Costin & youth work. Imago Mundi, endless journey

Costin is the President and leader of Imago Mundi Association, since the organization was created, in 2008. Imago Mundi unfolds projects on various topics with the purpose of supporting the personal development of the youths and contributes to the development of the local communities. Youths and adults, both from rural and urban areas join our activities, and our office is located in the rural community of Mălureni, in the Argeș county, Romania.

Imago Mundi was partner or coordinator of various youth exchanges, youth initiatives, strategic partnerships, as well as partner in a capacity building with NGOs from Africa, on the topic of sustainable tourism. The projects undertaken by Imago Mundi helped youngsters, teachers and adults from different rural communities to develop, learn and broaden their horizons. Our projects covered topics such as employability, environment, personal development, the fight against discrimination, sustainable tourism, campaigns and activities against violence, and ones promoting volunteering, active citizienchip and non formal education. The projects were funded through the Youth in Action, Erasmus+, EU Aid Volunteers programmes of the EU, or with the support of corporations active in Romania.

Costin has undertaken various roles - project writer, project manager, trainer, youth worker, coach, youth leader - in more than 20 projects implemented by Imago Mundi. As part of these projects, he coordinated campaigns against violence, for promoting employability for youngsters, for promoting volunteering and civic involvement. In the last 8 years, Imago Mundi turned into a success story in Romania, as an NGO based in a small scale rural community that became a well established organisation in Romania and abroad.

Imago has close partnerships with schools and high schools, both from rural and urban areas, with universities, cultural institutions and local authorities. A group of 25 volunteers, 4 youth workers and Sanda Bâtan, psychologist are implementing the activities and projects of Imago Mundi. Follow our Facebook page , for updates on our activities. Imago Mundi is also member of Volunteurope network, and Costin is member in the network s Board.

Costin, training & international work

Next to being President of Imago Mundi, Costin is also working on multiple levels, as a project writing consultant, project management consultant, trainer and trainer of trainers and he is building now, by means of the projects implemented by Imago Mundi, stronger connections between the actors involved in youth education through the Bridges for education community. In the last 2 years, Costin provided consultancy services for NGOs and networks from 10 different EU countries; he focuses on involving more youngsters in international activities and creating impactful local activities that can really create a shift in youths’ minds.

From July 2016 until current day, he is a trainer for British Council Romania - providing courses on personal development for young people and children.

Between 2014 - 2016 he was Trainer for the Romanian National Agency,organised training courses with trainees from the the educational system in Romania: teachers, educators inspectors, headmasters, university teachers, with youth workers, NGO leaders, volunteers and decision makers in the field of education, and with European volunteers who came to Romania through the European Voluntary Service. Topics and sessions covered included: project management and design, organisational development, financial management, conflict management, social inclusion, intercultural awareness and learning, cultural awareness and stereotypes, cultural shock, mentorship and learning process, motivation, personal awareness and development plan, communication, non-formal tools of education, learning opportunities and solution oriented approach, etc.

From 2015 he is Board Member for Volonteurope Network. He contributes to coordinating the activities and strategies of the Network with its over 60 organisations from more than 20 European countries. Various tasks he performed as Board member: 1. Member of the working group on Rural Isolation of Citizens in Europe campaign, 2014 - 2016. He researched activities, draft materials and position papers, attended seminars, debates organised in several EU countries. He was the co-author of a study case on Policy Paper in rural isolation. ; 2. Member of the working group on Valuing Volunteering, 2016 - 2017; He researched on measuring the impact of volunteering at EU level, and wrote case studies; 3. Member in the working group on the campaign Youth Ambassadors, aimed at increasing the active citizenship of youths in Europe, 2015 - 2017. Costin supported young people in planning and undertaking local activities on active citizenship and organising a annual meeting on the same topic at European level.

In order to develop new skills, Costin tooks part in various training courses in Romania and abroad. Also, between June - December 2010 he was Coordinator of international volunteer work camps at Concordia association, Lyon, France (Internship through the Eurodyssee Youth Exchange programme). He was also Grundtvig Assistant in Athens, Greece, 2012 - 2013, at the Hellenic Culture Centre Ifigenia Georgiadou. As Grundtvig Assistant and Junior EU Projects Coordinator he was involved in writing and managing European funded projects: Grundtvig Multilateral and other LLP programme actions, and improved his abilities as trainer on adult education.

Between 2004 and present day, Costin has also teached history in the rural community of Mălureni, although for some years he focused on other professional paths in the educational field.