EVS and the freetime // EDS a voľný čas

Doing an EVS is a chance to experience life away from the known of your home and to grow – with working, personal as well as interpersonal challenges. Of course, the work as a volunteer plays a big role in there, but a big part of this process also happens in the free time. Compared to my life as a student, EVS provides me with way more free time, time which I have available to create (of course within the possibilities) just the way I want to. Something I value very much about my year in here is exactly that: it gives me time to think, to be relaxed and to do things I did not find so much time before. But it is not only about doing, but also about discovering things you actually like.  Continue reading

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Brief statements we would have liked to know at our arrival // Pár vecí, ktoré by sme boli rady vedeli ešte predtým, ako sme prišli na projekt

Living in a new city is always an adventure that, sometimes, could lead to a bad end. Here comes a summary of all the things that took us months to discover and that we would have preferred to know beforehand:  Continue reading

Living Libraries // Živé knižnice

Last Friday, I became more or less incidentally, but fortunately, a book in a living library. What does this actually mean though? Before I experienced it first-hand, I had no idea myself. A day before, our coordinator told me that the organizers of the Living Library were missing one book, and asked me if I was interested in becoming a substitute. As I had only faintly heard before that this concept was a strong tool in human rights education, I thought it was a good opportunity now to learn more about it. So the idea behind Living Libraries is the following: people act as book, they tell their story, others listen to it, and after some time the story finishes and the book is returned to the library. Telling a story is, among other things,  a means to confront people with their prejudices and stereotypes, whether it is about homosexuality, disabilities, depression or addictions – or any other topic people tend to be silent about.  Continue reading

AHOJ from new EVS volunteers // AHOJ od nových dobrovoľníčok

ireneundiWilkommen and bienvenido from us, Irene and Miriam, who until the end of July 2014 will   be EVS volunteers in Banska Bystrica. During our stay, we will try to post on a weekly basis about our activities and experiences abroad. We are not only very much looking forward to discovering Slovakia, its customs and its people, but also to getting to know what it really means to be part of a voluntary project.

Miriam: I am 20 years old, and I am not from too far away actually – I come from Austria. So it is not too big a change in the weather or the landscape :). meifotoWhen I  heard about the EVS program I was immediately excited and knew it was something I would like to do, so I am very happy that I am here in Slovakia now. Being abroad plus doing this kind of voluntary work seemed like the perfect mixture for a ‘gap year‘ in between my English and Linguistic studies at university. Besides language, music is one of my greatest passions, and I would love if I had the chance here to participate in or create some activity related to music. Staying here in Banska Bystrica is my first long term experience with being abroad, and I really think this year could be a chance to grow and to discover ‘hidden things’ in myself I had no idea they were there. Furthermore I am very curious about intercultural experiences – not only with Slovak people, but also with other EVS volunteers.

irene

Irene: I am a twenty-one-years-old Spanish girl. I have always felt a strong fascination about other languages and cultures. That’s why after my first two years of my degree I decided to course the third one in London. This made me more conscious of how I long for living in other countries and facing new tasks. Consequently, once I finished my degree in Spanish Philology in Málaga, Spain, and before deepen into my studies, I decided to take part in a totally new experience. That is why I applied for EVS and, especially, for Slovakia, due to my interest in knowing a life-style as different as the Spanish one. Besides, This project seemed to me the perfect chance to offer a little help to the Slovak community and to develop my own skills and self-knowledge.My main aim here is, on the one hand, to explore the Slovak landscapes and, on the other hand, to be able to fit and contribute in some way in their way of living life.

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Wilkommen a bienvenido od nás, Irene a Miriam, ktoré budeme do konca Júla 2014 dobrovoľníčkami EDS v Banskej Bystrici. Počas nášho pobytu skúsime každý týždeň publikovať novinky o našich skúsenostiach v zahraničí. Nielenže sa veľmi tešíme na objavovanie Slovenska, jeho zvykov a ľudí, ale aj na to, čo to znamená byť súčasťou dobrovoľníckeho projektu.

Miriam: Mám 20 rokov a vlastne nie som vôbec z ďaleka – pochádzam z Rakúska. Takže rozdiel v počasí ani v krajine pre mňa nie je veľký J. Keď som sa dopočula o programe Európskej dobrovoľníckej služby (EDS), hneď som bola preň nadšená a vedela som, že je to niečo, čo by som chcela robiť. Preto som veľmi šťastná, že som teraz na Slovensku. Byť v zahraničí a robiť tento typ dobrovoľníckej práce mi pripadalo ako ideálna kombinácia pre môj „oddychový rok“ v rámci štúdia angličtiny a lingvistiky na univerzite. Okrem jazyka je jednou z mojich najväčších vášní hudba a bola by som veľmi rada, keby som tu mala možnosť podieľať sa na nejakej, alebo vytvoriť nejakú hudobnú aktivitu. Pobyt tu v Banskej Bystrici je mojou prvou dlhodobou skúsenosťou v zahraničí a myslím si, že tento rok by pre mňa mohol byť šancou na rozvoj a objavenie „skrytých vecí“ v sebe, o ktorých som nevedela. Taktiež som veľmi zvedavá na „interkultúrne“ skúsenosti – nielen so slovenskými ľuďmi, ale aj s inými dobrovoľníkmi EDS.

Irene: Som dvadsaťjednaročné španielske dievča. Vždy som bola veľmi fascinovaná inými jazykmi a kultúrami. Preto som sa po prvých dvoch rokoch štúdia rozhodla absolvovať tretí rok v Londýne. Toto mi pomohlo uvedomiť si, ako túžim žiť v iných krajinách a zaoberať sa novými vecami. Preto potom, ako som získala titul zo španielskej filológie v Malage v Španielsku a predtým, ako budem pokračovať v štúdiu, som sa rozhodla pre úplne novú skúsenosť. Z toho dôvodu som sa uchádzala o EDS a obzvlášť o Slovensko, kvôli môjmu záujmu o spoznanie životného štýlu, ktorý je úplne iný než ten španielsky. Okrem toho mi tento projekt pripadal ako výborná príležitosť ponúknuť trochu svojej pomoci slovenskej komunite a rozvíjať svoje schopnosti a sebapoznanie. Mojim hlavným cieľom tu je objavovať slovenskú krajinu a na druhej strane byť schopná zapadnúť a nejako prispieť k miestnemu spôsobu žitia.

Preklad: Andy

Dovidenia Slovensko :)

So, here we are… 10 months have already gone and it’s already time to pack and leave. In my case it won’t be really be a “Good bye”, but rather a “See you soon”, as my town in Italy is not that far away and I really fell in love with Slovakia, so I’m sure that I’ll come back every once in a while. Getting ready to go back home, I realised how heavier my “luggage” will be in comparison to how it was when I arrived here in October.

Source: it.paperblog.com

Source: it.paperblog.com

Most of the “weight” that I gained is due to the amazing people that I had the chance to meet in this special country, so that I even dare to call friends some of them.

Another big part of my “luggage” has been taken by the fantastic experiences that I made here, both in my working time and in my free time. As for the working time, I learnt a lot and I had a great time working with the staff of CVČ Junior, especially my coordinator; I was very happy to work with the actors from Divadlo z Pasáže, the children from the Special School in Sásová and the teachers and students from the schools where I had conversation classes or presentations; I’m really grateful to all those who made it possible to organise 2 LGBT movie nights, as I learnt a lot from this initiative.

As for my free time, I really enjoyed all the activities offered by this fantastic town and by Slovakia, as here I could do many things I love, as going hiking, going to the theatre and to concerts, watching good quality movies, travelling, meeting foreigners, getting to know new cultures and languages and I even went skiing for the first time in my life 🙂

My luggage will be heavier also because I’ll have to carry my violin, as in Slovakia I started learning playing it 🙂

I was really lucky to have the opportunity to gain such a lot through EVS. I wish all the best to the next volunteers who will come in October, but I’m sure that they will also have a great time.

Manu

What international volunteers bring us // Čo nám dávajú zahraniční dobrovoľníci

Some people who know me and also know how difficult working with international volunteers sometimes is, might want to ask why we host volunteers. What do they really bring us?

Many things 🙂  Similarly to any other persons, EVS volunteers can bring us various experience. Being for the fifth year in the position of EVS coordinator, I will focus here on the specific enrichment of our work or of our community but also on the personal enrichment that working with young foreigners brings to myself.

Intercultural enrichment

It is really true that other nations and cultures have different perception of many things. Usually the further you come from the stranger you will be 🙂  This, in my opinion, is very stimulating for our comunity and society, which is not really multicultural. At the same time it helps us to fight (or at least realize) our prejudices: we see that however different these people (and cultures) are, they are still same humans as we are. At least for those who want to see.

Fresh ideas and new perspectives

It is indeed many times these young people who come here to learn something who is teaching us. I don´t mean those who think they know everything and can do anything (we already have enough of such people here). I mean those who bring their original approaches, ideas, experience and genuine creativity, but also modesty and willing to listen and learn, which is usually bound with their culture, or just with their unique personalities. We grow with them.

Expanding capacity

By the involvement of international volunteers we are increasing our capacity to do something good in our local comunity. Similarly to most of other communities, also ours many times prefers to complain than to take active steps toward change. Regardless the results, EVS volunteer himself / herself brings a change. (Of course we are here to help making it positive, or at least to try…)

Increasing educational impact on target groups

Coming to a distant place just to do something beneficial, gain experience and learn a marginal language sounds pretty illogical to many of us who have lived in a country where volunteering used to be compulsory. We tend to neglect real benefits of voluntary work for the volunteer but also for the people with this twisted logic.

Improving language skills

“Learning other languages is useless. When you come to Slovakia, nobody will understand you anyway“ – this used to be my favourite joke for foreigners. I believe that by hosting EVS volunteers we are increasing not only their but also our language and thus comunication capabilities.

Improving self-esteem and integration

In little nations that have always been ruled by somone else, national pride or self esteem can be pretty low. This is only multipled by the post-comunistic past. In my opinion, it is one of the main reasons why almost everyone here asks EVS volunteers: “Why did you come to Slovakia?“ Of course this country and its people have many beauties and unique qualities, but it seems we will need more time than we expected to heal from the heritage of autocracy. And I believe that we mutually help each other with international volunteers to realize and develop our qualities.

Andy

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Niektorí ľudia, ktorí ma poznajú a tiež vedia aká náročná môže niekedy byť práca so zahraničnými dobrovoľníkmi, by sa možno chceli opýtať prečo vlastne hosťujeme dobrovoľníkov. Čo nám vlastne prinášajú?

Mnoho vecí 🙂 Podobne ako pri iných osobách, dobrovoľníci EDS nám môžu priniesť rôzne skúsenosti. Som teraz piaty rok na pozícii koordinátora EDS a v tomto článku sa zameriavam na ich špecifické prínosy pre našu prácu alebo pre našu komunitu, ale aj na osobný prínos práce s mladými cudzincami pre mňa.

Interkultúrny prínos

Je skutočne pravdou, že iné národy a kultúry majú odlišné vnímanie mnohých vecí. Obvykle je to tak, že z čím ďalej ste, tým ste čudnejší 🙂 Toto je, podľa môjho názoru, veľmi stimulujúce pre našu komunitu a spoločnosť, ktorá nie je skutočne multikultúrna. Zároveň nám to pomáha bojovať s našimi predsudkami (alebo si ich aspoň uvedomiť): vidíme, že akokoľvek odlišní títo ľudia (a ich kultúry) sú, stále sú to ľudia ako my. Prinajmenšom pre tých, ktorí to vidieť chcú.

Svieže nápady a nové pohľady

Títo mladí ľudia, ktorí sa sem prišli niečo naučiť, sa mnohokrát stávajú našimi učiteľmi. Nemyslím pritom tých, ktorí si o sebe myslia, že vedia všetko a dokážu čokoľvek (takých tu už máme dosť). Mám na mysli dobrovoľníkov, ktorí prinášajú svoje originálne prístupy, nápady, skúsenosti a nefalšovanú kreativitu, ale aj skromnosť a ochotu načúvať a učiť sa. Toto všetko môže súvisieť s ich kultúrou, alebo len s ich jedinečnou osobnosťou. Rastieme spolu s nimi.

Rozšírenie kapacít

Prijímaním medzinárodných dobrovoľníkov zvyšujeme svoju kapacitu robiť niečo pozitívne pre našu komunitu. Podobne ako v iných komunitách, aj v tej našej sa často uprednostňuje sťažovanie sa pred prijatím aktívnych krokov ku zmene. Bez ohľadu na výsledky, dobrovoľníci EDS zmenu sami prinášajú. (Samozrejme, my sme tu na to, aby sme ju pomohli urobiť pozitívnou, alebo sa o to aspoň pokúsiť…)

Zvýšenie účinnosti vzdelávania cieľových skupín

Prísť na cudzie miesto len kvôli urobeniu niečoho užitočného, získaniu skúseností a naučeniu sa marginálneho jazyka, znie nelogicky pre mnohých z nás, ktorí sme žili v krajine, kde dobrovoľníctvo bývalo povinné. Máme tendenciu prehliadať skutočné prínosy dobrovoľníckej práce pre dobrovoľníka, ale aj pre ľudí s takto pokriveným uvažovaním.

Zlepšenie jazykového vybavenia

„Učiť sa cudzie jazyky je zbytočné. Keď prídete na Slovensko, aj tak vám nikto nebude rozumieť“ – toto zvykol byť môj obľúbený vtip pre cudzincov. Verím, že hostením dobrovoľníkov EDS zvyšujeme nielen ich, ale aj našu jazykovú vybavenosť a teda aj komunikačné schopnosti.

Zvyšovanie sebaúcty a integrácia

Malé národy, ktorým vždy vládol niekto iný, môžu mať naozaj nízku národnú hrdosť alebo sebaúctu. Toto je ešte znásobené postkomunistickou minulosťou. Podľa môjho názoru je to jedným z hlavných dôvodov, prečo sa tu takmer každý pýta dobrovoľníkov EDS: „Prečo ste prišli na Slovensko?“ Táto krajina a jej ľudia samozrejme majú mnoho krás a jedinečných kvalít, ale zdá sa, že budeme potrebovať viac času než sme očakávali na vyliečenie sa z dedičstva autokracie. A verím, že si s medzinárodnými dobrovoľníkmi vzájomne pomáhame uvedomovať si a rozvíjať svoje kvality.

Andy

Farewell party with Manu and Vessy

Farewell party with Manu and Vessy

Good ideas from Slovakia // Zaujímavé nápady zo Slovenska

The months have passed, my project is about to end, so came my time for packing the luggage to travel back home. And to take some souvenirs, of course :)) It is really hard to chose, what to take – there are so many things I got for the almost 10 months here, but since my bag capacity is limited I should chose and take just the best things. And I have decided – beside the Horalky, Kofola and Hruškovica there is something more, which I really want to take – the good ideas from Slovakia, or things I really liked here and want to bring them home (and hope to start working there too :))

So here are the best of them:

  • School canteens – as far as I got informed, every school student can be enrolled to have lunch (consisting of soup, meal and something to drink – water or juice) in one of the canteens. I think it is a very good idea and really prevents the youngsters to get overweight consuming fast food all the time. Unfortunately in Bulgaria, despite of all the projects and efforts about it, we still don’t have this practice (or at least not in many places), but I think it would be good to take this idea and try to implement it still (well, maybe soup and meal would be too much for us, but just one of them would be a perfect replacement of the hamburger)
  • School competitions, subject olympiads and scientific conferences for students – since my hosting organization for my voluntary service was center organizing such kind of events, I got the opportunity to get to know more about these activities. Well, if I have to be accurate we also have some sport competitions and school olympiads in Bulgaria, and as a student I have participated in many of them (but usually they are organized just in some schools, they don’t take place very often and not for all subjects…). Here in Slovakia these activities are organized by organizations, which are not schools (which I find it a good idea – firstly, these organizations have the capacity to invite teachers from different schools to evaluate the work of the students and secondly, that looks more fair to me). Also once I had the great chance to see a scientific conference for high school students (Stredoškolská odborná činnosť). And it was really amazing – on the conference participated students from different schools and professional gymnasiums, each of them had prepared and presented an own project in one of the many topics (mathematics and physics; pedagogy, psychology and sociology; economics; history, philosophy and law sciences; informatics; building and architecture; health and pharmacology and many more). I even saw some of the presentations and they were so professional, so I was really fascinated by these young high-school students…
  • Divadlo z Pasáže  or as we call it “Special theatre” – it is a theatre where work people with mental disabilities (and I have seen some of their shows – they are really good). I think it is a really great idea – it is unique opportunity for these people to do something good for them and good for the society, but also a way to solve really many problems, in my opinion…
  • Nice eco-/ eco- and art- communities situated in small villages – here in Slovakia i got to know about several organizations, situated in different small villages, working to promote ecological style of living, but also some of them make very nice art. Here are just some examples, about which I got to know, but for sure there are more: PERIFÉRNE CENTRÁ, situated in Dúbravica, Zaježka in Zaježova, Alter-Nativa organization in Brdárka, Prencov 60 Theater in Prencov and many more. I think it is very brave but really great idea to create and run such organization in so small communities. I wish in Bulgaria we also have them (or maybe we have them, but I am just not aware about them – so thanks to Slovakia I know that they could exist and try to search them ;))
  • Cool campaigns – I got to know two very nice campaigns, run here, which I really like and for sure would like to “bring back home” (maybe there are much more, but I didn’t get to know about them). The first of them targets the parents and tries to make them more aware about the fact how important is to spend time with their children: Viac mesta pre detiviac mestoThe second one is also very good idea – it tries to encourage people to buy local products: “Vyrobené na Slovensku” -> and the Slogan of this campaign says that if every Slovak spends just 1 Euro per day to buy products, made in Slovakia, that would assure a work for 100 000 people a year (Amazing, isn’t it? That make to want bringing this idea to Bulgaria even more – we all constantly complain that we don’t have work and every factory is closed, but we all go for the cheap Turkish and Chinese goods…)
  • Transport (don’t get me wrong – in Bulgaria we also have transport and I actually like it, but not in a way they have it here). For example
    • The local transport – I was amazed how punctual the local transport is here – when people go to the bus stop, they can see at what time comes the bus. And if it is written that bus number 4 comes at 14:07, it really comes at 14:07 – not at 14:06 or 14:08 (even though on every bus stop the driver has to wait all the people to get on board and to buy tickets before the bus leaves)
    • Cestovné poriadky super amazing web-site where you can check how to get from town A to village B with all the possible variations of bus/ train/ bus and train connections (also have new addition – air planes). I find that amazing, because everybody can easily check and plan his/ her trip just with several clicks (for people, who don’t know Slovak there is also English and German version).
  • Neighbourhood communities – when I came first here, I got to know about the procedure of keeping the living block clean – every neighbour has to clean every two weeks the floor and the stairs in front of their apartment, in the winter there is also snow service – every week there is a different family from the block, which is on duty to clean the snow in front of the building (well, in my country we usually have another practise – people from the block hire somebody to clean – maybe in this case is better to give employment to somebody, even for very small salary). But later during my stay in Slovakia I got to know that the local community spirit is really stronger than I thought – the different neighbours in the city have some local organization (for example the neighbour I live in Banska Bystrica – I got to know about their blog/ site from an advert, which was on the entrance door of the house, announcing an upcoming flea market in the neighbourhood, organized by and for the people living here). But after that I got to know that they organize many more things. The same applies also for a neighbourhood in Zvolen, who has organized a very nice sport- and children-games activity two weeks ago and even one EVS volunteer participated there.
  • Funny expressions – well, I have to be honest that unfortunately I didn’t do my best to enrich my Slovak language vocabulary as much as it was possible. But anyway, I got to know some expressions, which I really like and would like to bring home (and even at some point they could be even understood by my Bulgarian friends) – for example “Mám rád/a” (I can’t explain why, but I really like this expression), “Ježiš” (in the beginning I was really wondering why every time when something goes wrong the Slovak people call the hedgehog – in my language Ježko is the fairytale name for the hedgehog, but just some months later I learned the truth :P) and of course my favourite “Moje nervy” (which will always remind me of some really great people I met here :))

Well, I guess my bag pack is quite full already and I should slowly go to the end (another nice expression, which I “met” for the first time here 🙂

So, thank you very much, Slovakia, for being such a nice host for me! I promise to visit you someday again with a bag full of good things from Bulgaria.

With a lot of smiles,
Vesselina

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Desať mesiacov ubehlo ako voda a moja dobrovoľnícka služba sa chýli ku koncu. Je čas zbaliť si kufre a vrátiť sa domov. Pri balení však nemožno zabudnúť na suveníry :)). Počas pobytu na Slovensku som dostala mnoho darčekov, preto je ťažké sa rozhodnúť, čo si vziať so sebou. Keďže kufor má len určitý objem, mala by som si vybrať len tie najlepšie. Rozhodla som sa, že si chcem domov zobrať okrem horaliek, Kofoly a hruškovice ešte niečo – zaujímavé slovenské nápady, ktoré sa mi veľmi zapáčili (pričom dúfam, že sa v Bulharsku rozbehnú rovnako dobre ako tu :).)

Medzi tie najlepšie patria:

  • školské jedálne – každý žiak či študent na Slovensku má možnosť chodiť na obedy do školskej jedálne (obed zahŕňa polievku, druhé jedlo a nápoj – vodu alebo džús). Podľa mňa je to veľmi šikovné riešenie. Mladí ľudia sa tak môžu vyhnúť nadváhe, ktorou často trpia kvôli stravovaniu sa vo fast foodoch. Napriek všetkým snahám a projektom v tejto oblasti sa v Bulharsku ani naďalej mladým neposkytuje zdravá strava (ak aj áno, tak len na niektorých miestach). No aj tak si myslím, že by sme tento nápad mali zrealizovať aj u nás (možno by sme nezjedli polievku aj druhé naraz, no aj jeden z chodov by bol prospešnou náhradou za nezdravý hamburger).
  • školské súťaže, predmetové olympiády a vedecké konferencie pre študentov – o týchto aktivitách som sa dozvedela vďaka tomu, že organizácia, v ktorej prebiehala moja dobrovoľnícka služba, sama organizuje podobné podujatia. Aby som uviedla veci na správnu mieru, aj v Bulharsku máme športové súťaže a školské olympiády a ako študentka som sa aj mnohých zúčastnila (prebiehajú však len na niektorých školách a len vo vybraných predmetoch…). Na Slovensku tieto aktivity uskutočňujú iné inštitúcie ako školy (čo pokladám za veľmi dobrú myšlienku z niekoľkých dôvodov – po prvé, pre zhodnotenie práce študentov pozývajú inštitúcie učiteľov z viacerých škôl, po druhé, takto je to férovejšie). Raz som sa dokonca dostala na vedeckú konferenciu pre stredné školy (Stredoškolská odborná činnosť). Účastníkmi boli študenti z rôznych škôl a gymnázií. Ich úlohou bolo predstaviť projekt, ktorý sami vypracovali na jednu zo stanovených tém (matematika a fyzika, pedagogika, psychológia a sociológia, ekonomika, história, filozofia a právo, informatika, stavebníctvo a architektúra, zdravie a farmakológia atď.). Niektoré prezentácie boli na veľmi vysokej úrovni, čím na mňa slovenskí stredoškoláci poriadne zapôsobili…
  • Divadlo z Pasáže, alebo ako ho voláme my – „Špeciálne divadlo“, je divadlo, v ktorom účinkujú ľudia s mentálnym postihnutím (videla som niekoľko ich predstavení a sú skutočne dobrí). Táto myšlienka je podľa mňa úžasná. Pre účinkujúcich predstavuje jedinečnú príležitosť urobiť niečo dobré pre seba i pre spoločnosť a zároveň je to spôsob, ako vyriešiť mnoho problémov…
  • eko a umelecké komunity v malých dedinách – zistila som, že na Slovensku funguje niekoľko organizácií sídliacich v rôznych malých dedinách, v ktorých sa presadzuje ekologický životný štýl alebo sa vytvárajú krásne umelecké výtvory. Patria medzi ne napr.: Periférne centrá v Dúbravici, Zaježka v Zaježove, združenie Alter Nativa v Brdárke, Prencov 60 Theater v Prenčove a mnoho ďalších. Myslím, že vytváranie a riadenie organizácií tohto typu v takých malých komunitách je veľmi odvážna, no zároveň obdivuhodná myšlienka. Kiežby sme v Bulharsku tiež také mali! (A možno aj máme, len ich zatiaľ nepoznám. No vďaka Slovensku viem, že existujú a že je možné ich vyhľadať ;).)
  • skvelé kampane – na Slovensku prebiehajú dve kampane, ktoré by som určite chcela „priniesť domov“ (možno ich je oveľa viac, len som sa o nich nedozvedela). Prvá z nich s názvom Viac miesta pre deti je zameraná na rodičov. Pomáha im uvedomiť si, aké dôležité je tráviť čas so svojimi deťmi. Druhá s názvom Vyrobené na Slovensku povzbudzuje ľudí k tomu, aby si kupovali domáce výrobky. Motto kampane naznačuje, že ak by každý Slovák minul 1 euro denne na domáci produkt, zabezpečila by sa tým práca pre 100 000 ľudí na rok (Nie je to úžasné? To ma ešte viac pohýna k tomu, aby sa táto myšlienka zaviedla aj v Bulharsku – ustavične sa sťažujeme na nedostatok práce a zatvorené továrne, no zároveň všetci nakupujeme lacné výrobky z Turecka a Číny…)
  • doprava (nechápte ma zle, aj v Bulharsku máme dopravu a v podstate sa mi páči, no funguje iným spôsobom ako tu), napríklad:
    • miestna doprava – na Slovensku ma milo prekvapila dochvíľnosť šoférov. Ľudia si na zastávke môžu pozrieť odchody autobusov. Ak je napísané, že má štvorka prísť 14:07, tak príde 14:07. Ani o minútu skôr, ani o minútu neskôr (a to napriek tomu, že šofér musí na každej zastávke počkať, kým všetci ľudia nastúpia a zakúpia si cestovný lístok ešte predtým, ako sa autobus pohne).
    • cestovné poriadky – super webová stránka, kde si môžete zistiť všetky možné spojenia z mesta A do dediny B – linky pre autobusy, vlaky alebo oboje (najnovšie už aj lety). Stačí len zopár kliknutí a každý si môže naplánovať alebo skontrolovať svoju cestu (pre tých, ktorí nehovoria po slovensky, stránka ponúka aj anglickú a nemeckú verziu).
  • susedské spolužitie – keď som prvýkrát prišla na Slovensko, dozvedela som sa, že tu má každá rodina v bytovke na starosti upratovanie – raz za dva týždne musí umyť dlážku a schody pred svojím bytom. V zime sa k tomu pridáva aj odpratávanie snehu spred bytovky – pričom sa rodiny striedajú každý týždeň (v Bulharsku máme iný systém – obyvatelia bytovky si na tieto služby nájdu a zaplatia človeka. V tomto prípade sa mi zdá lepšie niekoho zamestnať, aj keď len za malý plat). Neskôr som si všimla, že miestny duch susedstva je oveľa silnejší, ako som si myslela. Jednotlivé mestské časti si vytvárajú vlastné miestne organizácie (napríklad štvrť v Banskej Bystrici, v ktorej žijem – o ich blogu resp. webovej stránke som sa dozvedela z oznamu visiacom na vchodových dverách, ktorý upozorňoval na nadchádzajúci blší trh v danej časti mesta. Pripravovali ho miestni pre miestnych. Po čase som zistila, že organizujú ešte mnoho ďalších aktivít. To isté platí o Zvolene. Pred dvoma týždňami tam miestna komunita zorganizovala veľmi milé športové podujatie s hrami pre deti, na ktorom sa dokonca zúčastnil aj jeden dobrovoľník EDS.
  • vtipné výrazy – úprimne musím uznať, že som neurobila maximum preto, aby som sa naučila po slovensky čo najviac. Napriek tomu som sa naučila niekoľko výrazov, ktoré som si veľmi obľúbila a chcem si ich odniesť so sebou domov (do určitej miery im možno budú rozumieť aj moji kamaráti v Bulharsku). Napríklad „mám rád/a“ (neviem vám vysvetliť prečo, ale tento výraz sa mi naozaj páči), ďalej „Ježiš!“ (Najprv mi prišlo divné, že vždy keď sa ľuďom na Slovensku niečo nepodarí, spomenú ježka. Až po niekoľkých mesiacoch som zistila, čo to v skutočnosti znamená.) a samozrejme obľúbené „Moje nervy!“ (ktoré mi vždy pripomenie niektorých úžasných ľudí, ktorých som tu stretla :).)

Myslím, že môj kufor je už dosť plný a mala by som pomaly končiť (ďalšie milé slovné spojenie, s ktorým som sa tu stretla po prvýkrát :).

Tak ti, milé Slovensko, ďakujem za hrejivé prijatie! Sľubujem, že sa raz vrátim s kufrom plným zaujímavých nápadov z Bulharska.

S pozdravom,

Vesselina

Preklad: Jana Jašková, Stanislava Dengová

Photo exhibition: an EVS story

Today I would like to share with you some pictures collected by Nicole and Jose, two EVS volunteers in Poland. Their idea was to ask current or former EVS volunteers to send them a picture from their EVS experience and a short description of what the picture is about. Their aim is spreading knowledge about the European Voluntary Service.

Here’s the link to the Facebook group to have more information

Here’s the link to see the pictures

Enjoy the pictures 🙂

Emanuela

One week as EVS volunteer in CVČ-JUNIOR

If I think that we’ve been in Slovakia for 7 months now, I almost don’t believe it… Time flies! In just 3 months, in the end of July, our project will be over 😦 and in the beginning of October new volunteers will come.

This is just the period when Andy, our coordinator, starts looking  for the new volunteers, that’s why in this post I’ll describe my typical week as EVS volunteer in CVČ-JUNIOR, so that wanna-be volunteers can have a more precise idea of what they would do here in case they were selected.

Source: ddce.utexas.edu

Source: ddce.utexas.edu

First of all, I would like to make it clear that this is just my typical week here, and it doesn’t mean that all the volunteers do the same thing. For example, Vessy does many things that I don’t do and viceversa. Actually, one of the best things about EVS volunteering is that you can choose the activities that are most interesting for you. So, I’ll now speak about what I did in the week from April 8 to April 12.

Monday, April 8

At 9 am I arrive at the office and, after checking my email and the news, I start preparing a post for this blog. At the beginning of the project, we created this blog and since I quite like writing posts, I was given the task to maintain it, so I try to write at least one post per week and I normally start writing or thinking about it on Monday morning. At about 10.30 am Andy comes to our office and we have our weekly meeting, during which we speak about what we did the previous week and plan the activities of the current week. At noon, we go to the canteen for lunch. The canteen is in the same building of the office and I can say that food is quite good 🙂 Everyday there are 5 different options (at least one of them is vegetarian), but you need to choose which one you want one day earlier by stamping the lunch ticket. In the afternoon, I work a bit on the preparation of our first movie night on LGBTI which will take place on May 17. For example, this activity was totally my choice. I wanted to do it as I’m interested in the topic and I love cinema. At 2 pm I leave the office.

Tuesday, April 9

Like every Tuesday, at 8 am I attend my Slovak formal class, which is for me always a great pleasure, as every week I learn many interesting things not only about the Slovak language, but also about the Slovak culture and history thanks to my fantastic teacher. Learning the language of your hosting country is always part of EVS, and in my opinion it’s really a great opportunity. At 10.30 am I arrive at the office and help Vessy who has already started preparing the activities for our weekly Wednesday session with the actors of Divadlo z Pasáže. EVS volunteers hosted by CVČ-JUNIOR have been doing this activity for some years. It’s one of our regular activities and in my opinion it’s really rewarding, it boosts your creativity and makes you feel useful. At noon I go to lunch and in the afternoon I work a bit on the movie night preparation. I leave the office at 2 pm.

Wedneday, April 10

Normally on Wednesday morning I go to a local school where I have French conversation classes with students, but this Wednesday is not going to be a traditional Wednesday as there is a special event organised by CVČ-JUNIOR where we are going to help out: the Geography Olympics, a competition among students. So at 8 am Vessy and I go to the building where the olympics will take place and we prepare the premises. My task is to put numbers on every table in a set order, so that every participant knows exactly where his / her place is. After the Olympics, we go for lunch to the canteen and then from 1 pm to 3 pm we (Vessy, Andy and I) have our session with the actors of Divadlo z Pasáže. For this week, Vessy has prepared many games and also a nice song in Slovak: we sing it and Andy plays it on the guitar.

Thursday, April 11

At 8 am, as every Thursday morning, I hold French conversation classes. At 9 am I arrive at the office and, together with Vessy, we start preparing the activities for our weekly Thursday session with the children of a Special School, a group of about 15 children with special needs. This is another regular activity that EVS volunteers hosted by CVČ-JUNIOR have been doing for some years. At noon we quickly have lunch and then we (Vessy, Andy and I) rush not to miss the bus to go to the Special School. Our session is from 1 pm to 3 pm and today we have prepared a song. They are happy to sing it, but above all, all of them want to try playing the guitar, to Andy’s delight 🙂

Friday, April 12

At 9 am I arrive at the office and I check my email and the news. At 10 am I have Slovak informal class with Andy. As I said, with Andy we have informal classes: he doesn’t teach us grammar, but we rather do more practical things, tailored  to our specific needs and interests. At noon, I have lunch in the canteen. After lunch I work a bit on the movie night preparation and at 3 pm I leave the office and my weekend begins 🙂

So this was quite a typical week, except that during that specific week I didn’t manage to meet my mentor (every EVS volunteer has one mentor, who is a local person who helps the volunteer get integrated in the hosting country). I should also add that, apart from our regular activities, we often take part in irregular activities, such as presentations in school, sport competitions, school competitions, etc.

So good luck to future volunteers and if you need more information don’t hesitate to ask 🙂

Emanuela

Photo exhibition “My EVS life”

One of the best things about EVS is having the opportunity to fully express your creativity. An EVS project is not something fixed: it is quite flexible and it gives volunteers the opportunity to adapt the activities to their skills, desires and the favourite topics.

With this spirit, an EVS volunteer in Belarus decided to organise a pictures exhibition whose title is “My EVS life“. The aim of the exhibition is to raise awareness among people in Belarus on volunteering in general and the EVS program in particular.

Since I really liked this idea, I also sent my picture.

Image

In the picture there is Peťo, one of the actors from the theatre company Divadlo z Pasáže, during one of our weekly activities.