“I know this project will be one of the biggest experience in my life”   – says Tamara from Georgia

“I know this project will be one of the biggest experience in my life” – says Tamara from Georgia

Are you ready to read a new post about our volunteer from Georgia? 🙂

My name is Tamara. I’m 25 years old and I’m from Georgia. I live in the capital of Georgia, Tbilisi. It’s a beautiful city with a lot of activities, with old and modern architecture together, beautiful parks, squares, places to visit and with amazing people.

Read more

DomEQ

Even in Corona times we will not stop meeting new people, may it be via Zoom, Skype, or any other video messenger. So did we with Dawid Wojtyczka from the Equality House, or DomEQ, in Krakow.

 

The EQ-House is a place that was founded in 2016 to create a place that is offering a safe space for the LGTBQ+ community here in Krakow. LGBTQ+ is the shortening of the words Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Bisexual, Queer, and every other sexual orientation which there is e.g. Pansexuality. 

 

By meeting Dawid we had the chance to talk with someone who is working in the DomEQ (Equality house) so, he could give us some insides into what the organization is doing and what they are standing for. Read more

Rethinking Refugees- A meeting with Sindhuja

A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence. A refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Most likely, they cannot return home or are afraid to do so. War and ethnic, tribal, and religious violence are leading causes of refugees fleeing their countries.[1]

It is important for your understanding to define the term “refugee” first so that you know on what base we were talking about this topic together with one of the founders of “Rethinking refugees”, Sindhuja Sankaran.

Read more

The Founder of the Special Schools

Let me tell you of a woman whose compassion led to the foundation of the well-known special schools here in Krakow. A woman not afraid to take matters in her own hands, not fearing any obstacles. A woman who never intended to do something like this and ended up in a different profession than she ever thought. Read more

News form Anna – ESC Volunteer in Spain

Hi! My name is Anna and I am currently working as an European Volunteer in Malaga, Spain.

My adventure with European Solidarity Corps programme began when I decided to apply for a project.  After my successful selection process I came to Malaga in October 2019 and started my work at IES La Rosaleda, which is a secondary, vocational school. I work with another volunteer from France.

Our main tasks include: coordinationg ‘’speaking sessions’’ in English and French, so the teachers and students can improve their language skills. Secondly, we are in charge of posting content on the blog and documenting our activities. We organize presentations and events promoting european mobility and Erasmus+, we visit classes and give mini presentations concerning holidays and different events. Moreover we helped during the Erasmus+ selection process, as we run the English interviews and prepared info-packs for the students. Read more

Poland- Now we are the old hares 4

After mentioned event it was time to relax and what else could be more relaxing than having a picnic at a lake enjoying the probably last warm rays of the late autumn sun before rain, wind and coldness take over the rule.  We decided to meet all together in a park which is more or less next to Krakow. From our flat your able to just walk there, thus we did so or at least we tried. Emelyn, Kübra and I started our journey to Zakrzowek, a former quarry and now that it is filled with water one of the most visited places by locals and tourists. The reason for that is not only its perfect location but also the fact, that police won’t control that much over there who is drinking in public and who not, resulting in a gray zone where people gather and have a cold one together. Read more

Poland – Now we are the old hares 3

The following week we were invited to take part in a project of a special kind. Our organization Internationaler Bund Polska, yes, it is a German name due to it’s founding back in Germany. Of course, not the Polish office was founded in Germany, but the idea and the concept of the Internationaler Bund institution originates in Germany. Anyway.

Mentioned Project was about dancing with seniors. If you think about it the first time maybe adjectives like “Cute, slow or lame” might come to your mind, but believe me what awaited us there was everything but boring.  This group of elders rented a place in Tychy a city near to Krakow but besides a factory for beer nothing seems really worth a visit there and the city by itself is also not what I’d call a beauty. Read more

Poland – Now we are the old hares 2

Eventually we managed to get to Rocio’s and Anthi’s flat all together, loaded with pizza and other snacks, because sometimes you got to enjoy life to the fullest. It is always amazing, when we meet all together, at least for me and not having that one week made me realize that I really missed those moments. Emelyn will, in faraway future, say the same to me, that is that every time we are together, she is looking around into all the faces, seeing them laughing and arguing which makes her and me too unbelievably happy. Read more

Poland – Now we are the old hares

Gvantsa found us immediately after we left Galeria Krakowska, a place that awakens panic in me. Always overcrowded, thousands of stores and in the end, you just hang out there because you are bored, watching people passing by while thinking of their stories.

It is quite an amusing thing to do and come to think of it, isn’t it fascinating to see a city less as a place far away from nature and older days, but a gathering of stories of thousands or millions of people. Somehow you are connected to a lot of them, playing just an unimportant role in the background, but for this time you shared the same story with a stranger. Read more

Welcome to Poland- Welcome to On-Arrival 2

Gvantsa and Emelyn in Baccarat

Being sick is always a pain in the ass, even more when you are participating in a project which is supposed to be quite entertaining and active, so there is only one solution for this problem. Mama did not raise a weakling, we got to go through it and give everything we got.

The first real group activity was a tour through Warsaw by a former ESC volunteer and his dog. Saying dog might let some hearts beat faster, but this precious little furball was not in the mood of being touched and frankly, I totally understand it. Imagine you do this tour every freaking week with your owner and then all anew a group of wild volunteers appears, and 20 pairs of hands try to pet you. The tour was fairly interesting, and we learned a lot about the city and how destroyed it was, while constantly getting told that Warsaw is nicer than Krakow. It Is definitely not and every person living in Warsaw knows that. Read more

Welcome to Poland- Welcome to On-Arrival

The first introduction of the volunteers took place in a big circle in which each person said its name and where he or she was from. Names like Pia, Sebastian or Francesco are quite easy to understand, and I guess also to memorize but if it comes to names like “Garcien” it gets way harder! First of all, French people tend to speak less clear I’d say than in other languages, mumbling away endings and conjugations in their language. When Garcien said his name the general reaction was a raising of the eyebrows and an impulsive movement of the upper body into his direction, reaching with your hand to your ear to make you understand better the said name and accompanied by the question if he could please repeat.

But actually, not even that was really helping and after the third try we just stopped asking and kept on with the next names. The ones who instantly stuck into my head, due to the character I connect with them were Martha, a livable and expressive Spanish girl. Guilia from Italy as well as her friends Iliana and Maria from Cyprus and Greece and last but not least Moritz.

Moritz is actually a really nice person if he speaks in German but as soon as he is speaking English it seems like somebody pressed a button into “mean mode”, making him complain all the time, coming with a certain flair of arrogance because one is not doing what the others are doing because that is embarrassing or to childish or whatever. All by itself this kind of behavior is not always bad, but it is not that we were behaving like 12 years old, more like we just wanted to have some fun and a good time. You will reach this goal by changing your mindset into not taking yourself too important and letting yourself go, we had that once in the beginning but anyway.

As we went to dinner, my attention fell onto somebody else. Her name turned out to be Yolanda, and don’t judge me. Just because everybody said their names 30 minutes ago, does not mean that I instantly remember all of them, especially when you have to focus on names from tons of different nations! Anyway, as we stood in line to get our well-deserved food, she was asking me where I was from, followed by my answer that I’m from Germany. The next answer to that was, quite frank as Germans are, that she is also a fellow citizen of my state and yeah, she could hear that I’m from Germany. It is not, that an accent would be something bad, it is in fact enriching and if you start talking with somebody you instantly have a topic to talk about. BUT I would not say, that telling somebody that he has an accent in the first two seconds of conversation is a really helpful and sympathizing thing. Though what did I care she was really nice, and I did not think too much about it. What is amazing is her talent for drawing, like guys that girl is amazing at what she is doing.

The best thing about this training is the evening when you are allowed to do whatever you want, as long as you are more or less fit enough on the next day to participate in the program. Next to Agrikola is a small bar where you can buy cheap beer and food like burgers and other fast food. This place eventually became our second home during this week, playing games, drinking together and having interesting talks about all kind of stuff which might be to intense to discuss right now. One of the most eager participants in those conversations has been Amanda. Beautiful hair and an ever-happy expression on her face made her a much-liked part of the group. I have to admit that we had actually some really neat moments in that place, protected from the rain and the cold fall weather which made it fairly unpleasant to be outside for to long.

Ans guess what happens, when you are a group of more than 20 people, already 2 arrive being sick and the weather around you is more or less supporting your body to stay healthy? Yes you get sick. Usually I’m that kind of person who never gets sick. I am running around in sweater 90 percent of the year, am pretty much resistant to cold and I think it comes from that toughness against cold weather and the fact that my parents probably fed us with dirt when me and my five brothers were children, that I can say that my immune system is pretty well developed and strong. But during and after this training? I think everybody had a cold or even more with on exclusion. My precious Pia. Intolerant against Fructose, Lactose and I guess food in general but a cold?! Not for her….

Text by Sebastian, a volunteer from Germany, participant of the project “reACTogether” but also the support of the project “Mobility for Solidarity”.

The project “reACTogether” is organised within the framework of the European Solidarity Corps and financed by European Commission.

Welcome to Poland- dawn of On-Arrival 5

Pia and me in the Flixbus

The next morning Pia and I met in front of Galeria Krakowska. Met in that case means, that I was waiting for her. I don’t know if it is a cultural thing or just me, but if there is an important appointment or meeting, I’m always at least 10 minutes before the agreed meeting time there. It is just to be safe, to get to know the surrounding maybe or to prepare for the next steps. In that way, it is already guaranteed that you’re not late and that you won’t have to stress out because the bus is stuck in traffic because you took the Bus 40 min before anyway, in case you will be stuck. Organized through and through, prepared for every situation. Read more