Fishington Post: Lets Do It, Romania! returns (Jun 10)

Fishington Post writes: "For about a year Anamaria Hâncu has been communicating on behalf of Lets Do It, Romania!. She is always on the run, but we managed to catch her for a few minutes on an eco talk. We discussed about the volunteering attitude of the Romanians, but also about the involvement of brands and local authorities in the project. We sketched the portrait of the Eco Romanian and drew the values of the LDIR brand."

Which was the most important lesson from last year?

Anamaria HâncuFirst of all, it was amazing to see that Romanians really care and that they did not remain indifferent to the message promoted by Let’s Do It, Romania! I am speaking about local and central authorities, companies, the press, sanitation operators, public figures, NGOs. Secondly, the volunteers who got involved in great number during each stage of the project have brought their own resources whether we are speaking about mapping, organizing or participating to pilot cleaning days or the National Cleaning Holiday on September 25th, 2010. Therefore it is possible, you just have to want or create the favourable context.

Then, we also realized that even if one is small, but perseverant and determined to make a change you can change the world around. Many people told us that we managed to grow bigger due to Let’s Do It, Romania! in one year as other in years of hard work. It is possible, but few are those that know how we got here. Obviously, we appreciate the acknowledgement of people coming from various fields. It is comforting after months of ironies and negative thoughts.

What is the goal set this year by LDIR?

The main goal is to prove people that the 25th of September, 2010 was not an accident, that people would have participated in bigger number, but they did not hear about the project or they were not convinced at first by the project. Yet, they are willing to offer the project in 2011 another chance.

We wish for Romania to be a cleaner country, we wish to prepare ourselves properly for Clean-up Europe, a cleaning operation that will take place in 2012. The action is organized by the Let’s Do It, World community from which Let’s Do It, Romania! is also a part. We wish to celebrate the International Year of Volunteering properly by means of a large action, in the Let’s Do It! style. We intend to involve huge masses of volunteers.

Most importantly is that Romanians should gather and make greater things happen, act as a big team, united for the same cause. On September 25, 2010 as far as the organizing team is concerned the feeling was amazing. After reading the volunteers’ stories we knew that it was not in vain.

What would you tell people that did not get involve last year to have them participate this year?

If you did not take part to the action from 2010, you have a chance on 2011. We are talking about you spending a few hours in the middle of the nature, together with your friends or people that you will meet there. You will have fun; enjoy being part of one of the biggest community involvement projects. But most importantly, at the end of the day you will know that Romania is cleaner because of you and only you.

Is it a brand-involving project?

Yes. Probably because of the size and visibility, but also due to the growing importance of social responsibility in companies. Many companies are honored to be associated as brands to the project Let’s Do It, Romania! either because they want to have a say in cleaning Romanian, or they want to simply be involved in a exciting action next to the office partners and other inhabitants of Romania. We have a lot of companies dear to us that helped us in critical moments of the project and rebuilt our belief that Let’s Do It, Romania! shall be a success!

Figures hint at 180,000 volunteers last year, some even go above 250,000. Which is the real number of participants?

The number varied a great deal, each remaining with a certain idea from our communications regarding the partial results. Officially, registered on the website and at our Let’s Do It, Romania! registration points there were 193 000 volunteers. But many wrote to us or told my colleagues from the local teams that they participated at the cleaning without being registered. For sure the Let’s Do It, Romania! Team is close to 250 000 if we think of all the people that got involved in organizing the project or acted as partners but were also present at the cleaning without being registered

What is the portrait of the Eco Romanian?

There are still many Romanian that see ecology as a trifle. Still! I hope that the number of people perceiving ecology as a necessity will significantly increase. Generally, the eco Romanian gets involved in environmental actions. She or he is responsible and tries to show other people why is good to be as efficient as possible with the resources they use. She or he gets informed, collects separately, rides a bike and spends as much time as possible in the nature.

All in all there are a lot of Romanians that see ecology as meaningless. I hope that more will begin to see it as a must.

You made a national map of garbage. Did the local authorities use it?

There were funny situations last spring when the volunteers started mapping the garbage. The city halls from those places started doing some work so that during the pilot action we organized the volunteers “complained” there was nothing left to clean.

The authorities know about these problems and the environmental departments have maps for each county, but these were not made public as ours. They say they feel helpless in making a change, they cannot penalize people as they do not catch them, they are not provided with informative materials nor do they have a budget to organize various actions. A vicious circle that Let’s Do It, Romania! seems to have broken. Moreover the project involved the authorities too.

What do people gain by getting involved in LDIR?

A cleaner country, the feeling that they participate in making happening the greatest social involvement project from Romania. Or, according to out good friend, Chinezu‘, a very-well known blogger, “the best solidarity exercise” :)

A socializing excuse, a means to meet people having the same interests and similar preoccupations, the project is after all about changing Romania in that civilized country we all want to live in.

Original article in Fishington Post (in Romanian)