czwartek, 11 maja 2017

My EVS at the Biblioteka Publiczna Gminy Pomiechówek


Many people asked me why I chose Poland for my EVS and my answer was always, "Oh that's embarrassing..." But in fact I chose Poland for one reason, and this reason is called "Michał Szpak". Is this embarrassing and crazy? Yes, it is! But at the other hand it's also brave and really spontaneous. No one would choose a country just for one singer, when you also don't understand most of his songs, unless you are crazy... And damn I'm crazy, so here I am! Ok, honestly, on the first day when I was without wifi and connection to the outside world and looked inside of my apartment, completely alone and too panicked to be able to open the front door again, I had a lot of moments when I was thinking that this was the worst idea ever, but now I couldn't be happier here in Poland. My life has changed completely.

These few months, especially the week of my arrival training in Warsaw, made me open again, like I was at the age of 7 before I got very shy and closed. I also found so many new friends here and I'm sure, some of these friendships will remain even after my time as volunteer has ended. During the first weeks, I met so many new people and everyone wanted to see me, and even the major came to personally greet me with a gift on my second day. As the first volunteer here in Pomiechówek, I’m a little bit famous. For me this situation is on the one hand strange, because in the past other people were never interested in me, but on the other hand, it's really a great feeling ‘cause everyone dreams at least one time in their life of being famous. 

When I met the three other volunteers in Pułtusk and their friends, this was for me a little bit strange. For myself I was feeling like the new one, but they made me feel that I'm already a part of the group and this gave me a good feeling. I had the same good feeling when I started to work at the library and I found very fast a best friend in one of my colleagues. 

There I have the chance to be creative; for example, I designed a special bookmark for Valentine’s day and made a poster for my own project “Let's Talk”. My other big projects during my EVS up until now are, making presentations about my home country Belgium in front of several school classes in the “ Gimnazjum” and reading books in English for the children at the kindergarten. That's also one of the reasons why many teenagers know who I am. For me it's even not a big deal if I stay longer at the library and finish my work, because I’m very happy with my work and often surprised how fast the time flies. Too fast in my opinion… 


For the next months, I just hope that my Polish gets better and also the weather, so that I can finally travel and see other cities in Poland. Was choosing Poland for my EVS a bad idea at the end? No! After ups and downs I can finally say, that it was one of the best ideas of my life. I learnt finally to live without my family and be more independent. I really enjoy every moment of my EVS in Poland. 


Saskia Roder

środa, 10 maja 2017

Innovative and Creative Youth Empowerment Part 3

The 3rd international meeting of the project "Innovative and Creative Youth Empowerment" gave us a chance to visit our friends from Maailmanvaihto in Finland (03-07 May). The Polish team was composed of Sylwia, our EVS coordinator, and Edyta from the Social Care Centre "Na Przedwiosniu" which cooperates with foreign volunteers.

The working part of the meeting focused on discussing the needs of local partners hosting international volunteers and planning the training to support them. We also visited 2 very interesting host organsiations working with people with disabilities: Vocational College Keskuspuisto and a social enterprise Kisalli which produce high-quality rugs.

What would be a visit to Finland without sauna? The organisers, Mauri, Mari and Maiju made us feel Finnish when they took us to a summer house at the lake. We could go kayaking, relax in sauna (and jump to a cold lake afterwards) and have delicious dinner together.

The project is co-funded by Erasmus+.

Schuman Parade 2017

Cześć everyone,

Last Saturday, Tuğçe, Marie, Saskia and I teamed up with Jaqueline, Jana and Simona, the volunteers of Stowarzyszenie Promocji Wolontariatu in Warsaw at the occasion of the Schuman Parade. Pedro, a former FIYE Spanish volunteer visiting us this weekend also joined the fun! You may remember him from previous articles on this blog. 

The Schuman Parade is an event organized once a year in Warsaw, to celebrate the integration of Europe. On the occasion, the Krakowskie Przedmieście street welcomes a multitude of stands promoting Europe, various countries, different cultures and languages, volunteering opportunities, etc, as well as a parade.

SPW had a stand promoting volunteering and languages through games and activities: quiz, language dice, sentences in different languages, mix and match of cities, memory… We had a lot of people coming to our stand, learning more about volunteering opportunities and trying out the games we offered. We were surprised by the variety of people we met: children, teenagers, students, adults, elderly people, from Poland and abroad, came to play with us and it was so nice to exchange with them! 

Of course, we also took part to the Schuman parade at 12pm and visited the other stands to discover more about other countries and opportunities (as well as to fulfill our quest for flying balloons and flags!).

Afterwards, our coordinator Grzegorz took our international team of Polish, German, French, Turkish, Belgium, Spanish, Slovakian and Italian volunteers for a Polish buffet in town. Dziękuję bardzo!
Stay tuned for more adventures!


Children's University on Turkey

Dzień dobry everyone!

Hello again! As you may know, I am the volunteer from Turkey,
Tuğçe! On the 8th of April, I was invited for a Turkish session at the Children's University at Akademia Humanistyczna im. Aleksandra Gieysztora w Pułtusku and I was very happy to join them.

For this session, I focused on Turkish culture which I believe is very different from Polish culture. I started the session with a little introduction while Marie was helping me make Turkish tea.

While Marie was making the tea, I continued my session. As I said , I've decided to focus on Turkish culture. For this aspect, I prepared a mini quiz for the children. For instance, I asked them if 'Batman' is a city in Turkey. To my surprise, they all answered yes which was correct. This way, I believe they were able to see important parts of Turkish culture, while having fun.

I hope the children enjoyed this part of the session as much as I enjoyed it. It was really nice to see how they reacted to the answers that they didn't expect.

After the mini quiz, the children really got into Turkish culture and learned a dance from our weddings. Now they can join any Turkish wedding without a problem! 

And I finished the session by showing our delicious food, as Turkish cuisine is really different from Polish cuisine in many aspects, especially what we eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I thought that it would be nice for children to see the difference between two amazing cuisines. For this part of the session, they had 15 cards with Turkish dishes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and they had to divide the dishes into 3 categories (breakfast, lunch and dinner).

And we said goodbye while drinking Turkish tea! 😊

I hope that the children learned from this session as much as I learned. I got a chance to work with kids from different ages. It was challenging as much as It was fun. I definitely gained more knowledge about how to work with kids. 

Do zobaczenia!