We continue the series of interviews with Madalin Ianus, Executive Director and Member Founder of the Semper Musica Tecuci Branch Association, winners in the NGO category.
You are the winners of the Grand Prize for NGO category at the 2016 Clean Environment Awards Gala. What does this award mean to you?
MY: The award won meant on the one hand a public recognition of the effort of our volunteers, and on the other hand a responsibility in terms of continuing the direction and identifying new initiatives.
similar to protect the environment. Also, the award positions us as a strong organization in Galati county and thus, we will be able to insist more with the mayors of the county in order to replicate the action organized in Tecuci or even develop new activities to support citizens and finally, environment. Therefore, we are honored, but also very prepared to take even more seriously this direction related to reuse and environmental protection.
How did you come to develop projects dedicated to reuse?
MY: In the projects we have developed so far, environmental initiatives have played an important role. Whether it was greening actions or related to the organization of intra-school campaigns related to environmental protection, the organization wanted to make young people responsible for waste (water, food, clothes, etc.) and communicate their message to the whole community. From the desire of young people to reduce the amount of waste - clothes - in Tecuci was born the initiative of clothes donation containers. As I mentioned in the application for the award, it was their idea, they raised the necessary funds and here are the young people moving communities. Therefore, everything started from a problem of the community and from the availability of the young people from Tecuci to answer this problem.
Where did the idea of placing clothes containers come from?
MY: From five high school students who wanted on the one hand to reduce clothing waste in Tecuci, and on the other hand to help those who face financial difficulties and thus, can not afford to buy new clothes. At first, the idea from them was a proposal that we did not know if it would become a reality. The purchase of containers required funds that the organization did not have. However, these five young people convinced the business community in Tecuci and the mayor's office that their idea deserves the necessary funds and thus, the placement of containers on the public domain has become a reality, one that all citizens of the city currently enjoy.
Because we are at the beginning of the year and we each set ourselves new goals, what are the goals for this year in terms of the project?
MY: Finding that two containers are insufficient for the community in Tecuci, we are thinking of purchasing new containers to be posted in areas that currently remain uncovered. Also, through the non-reimbursable funds that will be made available to NGOs by Galati City Hall, we plan to replicate the initiative in Galati. Moreover, we want to build community spaces where both students and the community understand what it means to prevent waste, reuse and where to organize all kinds of actions to educate the community in terms of environmental protection.
What would be the message you would send to the new generation regarding the attitude towards the environment and towards people in difficulty?
MY: First of all, your old thing may be new to someone who can't afford it. Secondly, I tell the very young that some things can be reused, and if they can't be, they can certainly be recycled. I have seen in other countries gorgeous hanging gardens made of PET, I have seen extraordinary mosaics made of Pet caps or how young people donate their pairs of jeans that they no longer use to other young people who are experiencing economic difficulties. As in other countries, it is possible, I think it will be possible in our country, this being possible by opening young people to such initiatives. We cannot reach the level of other countries, from this point of view, if we do not consider the education of young people in terms of the environment, the orientation of teachers and more towards actions to protect the environment and finally, the education of citizens. So, our message is about preventing waste, reuse and good deeds!