Piknik na Zakończenie Wakacji

Picnic at the end of holidays

School will start again for children and teens in Krakow in September after summer holidays. Parasol/Rakowicka10 organized a picnic to celebrate the last days of holidays with the help of three volunteers – Geea, Guillaume and Kathi – from I.B. Polska in Ogród Zabaw park.

pparasol

Parasol/Rakowicka10 is a partner of I.B. Polska. Usually they are working with children from districts Stare Miasto, Kazimierz and Podgorze, living in social difficulties. Also they have street-workers, offer active creative activities and distribute eductional material. This was also a part of the picnic. We have had a space for sharing books. Children could rummage and take books they liked. The aim of the picnic was to promote healthy food and an active lifestyle. Therefore children had the opportunity to cook healthy. They made salad, guacomole and finger-foods. Parasol had also prepared some pasta salad and cake as well as herbata (tee) and kawa (coffee). Mostly the children liked the circus-workshop because they could play different games. Their parents were there and could spend some happy hours all together. During the day more people came and newcomers participated in activities such as egg and spoon race and drawing games. The weather was very warm and the children could play a lot. Even after jumping with skipping rope they had still enough energy for dancing zumba!

parasol

 

sport

 

rope

We (the volunteers) would like to say that we`ve had a lot of fun with the children and people from Parasol during that day.

 

 

 

article and photography

by Katharina Becker

(EVS volunteer)

Anti-Discrimination Pack 2.0

In AugDSCF5951ust four volunteers took part in a workshop lead by Paulina Drzal in I.B. Polska office. The aim is to upgrade the original “Anti-Discrimination Pack“ by ICUD to raise awareness about discrimination online.

We distinguish between digital and online discrimination. On the one hand technologies could be used to ‘digitally redline’ unwanted groups, either as customers, employees or others. On the other hand is the internet a platform to spread discrimination and hate anonymous.

We researched examples for hate speech but also for love speech online. We found out that it is much easier to find hate speech than love speech on social media and online platforms. Love speech often is only an attempt to counter hate speech.

We watched a short documentary about Marshall Rosenberg`s (American psychologist, 1934 – 2015)

Non-Violent Communication concept, wich is also know as “compassionate“ or “collaborative“ communication. He explained that our way of education gives two possible ways to choose as a response, either submission or rebellion. It would be better to use a request than a demand because it gives more freedom to the person who receives it. Now, that person can decide to fulfill or deny because a request is not forcing any actions. Before posing a request we must explain our feelings about that particular situation to the other person. We brainstormed about how to promote Non-Violent Communication and love speech online. We wrote the keywords love, respect and tolerance. But those are very general ideas. In my opinion there are two major results of the workshop. Firstly, all volunteers agreed that it is difficult to abandon hate speech completely because the internet is not the reason of it. It only makes it more easy to spread negative thoughts of negative people. To reduce hate speech online, contents must be deleted immedately but that also means control and censorship. Another way is to change minds. I guess this famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi fits in this context, because “thoughts become words (and) words become your actions (…)“. In the end thoughts must be change offline to change online enviornment. Rosenberg said that choise was internal.

Secondly, a result of the workshop also is summed up by a quote by Rosenberg, who said that “the most direct path to peace is through self-connection“.

photgraphy by Paulina Drzal

article by Katharina Becker

(EVS volunteer)

Meet Xabier

Hello everyone!

My name is Xabier and I was one of the lucky guys who took part in a EVS project during 2017.

I am 23 years old and I am Spanish, being more specific, from an amazing and not too much known region by foreigners called Galicia, in the north-west of Spain.

After my studies and six months working in Vigo (Galicia), I decided to look for something new far from my home city and European Voluntary Service came to my mind as I had found some information about one year ago and which basically was going abroad with everything paid!

I started my search with several difficulties. I didn´t know very well how the process worked, I didn´t know why some projects had written “Approved Project” as a kind of advertising and I wanted to start as soon as possible meanwhile most of them were looking for someone to start in 3,4,5 or even 8 months later.

After 1 month, I discover We green it! project. It was a two backgrounds project as there was an educational part with autistic kids and an ecological part based on promoting recycling and green life-style in city´s inhabitants. The project was also for 6 months so at the beginning was a very good length as I would finish on the beginning of September (Big mistake! Too short) and it was in Kraków, which really impressed me when I visited it as a tourist. And, last but not least important thing, they were looking for someone to start as soon as possible.

From my applying moment, everything ran out so fast (Of course, right now, as in those days I was eager to get an answer) and after one week I was selected and one week later I was flying to Kraków!

Symbol of Kraków in one of the Torun´s streets.krk

 

With everything dealed at my arrival, I didn´t have to worry about, flat, transport or being picked up from the airport, my coordinator or her workmates were always there.

In the school, activities were mainly based on assisting teachers with the goal of providing students with a more personalised and focused education. To be honest, I really hope our students in Centrum of Autism have developed their selves more than the last year’s average. Most of the students didn´t speak Polish at all so it was a good motivation to, at least, learn some Polish. Instead of, most of the teachers spoke or understood English so it was a much more easier communication.

Green project part was developed during the whole six months but we specially focused on in the last months, when school was on holidays and working load was smaller. We were lucky as our organization is very active in this aspect and we attendanced several workshops as visiting headquarters of Kraków recycling company, food, clothes or cosmetics wasting in the current society, food sharing concept and we even went to a presentation of an international artist who uses recycled materials to create pieces of art. Beside this attendance to workshops, we also organised some oriented to kindergarten kids (6-9 years old) trying to introduce them how human activities are affecting environment and what we can do to help through recycling.

Main square during one spectacle at night.square

 

But EVS is not only volunteering, you have also time to many other things. I had the opportunity to assist to a Polish course to helped me a lot to communicate a bit with my pupils and ask in daily life simple things (Mrs. D is a great teacher!), meeting such an amazing people from many countries: Bulgaria, France, Ukraine, Portugal, Moldova, Poland, Germany, Italy, Romany, Tunisia and of course Spain.

Besides of, Kraków is such an amazging city. With a small but precious historical center, it is full of people, and not only tourist. One of the advantages I found is that Polish people also likes to go to the city center for their free time so streets are always full of life and spectacles. Cultural life is continuous and different so you always have the chance to go somewhere and enjoy any concert, exposition or cultural exchange meeting. Furthermore, you can always go to one of the several Jazz music clubs, We are in the city of the Jazz!lake

Zakrzówek´s lake. An ancient mine reconverted into a lake 15 minutes away from the city center.

 

Do you still doubt whether to go for an EVS? C’mon! Take advantage of this fabulous project and if you have any doubt you can ask me.

Pa pa,

Xabier.

Szla dzieweczka do laseczka

Meeting in Centre for Social Inclusion in Tychy

 

 

Centre for Social Inclusion in Tychy is the project of IB Polska and is active since 10 years.

On August 11th four EVS volunteers and Natasza – coordinator from IB Polska office went to Tychy, which is about 1 hour distance from Krakow. The meeting supports cultural exchange between the people of Tychy and the diverse EVS volunteers.

Social worker Paweł Świeżko and the manager Bartłomiej Szymczyk welcomed us and explained their mission. The social centre supports unemployed people (however, unemployment in Tychy is only 3%) and also they set up events for local seniors in order to create a regular senior club and promote social contacts amongst the Tychyerians. About 1300 people get help through food support. Students have the opportunity to do an internships.

First we met people suffering from unemployment due to different reasons. Beatrice prepared a presentation about unemployment in Italy, which is about 40%. She explained that particularly in the South of Italy unemployment is higher than in the North.

The presentation was followed by discussion and the Tycherians are highly interested about the situation of our home countries. Also, we talked about refugees in Europe and realized again that there are huge differences in dealing with refugees in Europe. Polish borders are closed. Italy has to deal with many, many people who fled from war or hunger. Germany is not located at EU border. But this is another pair of shoes.

The volunteers are asked about what they mostly liked about Poland. The answers: Girls, Polish cities (Gdansk in particular), the EVS lifestyle in Krakow.

Later that day we met the seniors who welcomed us warmly and the atmosphere was very positive. Guillaume presented France and Xabi made a video about Spanish culture and the country. We danced and sang and ate food that we prepared. We have eaten delicious Spanish self-made Tortillia di Patatas, French baguette and cheese and German Rote Grütze (also self-made of course).

The seniors prepared traditional Polish “Szla dzieweczka do laseczka” song for farewell, they sang with a lot of passion.

What I like most about that day? The world is a small village. Pawel and I found out that our grandmothers were born in the same Polish village in the North of Poland. Maybe they know each other, I am excited to find out, but we will see. 🙂

 

 

article and photography by

Katharina Becker

(EVS volunteer)