29 June 2023

Our ESC volunteer: Ionelia Hîrju combines research with environmental volunteering

Ionelia Hirju joined the GEYC team as an ESC volunteer in January 2023, and since then, she has been actively involved in eco-education workshops, the #activismcollectors campaign, social inclusion activities, community outreach, social media for GEYC and PRISMA European Network, and much more. Let's take a closer look at her experience from the beginning of the month.

Our ESC volunteer, Ionelia Hîrju, combines her passion for European Administrative Studies with practical volunteering activities. She has been involved in facilitating Eco Echo ecological education workshops organized by GEYC Association in various highschools. As a result of her interest in environmental law and citizen involvement in environmental protection, Ionelia has authored a research paper titled "Active involvement in the implementation of Environmental Law. Environmental volunteering and Eco Echo workshops," which is set to be published in the "Valahia University Law Study" Journal. The paper addresses the evolution of environmental law, from how our ancestors valued the connection between humans and nature, to the organization of the first conferences and the adoption of the first environmental declarations. Additionally, the paper focuses on ways in which ordinary citizens can get involved in the enforcement of environmental law, providing a few examples: activism, environmental defenders, and environmental volunteering. The latter is extensively analyzed due to Ionelia's role in the GEYC Association, participating in facilitating workshops on environmental education in high schools in Bucharest and Câmpina.

Her paper was presented at the 19th edition of the International Conference "Knowledge-based Society: Norms, Values, and Contemporary Landmarks" held at the Multidisciplinary Scientific Research Institute on the campus of Valahia University in Târgoviște on Friday, June 9th. The event included a workshop dedicated to current legal aspects such as "Prevention and Combating Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing: The Impact of New Regulations on the Legal Profession". The meeting was chaired by the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Constanța Mătușescu, who invited important figures from the academic environment. ESC volunteers, like Ionelia Hîrju, demonstrate that they can surpass the requirements set by their projects. Through their active involvement and passion for the causes they engage in, they bring added value and remarkable results to their volunteer activities and beyond. It is inspiring to see how our volunteers go beyond their responsibilities, proposing innovative ideas and actively contributing to creating positive change in their community. Through these initiatives and best practices, volunteers serve as an example of dedication for all those interested in making a positive impact in the world, shifting from the perspective of "my effort is insignificant" to "it's about me, so my effort matters."

„I feel that I make an important contribution both in research and in fostering civic engagement, creating a positive change in my society by combining the knowledge gained from the academic field with a personal perspective and access to the statistics and data collected through my work. The activity you are passionate about is the one you do with great enthusiasm, where you excel and achieve the most results. I encourage you to find your passions.” (Ionelia HÎRJU, European Solidarity Corps Volunteer)