yesterday morning, i went for my regular walk around the park when i saw 150 of white stands along the alleys: the ong fest started! it was quite early so not all of them were up and running yet i found out a lot of very interesting things.

the fair is itinerant: 17-18.09, it’ll be in iasi and bacau, 24-25.09, in miercurea-ciuc, sibiu and craiova, 1-2.10, in cluj and oradea, 8-9.10, in timisoara and 15-16.10, in constanta.

beside the actual attractions of each stand/organization, there is a whole program going on including concerts, dance, fire juggling, theater, climbing (on artificial walls, ofc), hockey, etc.

these are my highlights but i will be back tomorrow with more info and pix:

– a foundation that’s helping kids with hearing or seeing problems. it sounds great and it’s a cause i could totally get behind. there, i met this visually-impaired girl who did it all, in spite of her problem: she speaks three foreign languages and has the certifications to prove it (and i mean the official ones issued by those respective countries), she’s a metal head, a blogger and she explained to me how one can use the computer/internet even if they don’t see so well. and she’s only 17!

– slow food. you already know them: they are the ones in charge with the peasant market at the ark. they plan to organize more interesting events so keep on eye on them!

– an association helping physically handicapped kids have a better life. we all know romania is a very unfriendly place for them, so helping this association is the least we can do.

sos satele copiilor is taking care of children in the rural areas who cannot be with their families (think parents gone abroad to make more money than here…)

ampathos is promoting mountain tourism and the ecological treatment of the wilderness up there. if you find hiking up the mountain better than lounging in a club full of smoke, get in touch with them!

– there were several organizations dealing with the inclusion of the rroma minority. i choose to feature this one as it is an online store for traditional rroma craft products such as the infamous pleated skirts, sculpted wooden items, bronze and silver work and many others.  check this amazing silver belt! totally hot and who else will have it? 🙂

– if your dream is a clean, green country, check them out. they are in charge, among others, with the waste museum, the project that was housed for a while by afi cotroceni and is currently and temnporarily in bruxelles.

– there were a few groups helping out with gender inequality. one of them is organizing the slut walk bucharest in order to raise awareness on issues related to both physical and psychological violence aimed at women and another is getting busy teaching country women to get their entrepreneur on!

scoala de valori is helping teenagers develop on a personal level, a matter totally ignored by the romanian curriculum. so, if you are a teenager yourself or a parent to a teen or even have friends who may be interested, this sounds like a good opportunity.

these girls can help if you have a drinking problem. their high education comes together with the necessary field experience with all kinds of addictions to powder/liquid substances.  if you ever decide to get sober, click here! they can also help with the support that comes after sobering up.

get in touch with these organizations, add them on facebook and follow their activities. stick with those you like best! i know i will!

do not forget to forward that 2% of your income towards your favourite NGO.

also, as a special present to yourself, you can volunteer to help. we all complain about lack of action in this country so let’s do this: one step at a time! because we most certainly can!