The project „reACTogether” took place in Krakow. At the beginning of September, two volunteers arrived: Sebastian from Germany, who joined our team in the office, and Fabian from Spain, to start work in Kindergarten No. 92.
At the beginning of October, others followed: Gvantsa (from Georgia), Asser (from Egypt) – they were volunteers at the Autism Center, Kubra (from Turkey) – a second volunteer at PS No. 92 and at the end of October Nastya from Russia (to the school in Waganowice).
Due to problems with finding a volunteer from Hungary and Macedonia, we have also opened recruitment to other countries – so at the end of January Marie from Denmark joined us.
The main goal of our project „reACTogether” implemented under the European Solidarity Corps (apart of daily support of hosting organizations) was to increase the social sensitivity of the project participants, to stimulate them to respond in solidarity to the perceived challenges and problems and to build a more integrated society.
We aimed to increase their sensitivity and sense of agency. We want them to recognize the importance of their involvement, but also cooperation and mutual support in changing the reality around them.
AS A PART OF THE PROJECT’s ACTIVITIES WE ORGANIZED:
- The International & Intergeneration Dancing with Seniors in Tychy (where Gvantsa showed
traditional Georgian dances)
- help in setting-up tent and serving food for homless during the World Day of Poor in Kraków
- supporting Hanna Community in their service to the homeless (preparing sandwiches, serving
soup, backing gingerbread)
- cleaning and preparation for painting in the UNICORN – organization supporting people having
cancer and their families
- meeting with local coordinator of Academy of the Future during the Volunteers Day –
organization supporting children
- meeting about refugees with Sidhuja Sankaran – local activist; founder of grass-roots initative
Rethinking Refugees (Nastya was invloved in their theater project afterwards)
- support of Parasol – children youth club (regular Sebastian plus evennts with others)
- English conversation club for Seniors
- Christmas meeting in Senior’s Club
DURING CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN:
- preparation of sandwiches for homeless
- support of IB Polska in sewing masks for the elderly and children as well as help in the food
warehouse working under program Bank of Food
- support Autism Center and UNICORN in works in the garden
- ZOOM calls:
- meeting with the founder of the Special School nr 11 in Kraków,
- with the founder and leader of DOMeq – a place for the LGBT community in Kraków,
- with local activist and journalist about solidarity
- cultural and language training for special needs students going to Germany for 2-weeks training (Sebastian)
- a quiz about Poland for Cyprian visitors in the School in Giebułtów (Sebastian)
- visit in the kindergarten – games from different countries
- EKS on tour – sharing the experience of being a volunteer with a potential hosting org.
- All Saints Day in Primary School – program about traditions connected remembrance of deceased family members in different nations
- Multicultural Festival – stand of IB Polska
- High School Competition about English and German-speaking countries (Sebastian)
- The Volunteers Day
- Christmas games in Parasol
- Cultural workshops in High School
- 2 sessions of games for kids during winter break, visit in the kindergarten, workshops for Primary School children
TRAINING FOR VOLUNTEERS:
- on arrival and mid-term
- training about formalities in the project
- training on setting goals
- well-being and time management
- communication with autistic children (Asser and Gvantsa)
- workshops on solidarity
- Youthpass training (online)
- city walk in Kraków
- boarding games
- photo-session and laughing yoga
- Christmas Evening
- Jumping Park
- Ceramic workshops with BBQ
- visit of the castle, ropes park, polish-style BBQ
Additionally, volunteers had polish lessons, meetings with mentors as well as group and individual evaluations with coordinators in the schools and from coordinating organizations.
Unfortunately due to lockdown and the limited possibility to organize events for groups and children we did not fulfill all our plans and activities. Still, we hope it was a good experience for the Volunteers.