środa, 25 września 2013

EVS weekend

Pułtusk is usually a quiet little town but for some time it turned into a lively place with many programmes and a lot of people hanging around. During St Matthew Days the market square turns into a place of a festival with a huge stage, many trampolines and other facilities for kids to play.

Our part in this celebration started a couple of weeks before, when we started to plan what kind of activities we could carry out. Then, we decided to invite the new volunteers from SPW in Warsaw. We did not expect such a big enthusiasm but finally all of them decided to participate. We did a lot of brainstorming and planning, everyone worked really hard to make the best out of this weekend. We collected, invented and tested a lot of games. New sleeping mats, sleeping bags and pillows had to be bought to be able to host the volunteers. We also got T-shirts with the logo of Centrum Międzinarodowej Wymiany Młodzieży i Wolontariatu. 
Testing games was the funniest part of the preparation

We had a final preparation meeting At SPW office on Friday where we looked through the whole plan once again and also collected some more international games. After having awesome pierogi prepared by Gosia we joined the EVS Hotspot. It was an event organized by ex-EVS volunteers and the National Agency. We took part in a debate about the needs of young people and after a little break, we had an international evening concentrated on dances and songs. Unfortunately, we had to leave early as we did not want to miss our bus to Pułtusk.

On Saturday, after finalizing everything, we decided to surprise Sylwia for her birthday. Our version of ‘Sto, lat, sto lat’ was not the best one but seeing our finally 18 years old coordinator happy was worth it. Afterwards, it was time to go to the market square as the parade was about to start.

Our team of international volunteers at the parade

All schools, institutions and organizations of Pułtusk represented themselves and we took a walk around the square. We prepared with T-shirts, flags and some face painting. Some of us only had a little flag on the face, while some turned into cats and tigers. We reached our goal: we catched the attention of people. We also spent our free time actively. Cooking and playing fun games together were initial parts of our days.

The next day, the market square became a huge fair with schools, institutions and organizations presenting themselves at their own stands. Our stand was common with the Social Care Centre (MOPS).

When the person standing in the front turns around
the others have to freeze, The winner the one who
touches the wall first.

The tent was divided into zones. There was one for information about the two organizations, one for toys, books and home decoration exchange and at last but not least the unplugged zone. There the idea was to show young people ways of spending their free time without computers and TV. We had a lot of games inside and outside the tent and some music, as well. Face painting was also very popular.
Bubble-making was also one of the favourite activities, besides zośka and badminton. At the tables kids could play cards, board games and Korean game called gonggi. The volunteers were divided into two shifts and we also had two Polish helpers, Gosia and Adrian. We were happy to see that many children came to play with us and some of them stayed there almost the whole day. I was lucky enough to meet some of my little friends from the time of the workcamps in July.
Zośka is flying high. 
Now it is time to say a bigbigbig THANK YOU for everybody who somehow helped in making this happen, it was a really great weekend! J

What have I learned?
New games, how to survive an active Sunday with a little sleep the night before, how to motivate young people to spend their time in a more playful way, how to fight with the wind that is trying to destroy the tent and also ways of effective communication and exchanging ideas to cooperate with others.

Impact on local community
Thanks to these events more and more people got to know that this organization exists and I hope to see people being interested in our activities. It was a really good way to spread information and to get attention.


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