclination to assimilate information (to the real ones), and I was passionate about actions that focus on environmental protection.  So, on admission, I thought: which field (s) may / may be of the future, and of which I think they will help me to develop my potential and interests. That is how I chose Faculty of Agri-Food and Environmental Economics. It seemed to me that it specialize in three extremely important areas for the future of mankind: environmental protection, agriculture and the agro-food industry, together with the economy field. Looking back, I realize that this faculty represents a supporter of sustainable development through the permanent integration of its three pillars: economy, social and natural environment.
Reporter: What advice do you give to students in view of your student experience that later decided to build a career as a teacher in ASE?
Alina Zaharia: To follow her professional inclinations and interests as well as her personal interests. Not to do a faculty just for the sake of doing it, but to try to accumulate as much information as possible in this important cycle.
Reporter: What determined you to study abroad? Why the University of Verona?
Alina Zaharia: At that time, I had a vast experience in volunteering and I think I need another challenge, another situation where I can learn as much as possible. I knew about the existence of ERASMUS scholarships and the opportunities for Work & Travel, so I decided it was time to go to study in another culture. For this experience, I set out two important goals besides the usual interculturality ones: to learn a new language and to choose subjects that are not studying at college but which were of great interest to me . I was left with ERASMUS for only one semester and therefore I considered that Italian could be taught very well during this time, especially since all the elective courses were taught in Italian. Finally, I chose Verona because there was a partnership signed by our faculty and because they provided all the necessary information for an ERASMUS student (a student accommodation facility, a student NGO that targeted ERASMUS students, a well-organized international relations office).
Reporter: During the study period at the University of Verona, have you noticed new teaching techniques that you would like to implement in the Faculty of Agri-Food and Environmental Economics?
Alina Zaharia: I notice a number of interesting differences that do not refer to teaching techniques (which are similar to ours), but which relate to the organization of the university system, such as the possibility that two teachers can take a course each of them coming with their own expertise; Possibility to complete a master's course with 7 enrolled students; The presence of two types of teaching staff: business experts (do not research) and teaching staff who also did research and their preponderant work was carried out in the university.
Reporter: How would you describe the experience of university studies in a foreign country?
Alina Zaharia: Unique. You learn so much about yourself and those around you. Encourage students and teachers to "grasp" this opportunity to go abroad with ERASMUS +.
Reporter: Do you plan to teach in a university from abroad? If "Yes", which country do you choose?
Alina Zaharia: Yes, I wish. I think that is an important step in my future training. Personally, I would choose the Nordic countries from Europe or Canada because they have greatly developed the areas related to the protection and prevention of natural or environmental degradation or sustainability.
Reporter: Which was the initiative to establish ASEAM (Student Association at Agri-Food and Environmental Economics).
Alina Zaharia: During my bachelor's degree, I did two years of volunteering in a student NGO (ASER) that offered me extraordinary opportunities for learning and professional and personal development. Thus, in the third year of the license, an idea was formed, namely to give back to colleagues from EAM what I learned through the establishment of ASEAM. But meanwhile I left with ERASMUS, that idea was not lost. After my return, I spoke to two of my other colleagues to establish an NGO. It took a while for it to materialize, but now there is ASEAM as early as September 15, 2014.
Reporter: Do you have a slogan for guiding you? Or an advice that you count on during your career?
Alina Zaharia: Do not worry, be happy! Respect those around you and be tolerant! If opinions, ideas, how to make things are different does not mean they are bad, they are just different!
Reporter: What advice would you have for a young graduate of the Faculty of Agri-Food and Environmental Economics who would like to be an entrepreneur?
Alina Zaharia: To follow his dreams and desires, but at the same time to be aware that he requires a lot of work and much more risk and responsibilities than a simple employee.

sâmbătă, 15 aprilie 2017

INTERVIEW – Virginia Mărăcine: „Be a volunteer for just a day!”

Written by Roxana Chiocaru, Dragomir Marian-Alexandru

In Romania, volunteering has increased visibly in the last two decades, the activity being recognized at national level through a law that you can consult here:
Last days I talked with a very involved person in the volunteering domain. A person which through her experiences gained throught life, can be a model for any student.
Miss Virginia Mărăcine, professor and phd. at the Faculty of Cybernetics, Statistics and Economical Informatics, is involved in volunteering for her entire life. And does it dearly. With the same pleasure she answered our questions.
About what means to volunteer, about what a volunteer feels, and about the importance of volunteering in Romania, in the interview down below.
Reporter: I wanted to ask what triggered your wish, sustained in activity to be a volunteer?
Virginia Mărăcine: Wow, what a question! I donțt know if there is a triggering moment or some point to generate this wish. I think there are many components.
  • A first component, if I look at myself, is the way you are structured, like the way you are born, and respectively the way you are educated in each moment of life. If you have people with compassion next to you, who are concerned by what happen to the ones around them, who are always willing to help, who are empatic, then they make like this also, and I was raised until she left this universe, and I had only a few years, just 14, grandmother Dumitra. My maternal grandmother, the only one I had met, which has just wound dressing. And when you open your eyes on a women like this who makes you like that, things go without saying, like you’re waking that you no longer walk past any being who needs help. So at 5 years old i brought in the yard the first pets from the street, so the first volunteering consisted in turning my yard into an animal shelter, for the despair (sometimes...) of my relatives.
  • Then there are moments that come in the formal education part, like the moment you go to school. Everything that is said to you in the first years of school leave a mark on you. I think that there is no child and adult in this world, that does not remember what the teacher told them in the first, second or third grade, and if they resonated with the education and exhortations throughout the first years of school, and man will follow them later on in their life.
  • And later on, in adult life, the choices come. I choose to this or this, namely volunteering, or i choose not to. On one hand it is true that there are many persons who are doing volunteering,  but they are doing volunteering separately, and then we do not know each other. On the other hand, if we look in percentage, and these days i just got some percentages from other countries, we are really just a few people who are doing this thing in Romania. And this is due to the fact that we are a bit manipulated in thinking that volunteering is an activity which lacks in importance, because it is not paid. Which is absolutely false, it does not have any support in real life. I determined that the most important thing we can do with our lives are the ones who are not paid. Why? Because there is no amount of money that can make you soul sing like hugging a baby from orphanage can do, the smile of a single grandfather from a hospital or the first buds of the tree that you planted by yourself.
  • So a pretty complex answer because thing are like this, complex. Certainly there are persons who until day N-1 did not know anything with volunteering, and by day N suddenly that started doing volunteering without any experience, it can be situations like these, it is very good like that, but it’s not my case.

Reporter: You said at a certain time, in a Facebook post, that in Romania only 14% of the people can do volunteering.
Virginia Mărăcine: It can be a very optimistic percentage, because if i look at what we discussed with your colleagues from the Student Senate in December 2016, at the level of our university, the percentage is much lower, somewhere at 7-8% of all students of the University. The student organisation only can attract these people and make them involve them in projects. In my opinion, 7-8% is insignifiant.
Reporter: Do you consider that we can raise from here?
Virginia Mărăcine: Sure! This is why i created the project Academia SpEranței – Voluntariat din iubire pentru viață, and we just had you meeting with proffesor Pătărlăgeanu to see at which stage we are with closing the protocols of colaboration for the volunteering basis. I dream, of an ASE in which each student did at least a few hours of volunteering on the basis offered by ASE, each of the aproximately 23.000 students of ours. It is a long term dream, but which i see it as achievable, even for some colleagues, friends etc. It looks like some kind of utopia.
Reporter: Is it hard to mobilize students to do volunteering?
Virginia Mărăcine: It’s hard and easy at the same time. It’s hard if you remain at the same idea that “our students belong in the category “youth these days”, and these youths are not interested, it is negligent, if it’s not profitable immediately it will certainly not participate in any activity…”. Yes, then it’s hard to determine any young people to do anything not just volunteering. I think that it’s about something else. It’s about the power of example: if you have a good example which you students find interesting, then certainly you come towards them. Secondly it’s about answering honestly, but with sense and utility at the question “What good for me to do this activity?”. And if you have a good answer at these 2 aspects, surely students will come towards volunteering. 100% would be an abberant percentage, maybe not even reacheable at start, but when they will see the results, they will also see the utility and will understand why, I am convinced that it will not be any difficulty making the students wish volunteering.
Reporter: What is from your point of view the biggest obstacle in front of volunteering? Why is it hard developing projects?
Virginia Mărăcine: The biggest obstacle that I see in this moment for Romania is the fact that this activity is thrown in derision by the fact that we are made to believe that by anything we do we must win something and that winning to be always material, if we don’t have a material win, then it’s not the case to be interested in that activity. We have role-models if almost all the social-economic life, we are even being insisted with “role-models” like persons with considerable amounts of money in their accounts, and these amounts are not made in volunteering activities. And because most of society consider that the ones with money and role-models, it’s considered that we must run after that lifestyle, and not waste our time volunteering.
On the other hand, i think it’s difficult that lately it doesn’t talk almost anymore about the fact that extremely important thing in this country were made by volunteering activities: from sites like Bumbești-Livezeni, where people worked for years just for accomodation and food, without any kind of salary, and activities like ”to put hand to hand to build”. The Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest was build through the project ”Give a lion for the Athenaeum”.
Then nothing it is said about the mutual benefits of volunteering, and people do not see them or find by themselves. If we look, for example, at projects like ”Students integrate volunteering” (at which we seriously thought and we already looking to see how to put in practice at ASE Bucharest). Integrating students who need accomodation when then come in an universitary center like Bucharest, in retirement homes or orphanages to become like real ”homes” in which, in the account of the accomodation and meals, in their free time, students come to read a book with old people who are alone, helping kids do their homework when they come from school, go play with them, teach them using a computer, to accompany them in little hikes etc., ofers a win-win situation, student win and young children and old people win.
Reporter: A very ambitious project...
Virginia Mărăcine: Yes, but which is a reality in other countries...I do not think that our youth or our people are less capable, on the contrary, i am convinced that we have the same abilities, even better, because we were obliged to adapt to much more solicitant situations than people who have a better administrative system, who saves them from much thinking and imagination. Then why couldn’t we have it? Sure it can!
Reporter: Can volunteering help Romania?
Virginia Mărăcine: Oh yes! And it does! It does even if we do not see the volunteering activites because they are not promoted. I repeat! I see around myself many people who do volunteering actions, wheter they do it one hour a day, or helping punctually, only there is too little promoting, the visibility of volunteering actions is almost null. Then how can you give an example to the youth, if in mass-media the information about beautiful volunteering actions are missing completely, and people live in the custom ”eh, only the people who have nothing to do with their life do volunteering, to not be bored”, it is not true, not true at all!
Reporter Intervention: It is not a waste of time...
Virginia Mărăcine: NO! On the contrary, it is a win!...Only if i think about my colleagues in the volunteering group ISU-SMURD, with a few exceptions that do not work yet because they are students, they all work, have an ocupation and do volunteering at ISU, have become and are becoming paramedics (we are already 13 absolvents of the specialized course only in Bucharest), meaning they specialise in making qualified volunteering. So it can, it is not a waste of time, and no one complains that ”Oh, but how muh time takes, how much i spend to...”. We can mend all and ascertain that it is not chore, especially when you see how much need is from your activity, no matter how small the piece you think you can do at a moment. There are many things to do as a volunteer. We have mountain deforestation that we can forest through volunteering. We have people that die in loneliness and can live their last days, no matter how many there are, with someone, meaning to benefit from a high quality of life, no matter how long that life is. But, for all these to happen we need EDUCATION firstly and then instructions. What it is done in schools and universities is mainly training. Only that can fit into school curriculum.
Reporter: You mentioned about the ISU-SMURD volunteering and we wanted to congratulate you for graduating the SMURD Paramedic course with the biggest grade of your series., 9,49.
Virginia Mărăcine: Yes, an extraordinary experience...Because we went through the first 240 hours in the savior status 2 at ISU-SMURD, we had the right to be registered to be schooled as paramedics. From the moment that we graduated that course, i gained competence and the right to go on a SMURD ambulance, to joind the extrication crew, and the firefighters. I wish to climb onto to saving ladder, but that is the next step...I understood that we will go through a training programme, the ones who wish to make rescues at hight.
Reporter: In the condition in Romania, how big is the need of medical volunteering at current times?
Virginia Mărăcine: Big, very big. And to be precise, we talk here about medical volunteering from 2 areas.

  1. Firstly, we talk about the medical volunteering that means volunteering presence in hospitals, besides UPU, here extremely valuable students from medicine, and medical assistant students, which contribution in volunteering is indisputed and extremely useful in the condition that our hospitals are lacking in doctors (it is a reality that we must accept). On the other hand, next to this qualified medical volunteers who can do volunteering in the hospital part, still in hospital i see extremely important the role of psichologists, also of psychological support group of ill people. And this could come from NGO-s, but not only from them, and here it is not much place for volunteering.
  2. Then we talk about the second component, which means volunteering in pre-hospitals, consisting in building a self sustaining group of volunteering saviours of ISU, in Bucharest and in all Counties of the country. And here i can talk knowingly because – i repeat – am already a volunteer in the first generation of volunteers in the project ”Saviour by passion” launched by the General inspectorare of emergency situation in 2016, and from March 2017 SMURD paramedic. Last year they were accepted, integrated and formed in the first training courses 740 volunteers in the whole country, 29 are in Bucharest, and this year the programme continued with the second series of volunteers, three times more numerous. The need of volunteers is very big on this second component. An enourmos number of activities outside the sphere of emergences in communities are resolved with volunteers in other countries, here it’s only a project on the beginning step, so the need is immense. Indisputable!

Reporter: How do you see the medical volunteer and how is it looked after the unfortunate event from 2 years ago at Colectiv club?
Virginia Mărăcine: From 2 points of view: (1) Firstly i look at it like the necessity of volunteers, us, the ones accepted since last year as volunteers in the ISU-SMURD system, to be instructed as paramedics (and this process already started), to be prepared in the tehnics of giving medical qualified first-aid. (2) And then as the need to be integrated in a program of knowing everyone around one, from children to old people on several levels: identifying emergency situation and avoiding them as much as possible, minimizing risk exposure. Because at Colectiv, let’s be honest to eachother and admit, it was about an maximum exposure to risk. To willingly lock yourself in an can with just an vent, and not with the bad will of participants, the concert and his beauty, the spirit of youth community it’s indisputable and it’s naturally to take place, it’s normal to organize these kinds of manifestations. The space was completely inadequate, with an unpermitted exposure to risk, exposure which could be reduced if more of the youth that participated at that concert were instructed and had the general knowledge to identify these kind of emergency situations, certainly the victim numbers of Colectiv would be much lower.
I believe that information and awareness can save lives: my student, Laszlo Palhazi from Business Analysis Master proved it, one of the three survivors from ASE at Colectiv. After he recovered he come to the Faculty and told me that his surviving with minor consequences over his health (compared to other friends present at the concert) it was due to the fact that he followed survival tehniques courses a few years back, so he could identy that a certain fireworks fire can transform into the tragedy that actually was. This is one of the reasons why I created the projects “Academia SpEranței – Voluntariat din iubire pentru viață”, to share knowledge of live saving. And we all can and must to contribute to this sharing process. As the number of the people share these informations the more lives can be saved. And in this moment, us ISU-SMURD volunteers, the ones who can go and present first-aid tehniques, talk to young people about how to identify corectly the risky situations, about how to prevent and minimize risks.
Reporter Intervention: Next there was the project with the SMURD caravan in the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies of Academia SpEranței?
Virginia Mărăcine: The SMURD caravan came to ASE as one of the stipulated activities in the protocol of colaboration between the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies and the Department of Emergency Situations in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, protocol that was gestioned by the project ”Academia SpEranței”.
It is an activity that practically opened the first-aid courses being prepared to be offered to the students and whole academic community  of ASE, through the instructors of the training center for SMURD of ISU București-Ilfov. So that was, let’s say it like that, the start moment, the gate that opens the long way towards to permanent practice of first-aid courses.
Reporter: What are the future projects of Academia SpEranței? What is it aiming?
Virginia Mărăcine: We are aiming to grow, and the new projects launched in 2016, ”Academia Speranței – Voluntariat din iubire pentru viață”, it’s doing just that, moves the activity “Hope Academy” from the answer “present and ready to help” when we are being asked to intervene at need, answered offered to disadvantaged communities, students, teachers, auxiliary staff with special problems that can not solve alone (medical problems, financial nature etc), respectively from the humanitary campaigns from Easter and Christmas (fundraising for gifts and spending these holidays together with the kids, and with the old people from asylum), towards the education activity. First-aid courses and a correct reaction towards an emergency situation, pass our activity in the education domain, leading to an impressive rise considering the dimension of the academic population which is going to be geared, because almost 23000 students from ASE will benefit from this.
The second rising zone is the one reffering the institutionalization of volunteering in ASE.
Just because I am aware of the necessity of volunteering, I said that from 7-8% of volunteers present in the student organisations from ASE, there is the need to reach in a medium to long term to a share of 60-70%, comparable with the one from every other civilized country. It may seem utopic, but I think it’s tangible. The important thing is to discuss, to communicate, to understand what is the need, to understand what are the benefits, not searching for them or wait for the material ones, because volunteering brings much more important benefits that material ones.
Reporter: What would tell to a student who never had done volunteering till today about this domain?
Virginia Mărăcine: I would tell him to try, firstly before having a strong opinion, whether he does, whether he doesn’t, he should try! It’s similar to settle your option for a proffesion, for a colour or food. Before saying that you don’t like, you must try. And after that, qualified, i will believe you when eventually you will say „i don’t need volunteering, i don’t like volunteering” or „ i don’t find any satisfaction, i don’t see the utility, i don’t understand why i have to lose time in this way”. I urge him „Firstly TRY! Be a volunteer at least for a day!”. Discover the joy of helping your people from love and altruism, join a new community of people from an special beauty that will change your world always in good!
I am convinced that after this try, once the appetite is opened, he will never quit volunteering, no matter what domain he is practicing.
Reporter: Thank you!
Virginia Mărăcine: Dearly! It is always a pleasure to talk to you, students!

vineri, 7 aprilie 2017

Interview with EfdeN Team

Written by Luiza Flrorentina Zăpucioiu and Daniel Alexandru Vida

After I visited EfdeN’s home, Mihai Toader-Pasti, the co-founder of project, was glad to answer to some questions:

Reporter: Who is EfdeN?
Mihai Toader-Pasti: EfdeN is a project of the association Solar Decathlon Bucharest. EFdeN team counts now  30 students and are in the process of recruitment and overall project went through over 350 students from the University of Construction, Architecture, SNSPA Polytechnic, Arts. EFdeN is a dream, a dream to do great things and make a beautiful world in which we want to live in a beautiful world for our children. At first we could not afford to restate this, it was too romantic, too grand, too uncertain, too unprofessional.
Now, after six years and dozens of national and international awards it seems that we are on the right way to dream and that behind every dream must really be a clear plan. Even if it is a journey of a million steps and we are at the first hundred, advancing every day.

Reporter: How was born this project?
Mihai Toader-Pasti: After participating the project PRISPA the 2012 edition of the most important international competitions for solar homes, Solar Decathlon Europe which took place in Madrid, I decided that experience was extremely helpful for us and we decided to move the story forward. Some members PRISPA I wrote a new proposal to qualify for the 2014 edition, we have qualified with 19 teams from 16 countries and 4 continents.
At the end of 2012 I sent the written proposal in studio apartments and bedrooms of several young people with the necessary experience of such a project, and me together with Claudiu, Ioana and Eduard have never stopped the challenges and that made the difference needed .

Reporter: Why did you choose this name, you can explain its significance?
Mihai Toader-Pasti: EFdeN derived from mathematical function f (N), and N is nature because we design and build by nature. Moreover, EF comes to efficiency, the density, two problems of cities that our project is trying to solve and N from nature again.
The logo is a sun, because our house is 100% electric and works with energy from the sun, the 10 rays representing the 10 samples of the competition Solar Decathlon that give you a certain extent the full size of a house, from design on utility, innovation, sustainability, efficiency, balance and other things related to both technical and comfort, safety and happiness occupant. Geometry logo and rays are as of Bucharest, has since begun the project and Patient Zero in our attempt to find solutions. This whole story behind the logo and the name is the result of interdisciplinary collaboration between engineers, architects, people of communication partnerships, management etc. . Even if not everyone don’t understands natural these things, for us meant a lot in the process of doing everything in a way, any action, activity, product or technology must have a purpose, a role, a justification.

Reporter: What is your favorite place of the EfdeN’s House?
Mihai Toader-Pasti: I think that the ground floor is our favorite part of all, because it reinforces the idea of community. Upstairs are rooms, bathroom, utility room of mechanical and relaxation area in the greenhouse, but there can’t be all, and I think that is why we are more attached to the ground floor, where we spend more time together. The greenhouse,  one of the places that best represents us. In addition is an aesthetic space , relaxing and working in the area of energy efficiency, a place to plant vegetables and fruits we eat because we're supporters of the idea of urban farming. As people are not responsible enough for the environment and society, so we are not and responsible enough and to us, we have a healthy lifestyle, here is another opportunity for change high in the food and students passionate teacher support can have a major impact.
The truth is that every place is a favorite because I worked all that everything is there, nothing happened by itself, did not appear out of nowhere, in every corner of the house is a bit of us. We conducted every aspect, both the design and execution, the house is our child and we can’t love on pieces.

Reporter: Have you encountered difficulties in convincing the sponsors to offer financing?
Mihai Toader-Pasti: Yes, we encountered difficulties and always welcome, but it is natural and try to convince each sponsor that together we can contribute to a better world, each in his own way. The process is as follows, send an email in which we present, we say we do, that dream we have, how we can support the company and what benefits they can receive and try to organize a meeting to discuss the details of possible cooperation, we of course a presentation document, which you can see here as an example. Subsequently we must be careful to respect promises to keep in touch always to inform.
If at first all the sponsors were searching on Google, no one knew us, and a had to contact more than 10,000 companies probably meeting with us now over 2000 we managed to have 138 partner companies. If at first the success rate was 12%, now it is around 80-90%, but had to work hard and learn to get here. It is not hard to promise, it is hard to always keep your promises and be transparent when for various reasons can not and try to find other solutions. There are always solutions to every problem, but we must act as soon as possible and not be slack off.

Reporter: We know that you will participate in the Solar Decathlon Dubai. What do you expect from this competition that you think are your advantages compared to other competitors?
Mihai Toader-Pasti: We hope that this participation as many students to become better, to have a collaboration  with universities and companies are stronger than ever, to bring as many organizations and institutions in this effort. Competition for us is not an end but some stages that motivates us to go further, we anchored in time, they push the limits are excellent opportunities to test us and to represent Romania. This story is now responsible Ana, Nicoleta, Daniel Gicu together with a new team being formed step by step.

Reporter: What are your future plans after Dubai?
Mihai Toader-Pasti: One of the biggest plans is already ours, namely a series of 10 programs that aim to make Romania more beautiful, more accountable, more educated in terms of sustainability. We propose that teamwork and practical experience to be the norm and not the exception, as high school students to pursue their dreams, that people of all ages to be more empathetic and caring more likely and those around them, as parents become models for their children and in the area of ecology. We hope that the business which I released soon grow to employ increasingly more young handsome and well trained, is also a means to make the world a better place in the directions of our related sustainable construction, environment, renewable energy , electric transport and  practice education.
After Dubai, in 2019, I hope to look back, be proud of what I did and who I became this time, we hope that the programs you're running to perform as expected, we hope that hundreds of students, teachers and companies to join this dream and together let us make further steps towards for a better future.