środa, 23 sierpnia 2017

My experience as a workcamp leader

Dzień dobry everyone!
 

I'm Tuğçe. At the beginning of July (from 2nd to 15th), I was leading the workcamp Przedwiosnie 01, in a centre for disabled people in Warsaw. I had the privilege of working with 6 awesome international volunteers from Ukraine, Spain, Mexico and Czech Republic.
For our first day of workcamp, we explored the old town of Warsaw and we were joined by the local volunteers, Iga and Kuba. We had an awesome first day. 


For the next two weeks, we had many trips to many places such as the beautiful Łazienki Królewskie Park, Praga and other beautiful places of Warsaw. 




And of course to one of the most beautiful cities of Poland, Gdańsk! 




Beside our trips, we also had an awesome time in our workcamp with the lovely patients and workers of the centre. The patients were so eager to work with us and the workers were so nice to us. Everyday from 9 to 12.30 and 14.00 to 15.30, we had various types of work. From 9 to 12.30 everyday, we had a day for each country and cooked its traditional dishes. I cooked a turkish salad called kısır with a yoghurt drink 'ayran' and a turkish dessert called revani, while others cooked other delicious dishes. Since making a dessert is fun, I wanted to do it with patients. And they were so eager to help me too. 




In addition to cooking, we helped them with their workshops and daily activities from 9 to 12.30. After 14.00 we had our own time and prepared activities for the patients of the centre. We did various kinds of games, songs, dances and mini quizzes about cultures. 






On top of having fun and learning something in the workcamp, we made great friendships. Each of us tried to teach the others something from our own countries. We had great relationships with the patients and some of the workers. I can say I was definetely lucky to lead this workcamp. 😊

poniedziałek, 21 sierpnia 2017

Project "Intergenerational garden" - Part II


Dzień dobry everyone,

Two weeks ago was already the end of our “Intergenerational Garden” project (FIO - Mazowsze Lokalnie) and we celebrated its success with a sunny picnic in the garden of Senior Wigor. Here is a quick summary of the last few weeks of this project!

Workshop number 3 (Tuesday the 11 of July)

During this workshop, we finished assembling our pallet benches and tables and created flower pots out of apple boxes, to later plant strawberries, lavender, roses and so on. For this workshop, we had a nice group of seniors, adults and youth. My parents, who were in Pułtusk to visit me, even helped us with the flower pots!


We then had an informal gardening meeting with the seniors to plant lavender, roses, strawberries, etc and we were very happy with the result! 😊


  
Workshop number 4 (Tuesday the 25th of July) 
 
During our fourth workshop and a couple of informal meetings afterwards, we created five bird houses and five bird water feeders with plastic bottles, as well as golden coasters and jar lanterns .


Celebratory picnic (Tuesday the 8th of August)

In order to celebrate our project, we decided to organize a picnic with all the participants. Of course, we used all of our “creations”: pallet benches and tables, coasters, pillows, lanterns and we decorated the garden with balloons, pictures and bird houses. For the occasion, we gathered the seniors and volunteers who helped with the project. We were also very happy to welcome the deputy mayor of Pułtusk, the director of the social care center, a journalist from Pultuska Gazeta Powiatowa and of course the director of Senior Wigor.

After lovely thank-you speeches and presents, I presented the results of the project and gave more information to the seniors about how they should use their new compost and bird houses in the future. We then played games such as crocket, darts, tin-throwing game, board games, etc. and finished the day with a barbecue and dances. 




The project in numbers:


2 tables made with pallets

6 benches made with pallets (3 new and 3 restored)

5 bird houses (3 small, 2 big)

5 bird water feeders

6 flower pots made with apple boxes (lavender, strawberries, roses, etc)

Pillows for the garden benches

Decorations: golden coasters made with magazines, lanterns made with jars

4 official workshops and several informal meetings

More than 45 people involved

16 seniors

17 young volunteers and 10 workers and other participants

 


In addition to the creation of DIY garden furniture and decorations, the “Intergenerational Garden” project also enabled the participants of all ages to exchange and to learn a variety of new skills and knowledge, which they can reuse and share with others.

This project was also an important part of my EVS, as one objective of my own voluntary service was to develop exchanges between seniors and youth. It was a lot of hard work and I discovered the multitude of tasks, skills and details a project of this scale requires. Among many other things, I learned how to apply for a grant, to defend a project again a jury, to recruit volunteers, to organize workshops, to think in details about tools and budget and of course, how to build furniture. It demanded a lot of organization and energy and I am very, very thankful to my coordinator Sylwia for guiding me through the running of the project for the past three months. And of course, a huge thank you to everyone from FIYE, from Senior Wigor and to all the volunteers who helped in this project! Bardzo dziękujęmy for making this fun adventure possible!
😊

Na razie, 
 
Julia


środa, 19 lipca 2017

Tuğçe's presentation on Turkey at Senior Wigor


Dzień Dobry! Hello!

It's Tuğçe. My project is coming to an end. And I've been working in the kindergarten but it's now closed for the summer holidays. I wanted to meet the lovely seniors of Pułtusk and asked to go to Senior Wigor with Julia for one day.

They were even more lovely than I've imagined. They welcomed me very warmly and made me feel very comfortable from the beginning. I am happy that I've decided to go there. 



First, I started by making Turkish tea for them. I could tell they were very excited, which made me very happy. They were asking me questions and wanted to smell the tea. It was very nice to see that they are very open to any culture. 



After we drank our tea, I started my presentation about Turkey. Again, they were very excited! Even with my bad Polish, they tried to communicate with me and asked questions and during my presentation, I talked about Turkey in general and its traditions and culture. I had a quiz. I also wanted to show the real Turkish cuisine and we did a mix and match game with cards. Their reactions to the Turkish cuisine was amazing for me. For some dishes, they were very surprised but I think they enjoyed this activity. 



After the presentation, I introduced them to Turkish music/dance and they did the same with the awesome Polish songs. I really had a fun day and I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did! 😊



środa, 5 lipca 2017

Project "Intergenerational garden" - Part I


Cześć everyone,

At the moment, one of the big projects of FIYE and our partner Senior Wigor is the “Intergenerational Garden” project,
financed by FIO - Mazowsze Lokalnie. You may have seen pictures on Facebook or Instagram but what exactly is it about?

The origin of the project
It all started with the Mazowsze Lokalnie programme, which offers grants every year for projects in the region of Mazowsze. Our partner Senior Wigor (where I volunteer) being so active, we thought it would be a great idea to run a project with and for them. After discussions and observations, we decided to gather the seniors and the young adults of Pułtusk in a common project: building DIY garden furniture out of pallets. Thus, there were several unused pallets at Senior Wigor and a lack of garden chairs and tables for the seniors during summer, hence the objective of our project. Furthermore, our association is often in need of a place to organize events for the young people of Pułtusk, such as language cafes or cultural events and this new sitting area could be used for those meetings, as well as for intergenerational meetings in the future. This is indeed a project that aims at creating a dialogue and exchanges of skills between two generations.

So after discussing with Senior Wigor, we created an intergenerational team,
composed of seniors and young adults, the Pułtusk Six, to lead and organize the project: Pani Wacława and Pani Wanda (two seniors from Senior Wigor), Kuba and Iga (two of our mentors), Lyubava (a Russian local student and volunteer) and me.

Our application got accepted in the first round and in May, Pani Wacława, Lyubava, Sylwia and I went to the second round in the city of Ostrołeka, to present our idea in front of a jury.


For this occasion, I learned to introduce our team in Polish and Pani Wacława presented Senior Wigor, before Lyuba finished by presenting our project in details. We also showed them how we wanted the garden to be with a huge collage that I created with the help of Marie and the types of crafts the seniors love to create. 


We were very proud and excited after the presentation and we must have sounded convincing, as mid may, we received the good news! Our project got the financing! 😊


The preparation of the project
After our project got accepted, we had to prepare the four workshops, during which we intend to build the following pieces of furniture: two tables out of pallets, three benches with back out of pallets, a compost, up to 10 flower pots made with apple boxes, bird houses and decorations: pillows, coasters, lanterns, etc.

So we had to advertise our workshops, recruit young people, buy the material, plan the programme of the workshops, and so on.



Workshop number 1 (Tuesday the 13th of June)

On the 13th of June, it was finally time for our first workshop. We cut, sanded and treated our future pallet benches and tables with a special product and sanded some more to turn apple boxes into flower pots. It was hard work but we were very proud of the results!








Workshop number 2 (Tuesday the 20th of June)

During the second workshop, our intergenerational group gathered again in the garden of Senior Wigor to paint and decide the shape of our pallet tables and benches. We also painted the apple boxes that will turn into flower pots and started sewing the green pillows that will go on the benches. Have a look!











Informal meetings

Inbetween our workshops, we also try to organize informal meetings at Senior Wigor to continue the work that hasn’t been finished during the workshops, for instance sanding pallets, treating the wood, assembling the pallets, sewing more pillows, learning how to make decorations, etc.







The third workshop will take place on the 11th of July and we will be learning about compost, creating flower pots, coasters out of magazines and finishing our garden furniture. 


Join us! Zapraszamy!

Julia

czwartek, 29 czerwca 2017

Evalutation training in Biebrzanski Park Narodowy


Dzień dobry!

The EVS adventure is already coming to an end for most of the volunteers in Pułtusk and Warsaw. For Jaqueline, Jana, Saskia, Marie, Tuğçe and I, it was therefore time for a two day evaluation training with our coordinators Sylwia and Grzegorz. This year, it took place in Gugny, in the national park of the Biebrza River.


We were wonderfully welcomed in the guest house of Pani Bronia, who treated us with delicious Polish food and kindness during our stay there. 
The first day was about exploring the surroundings and we went for a walk in the nature, armed with our mosquito repellant, which was very much needed as we were attacked by huge clouds of mosquitoes and flies.


But we still got to enjoy our lovely homestay garden and play badminton or sit by the bonfire.





The second day was dedicated to evaluating our volunteering experience and we did so through discussions, and various activities. For instance, we had to list positive and negative things about the various aspects of our year and discuss them afterwards. We also had to bring an object that reflects our feelings about our EVS. It was interesting to see the different objects and the meaning behind them. We also prepared for our youth pass, the document we will have to fill before the end of our volunteering. It was very useful and enriching to exchange about our experiences with all the volunteers and to reflect on this year.  





Thank you to our amazing coordinators, Pani Ania, Sylwia and Grzegorz (and to Ernest! 😊 ) for organising the evaluation meeting in this beautiful place and helping us all along our EVS. 

We still have  a few weeks left before the end of our adventures in Pułtusk so stay tuned!

Na razie,

Julia