Legătura comunitate – Fundaţia Tismana este acum o realitate la Topeşti
August 2003. Fetele de la FRDS au venit să ia pulsul comunităţii de la Topeşti
Noi le-am îmbrăcat frumos şi am făcut un film cu ele şi cu francezii asociaţiei partenere „La Gerbe”
Networking and experience sharing success story- Tismana, Gorj county
With a special natural potential, with beautiful landscapes, old forests, glacier lakes, picturesque caves, clear rivers, valuable historical and art treasures, the Gorj county is one of the most attractive tourist area in Romania. The mountain area of Tismana provided to the primitive man some of his first natural dwellings and was one of the first habituated areas in Romania.
Presently, Tismana, Gorj County is made out of 13 villages and is famous for its traditions, gathering over 3.000 people in the region for the religious holiday celebrations. Not out of chance, Saint Nicodim from Tismana has once found here the most fertile ground to set up the grounds of a centre of high spiritual value: the Tismana Monastery, that became one of the first cultural centre in Tara Romaneasca.
Also, people in Tismanei are of a special quality: hard working, wise, hospitable and proud of the beauty of the places they live in. They also never hesitate to work to provide their community with better life conditions. Tismana area being considered mining area, people have faced here many hardships and a difficult to imagine poverty along the years: less than 50% of the households have access to addible water in their yard and next to their gate, to reach the doctor office most of the village people need more than 2 hours, while more than 50% children travel by public transport for more than an hour to reach school.
Imagini din Căminul Cultural Topeşti, înainte de a fi reparat prin proiectul FRDS
In these difficult conditions, the partnership among a team of RSDF and some of the good people of Tismana put the grounds for a successful project. It started from the need of Topesti village in Tismana to rehabilitate their Cultural House, the biggest one in the area. According to a pupil from the village, the community members built it in 1965 by themselves:
“The Cultural House was built
by our grandfathers. Nobody helped them. They made it themselves and maintained
it as well as they could.”
As a separate space was not available, a part of this Cultural House was used as a medical centre, used by people in 3 villages: Topesti, Gornivita and Valcele. Unfortunately, from 1989 the Cultural House in Topesti, as well as others in the area was allocated for administration by the local authorities, which gradually lead to their degradation. Therefore, in 1998, during a show organised by children, the ceiling of the Cultural House began to fall.
It was the signal that urged
some of the good people of Topesti to apply for a grant from RSDF. At the
beginning of 2001, the intervention of RSDF special trained facilitator helped
the young people of the village to bring back to life the old traditions and
customs of the community spirit. Inspired by the RSDF generous slogan “It’s in
our power!”, they got organised and applied fro a grant necessary to
rehabilitate the village Cultural House. Their motivation was a strong one:
every two weeks, pupils and teachers in the villages of Tismana, Topesti,
Gornovita, Valcele si Ungureni took part to a meeting focused on creative
writing. But, as a VII-th grade pupil said:
“ If we had the Cultural House, we would organise shows, theatre plays, folk dances, and the parents, relatives and friends could come there to see us…”
Their enthusiasm for cultural activities didn’t stop here: in December 2002, a group of children and adults in Tismana, Topesti, Gornovita, Valcele and Ungureni villages manage to join their creative forces and edit the first issue of the local newspaper „Castle Echo”.
Octombrie 2005. La Centrul Comunitar Topeşti reabilitat
The example of
Topesti community was followed by other villages in the region, which were
facing various financial problems. Therefore, in August 2002 a group of women
in Gornovita village applied to RSDF a project designed for implementation of a
manufacturing fruits and vegetables centre, useful for them to earn there daily
living. Also, a group of village people from Ungureni applied a project for
rehabilitation of soars, to help them eat and sell fresh fruits and vegetables
More than that, following RSDF initiative, community leaders in Topesti, Gornivita and Tismana were invited to visit in October 2002 the Busesti village in Isverna, Mehedinti county. Here the local community was also rehabilitating their Cultural House, a project financed by RSDF as well.
But the Tismana people plans for the future go beyond that. As all the tourists that came here could see, there are plenty of interesting things to see and experience, as Constantin Jerca, Topesti community leader stated:
“ We want to attract in this area
as many tourists as possible, of those interested in agro-tourism,
mountaineering, cultural, religious or adventurous tourism.”
That is why in March 2003 the community leaders in Topesti, Gornovita and Valcele villages applied for a grant in order to set up an agro-tourist motel. Afterwards, in April 2003, they applied another project proposal for handicrafts activities, as Vasile Surcel, community leader in Tismana stated:
“ Traditions are very important for us. It’s our duty, the teachers, to contribute to their revival.”
The Tismana community leaders won’t stop here. Once they realised that it’s in their power to make things work better and better and learned for RSDF representatives the lesson of successful, they are trying to create new and new projects.
“Children in the village want to have a radio station in the school and dream about organising a sport team to take part in the competitions in our county.”, proudly stated Dan Macarie, community leader in Gornovita.
The summer of 2003 brought new reasons for joy to the good people of Tismana. They succeeded in enrolling over 60 children to the computer courses organised by a company in Craiova, that in exchange for the school taxes provided every 10 pupils with a free computer. Also in the benefit of their children education, they applied for a grant of 1.450 USD, destined to organise painting, sculpture and folk dances, as well as buying folk costumes. In order to encourage the tourism development in these picturesque areas, the community leaders contacted the mountain savers in Tg Jiu, in order to mark the tourist roads here.
Therefore, the success story of the good people in Tismana has a long way to go. The 300 kilometres to Bucharest doesn’t represent an important distance, yet a promise to come back.
Topeşti sat european