EVS Project – Everybody is a citizen of Europe – old, young, disabled or healthy
The project took place in 2013/14. Seven volunteers: Gulnara Khakimova from Russia, Sara Carrasco Carmona and Maria Ruano Linares from Spain, Vitovtova Liudmyla and Oksana Khomei from Ukraine, Linda Forrest from the UK and Francisco Fioti from France participated in this project.
The Foundation Mobile Poles was coordinating organization. Our local partners and host organizations at the same time Municipality of Milicz, County Miliyyy and Association of Friends of Children and People with Disabilities in Milicz supported us. Sending organizations were Pistes Solidaires, Xchange Scotland, Ayuntamiento de Albacete, Concejalia de Juventud, “Sphere” Movement, Nongovernmental Organization “Union Forum” and Association Group Scout Eryteeia.
The activities of volunteers
1. Three volunteers from the project worked in Association of Friends of Children and People with Disabilities in Milicz. This collaboration gave visible and verifiable results. We received many positive feedbacks about our volunteers’ work in the Centre. They were the third group of volunteers who worked there. Thanks to the elaboration and their good job foundation become more trustful. Due to our partner decided to expand the range of activities and work of young people coming to Milicz from Europe. So EVS volunteers had the opportunity to learn many new skills, feel being needed and important part of the Association MSPDiON.
2. We organized meetings with the University of the Third Age, and veterans associations. We reinforced ties between generations. Our volunteers had the opportunity to taste and appreciate the “grandma’s” cooking, who always enjoy those meetings. Old seniors are truly passionate about our volunteer’s life and work. Young generation could learn through practice preparing ornaments and decorations for all possible occasional events throughout the year. In return, the elders, still curious residents, students of the University, gained a unique opportunity to be with foreigners without leaving Milicz. They saw that young Ukrainians are the same as their own grandchildren and there is no reason to burden these young people to blame for the actions of the murderers of the UPA during World War II.
3. We also collaborated with the Foundation KOM (Creative Multi-function object) actively. It was formed last year. It has got a large potential, infrastructure and financial (it is housed in renovated buildings which used to be a large manufacturing company). The inclusion of the volunteers of our organization in the KOM’s various types of meetings and events for cultural and social community brings benefits for everyone. We held there, among others, multicultural evenings, which the inhabitants of Milicz could participate and get to know the different culture taste new cuisine. We organized the English-language discussion club. What is more we participated in daily blocks of cultural and educational services for children and young people getting numerous incoming to the KOM.
4. Volunteers did not only help our partners in their everyday work. They brought their own ideas into effect. That organized a various numbers of language classes and cultural workshops and discussion club ( main topics: human rights, the Pole as an EU citizen, to find place for yourself on the labor market, EU programs such as Youth in Action as the possibility to the development self-improvement, practical classes – dance, art works, and sports). It had place at office of Foundation or at KOM.
5. The volunteer from Russia told young people in primary and secondary schools about the Russian culture, art, history and tourism virtues of her country and taught arts-craft in the Cultural Centre in Milicz, referring to Russian art. These meetings took a particular significance in the context of the recent activities of the Russian Federation in Crimea and Donetsk. We have taken some action to ensure the residents of our city to have better understanding and to be able to distinguish between sympathy to the people, traditions and culture of Russia, and reluctance to implement by their leader policies. Due to contact with our Russian volunteer citizens of Milicz could understand that Russians are the same as we are. Friendly, kind, warm-hear people. We are grateful for hosting this girl who perfectly reached the goal and showed the youth that they shouldn’t make a generalization and think stereotypically.
6. Due to critical situation in the Ukraine volunteers decided to conduct a series of meetings with the youth and juniors from high schools to explain the problems of our eastern neighbor. We have also established contacts with the press and local online media, to organize support for Ukraine among the local community.
7. Volunteers conducted a series of meetings, presentations, and even a demonstration on Milicz market against racial discrimination, the wider aggression and xenophobia. The immediate impulse to take these actions was battery of our black volunteer by fans of Wroclaw football club who used to be students of local Milicz schools. The information campaign lasted 3 months. During these 3 months we got in touch almost with all students of the District of Milicz. In our opinion, it was highly important to educate youngsters over 14 years about tolerance. Francisco stayed for the next 8 months and anything unpleasant happen to him. No more incidents, having any dimension behavior of racist or xenophobic in relation to it. So we can be proud of our job.
8. Last but not least – a volunteer from Scotland implemented her own project, “growing an ecological and educational garden for children and youth – Hundred Acre Wood”. which, thanks to its creativity and support the coordinating organization and the host, was created from scratch to the end (the transfer of land in the city park, the appointment of flower beds, planting plants, conducting workshops, harvest of vegetables and fruits for mieszka’nców at the end of her stay in Milicz). Importantly, the design of teaching and broaden awareness of the inhabitants in the area of participation in the public life of the city (shared responsibility for public space) did not die a natural death after the departure of volunteers, but is successfully continued by successive volunteers and locals.
Project Erasmus plus – Youth Exchange – “Sport and activity bring people closer”
21 participants, 7 days, 1 goal – a better understanding of people from different countries. Countless attractions, memories and new friendships. It’s all balance Spanish-Polish-Turkish youth exchange organized last week by the Foundation for Mobile Poles in Milicz.
The topic of the project was specific “outdoor activities” was proposed by Gosia Herl, known in Milicz as a passionate about basketball. However, we didn’t restrict only to play basketball. During the youth exchange which took place in Barycz we did canoeing, cycling tour, played beach volleyball tournament, organized a competition in badminton, sparring kickboxing,. Tadeusz Hryciukiem shown strength and joint exercises. We did swimming races on the cycling of water in the lagoon – calculates Zbigniew Drzewiecki coordinator of youth exchange.
The main objectives of the project were stereotypes, intercultural integration and strengthening ties between the participants. Common sports activities are great for practicing the above-mentioned behavior. Benefits of the team play, respect for opponents both on the field and off, and treatment with an appropriate distance both victories and losers – participants learnt during the week spent in Milicz. We do not forget about the aspect of cultural-historical, visited the Centennial Hall in Wroclaw, which is unique in the world the object of sport and recreation, and conducted urban game in which participants from Spain and Turkey became acquainted with the history and topography of Milicz – says participant of the exchange and at the same time collaborator of the Foundation Mobile Poles Elena Vilyaykina, recently, a Polish citizen.
Besides rafting and canoeing Barycz 30 km bicycle rally after the Milicz Ponds, the participants of exchange impressed by the show and training with Milicz double Guinness record, athlete and artist Tadeusz Hryciukiem. – It’s fantastic, what kind of man is Mr. Tadeusz. The story of his life, the amazing persistence, achievement and the fact that loving a person, made an impression on all of us and gave us a lot of positive energy for further exercises and work on yourself- says Javier Carro – leader of the Spanish team. Hit the culinary exchanges were Russian dumplings in a restaurant park. They appealed to both the guests from Turkey and Spain. The leader of the Turkish Say Çağlar insisted that took his openness and hospitality of the Polish host’s exchange.