czwartek, 29 września 2016

Europe changes Warsaw


As promised, today I will tell you more about a big event that took place in Warsaw on the 10th of September. On this Saturday, Warsaw welcomed Europe in one of the numerous parks of the city, Pole Mokotowskie.  
We were invited to promote international voluntary service at the event called “Europe changes Warsaw”. So Marie and I joined Luciana, Yi-Chieh, Simona and Jaqueline, as well as our two coordinators Grzegorz and Sylwia, to run a stand on volunteering. 

For this occasion, we created posters, games, intercultural activities and decorations in order to make people discover different cultures, languages and the various volunteering opportunities that exist. Thus, if you happened to be walking by our stand on that day, you would have had a chance to:

-  Get information on European Voluntary Service, International Cultural Youth exchanges and work camps.
-  Play the fortune wheel or the fortune teller and answer a general knowledge’s quiz to try and win lollipops.
-  Try to find the languages in which various sentences were written and practise pronouncing them.
-  Test your geography by trying to name countries on maps and find their flag, before answering questions about those countries.
-   Discover what a foreigner experiences in Poland through comics strips and adding your own.

See by yourself!  

 It was a fun and entertaining day during which we played and discussed with a lot of different people, from all ages. It was not always easy to communicate sometimes, as most of us don’t speak Polish yet and some people did not speak English but thankfully, we had Jaqueline, our German volunteer who speaks Polish and of course our two coordinators who were playing translators as well.

And as we are a very conscientious team, we also HAD to try out the sweets we were giving, in order to make sure that they were good. It was clearly our duty. And the ice creams were just a question of survival, given the high temperature of this sunny afternoon!


We were there the whole afternoon, exchanging, discussing, playing, laughing and hopefully convincing some people to give a try at volunteering in the future!

We finished this really nice day by going to the restaurant to try some delicious Polish pierogi, before heading home.  
Thank you to the Warsaw volunteers (whose adventures you can follow on "Mr. Hedgehog tell us please...") and see you soon, or as we say in Polish, na razie!


wtorek, 27 września 2016

A two day training in Warsaw

Dzień dobry,

Now that you know a bit more about us, let me tell you about our first three weeks in Poland, which were quite eventful!

Marie and I both arrived on the 1st of September and after a few days of settling in, meeting everyone, discovering Pułtusk (and some delicious Polish food!), it was already time to head to Warsaw for a two-day training. On the 5th of September, we took the bus to Warsaw and went to Helenów, a rehabilitation, education and welfare center for disabled children and youth. There, we met the four volunteers of this center, who were going to follow the training with us: Jaqueline from Germany, Simona from Italy (both EVS volunteers staying one year like us), Luciana from Brazil and Yi-Chieh from Taiwan (staying two/three months on an ICYE programme). Remember their name, you will hear them again! Indeed, even though they volunteer in Warsaw, they will also come to Pułtusk to help us with various events and we will do the same in Warsaw.

When we arrived, we were welcomed by the director who explained to us what they are doing at Helenów, before going for a Polish lunch: soup, kluski śląskie and meat with gravy. Yummy! We then started our training, led by Sylwia, our coordinator from FIYE in Pułtusk and Grzegorz, the coordinator of SPW in Warsaw.

After introducing ourselves and explaining our projects to one another, we learned more about each other through ice breakers and games and it really helped to make everyone comfortable.

We then learned more about our respective programmes, European Voluntary Service and International Cultural Youth Exchange, about Poland and its geography, and we shared our fears and expectations through collages and theater acts. I especially liked the last one and found it very helpful to exchange on those topics, as it made us realise that we sometimes shared the same fears or expectations and we therefore could talk about it and about how to deal with them. 

We finished the day with an international picnic: Polish smoked sausages, cheese and sweets, Chinese tea, French croissants and pains au chocolat, Brazilian sweets, etc. Smacznego!

On the following day, we visited the center and discovered more about its various activities (classes, hippotheraphy, aquatic therapy, etc.), before learning more about volunteering and the competences that you can acquire by doing so: adaptability, new skills related to our work, independence, resourcefulness, new language, technology and internet skills, civic skills, etc. We also learned about the roles of each protagonist in volunteering. Finally, we had a brainstorming about activities to prepare for an upcoming event in which we were going to have a stand: Europe changes Warsaw. I will tell you all about it in the next article.

And to finish the day, we had a bonfire with all the volunteers, the coordinators and the mentors. We grilled sausages, bread and meat on the fire and had vegetables and of course a cake to go with it. It was a great way to conclude two intensive days of training, rich of learning, friends and food!

Stay tuned for the summary of our day promoting international volunteering in the beautiful park of Pole Mokotowskie, in Warsaw!

Do zobaczenia,


sobota, 24 września 2016

New volunteers in Pułtusk!

Hello! Bonjour! Merhaba! Hola!

In the European Voluntary Service world, September is synonym of arrivals and three new volunteers joined Angélica in Pułtusk at the beginning of this month: Marie, Tuğçe and me, Julia. The three of us are taking part in the Erasmus + programme for one year, working on two different projects: Marie and Tuğçe are working with kindergartens on a project called "Growing together" and I am working with young people and seniors on a project called "Action: integration".


You already know Angélica, who has been working in Pułtusk since last April and if not, check her presentation! In a similar way, let us tell you more about ourselves:

Hi everyone!

My name is Marie and I come from France. I have studied political sciences for three years and I have always wanted to volunteer somewhere in a social field, discover Europe, learn a new language and have a unique experience.

A French volunteer in Poland is pretty rare, as I understood when I arrived in Pułtusk, but I really wanted to volunteer in this country. And here I am! I really regret nothing and my motivation is even growing.
My mission? Working in a kindergarten. It might seem to be limited because of the language barrier but understanding children is usually not so complicated, and I am glad to learn to know each one of them, to see them play and grow. I start now to communicate more easily with the teachers too! I am very impatient to create and animate nice activities that can teach them (and me!) something, making us grow and discover more about ourselves.

Adventure to follow…

Cześć! I'm Tuğçe from Turkey. I'm coming from İzmir which is the third biggest city of Turkey and very close to Greece.
I just finished my studies in Linguistics this year and I decided to do an EVS. I just started my project in the middle of September and I'll be staying in Poland until August 2017.

I'm working at the kindergarten n4. So far I'm looooving my project. We get to do amazing things with amazing people and it's not even 10 days into my project. I am looking forward to see what I will do in these next months!


Bonjour à tous!

Yes, another French volunteer! My name is Julia, I am 25 years old and I am a French as a Foreign Language teacher. I have always wanted to volunteer on the long term and I am so happy to get the chance to do a European Voluntary Service with FIYE in Poland!

I will stay for one year, until the end of next August. During this year, I will work two days a week with the amazing seniors of the local activity center, Senior Wigor, to chat, dance, sing, bake, teach French, go on excursions and learn with them, among many other things. I have already had so much fun being with them in these past two weeks. I will also work on intercultural projects with children and teenagers and visit schools to do presentations about other cultures and promote volunteering, as well as to teach French or help with English.


We will post more detailed articles about our work and the various events in which we take part so stay tuned to hear about our adventure in Poland!

As you can see, we are an international, motivated (and slightly crazy!) team and we are looking forwards to meeting you!

Do zobaczenia!