Niestety, projekt „Volunteering matters” dobiega końca i żegnamy się ze wspaniałą ekipą, z którą mieliśmy okazję pracować przez ostatni rok. Przeczytajcie, jak pobyt we Wrocławiu wyglądał z perspektywy naszych wolontariuszy!
Living in Wroclaw for one year has been a very nice and rich experience. I had the opportunity to meet people from different countries and with really diverse personalities. Also, I’ve been living with some of them, what allowed me to get closer to them. I have made friends and I hope I could keep in touch with the most of them.
About working, I have learned to work under pressure, to deal with frustration, to improvise and to overcome problems. Sometimes, we had to organise and to plan an event in a short period of time, but we worked as a team a we learned from each other’s. It was nice, because after all, we were also like a family.
After this year, I can say that I gained in self-confidence and independence. I think that I got more flexible and tolerant as well.
In general, the city and the group offered me a way to learn more about myself and about other cultures and traditions. I improved myself, I discovered new passions and I could enjoy the people and the place.
I have been volunteer in Tratwa Association during one year, from March 2017 to March 2018. It was a great experience, living in Poland, a country completely different from mine. I had to adapt to the culture, I sometimes struggle with it, but with time I manage to feel at home, meet new people, create relation, and have a great time here.
Another difficulty was to live and work in an international team with so many different backgrounds and personalities. We had to deal with differences and learn about each other to really create a team. It was sometimes hard, sometimes super, but we really succeed to always have good relation between each other and construct real friendships and trust between majority of us.
Our projects, going to school and meeting children, participating in events, teaching activities with seniors, was a good opportunity to be in contact with the community and to feel the real atmosphere of Poland.
Besides the great human experience it was also a great working experience which helped me develop my skills, especially in organisation, in communication and team working.
As a summarize, this adventure, the people I met for the organisation, the other volunteers, the volunteers from trainings, and the community during the project or my travels… everything is a unique experience, that I feel so glad, and grateful to have had the opportunity to make it!
I did an EVS in Tratwa Association during one year from 10th of March 2017 until 10th of March 2018. This experience has been for me really great and interesting because I could improve my English, which was my first goal, but also I could discover a new country and a new culture and thanks to that I opened more my mind.
Wroclaw is amazing city where you can do a lot of cultural activities, you can meet also others volunteers and share your experience.
I could work in a multicultural team of 11 people from 6 different nationalities and working, living and going out with them permitted me to become closer with some of them and to discover new lifestyles. At the end we were all a big family who share nice moments and even if was not every day pink I’m leaving with my mind full of great memories.
This project in Poland was an opportunity to discover something new to grow up like a person and to do something good for the community.
I liked this project because it has many different activities and thanks to that I could try different experiences and I learnt how to move in different situations.
We were working in a cultural academic centre making events for families or young people. Then we were going to make animations in schools and we were trying to do our best during the few hours that we had with them to inspire them and to make a little difference.
We were also working with seniors to teach them foreign languages or to show them how to cook food from our country, these activities were really interesting for me for the relationship that I created with them.
At the end was really good and interesting to work in a team with people from different countries and how we tried to work all together.
My name is Ivan Maté Fresnillo and my experience with European Volunteering Service started one year ago, April 2017, when I decided to accept the project of Tratwa, in Wroclaw. In this moment of my life I didn’t expect to go out of my country, considering that I had new contract in the company I was working and I had almost everything in my city home. But since I was at the university I wanted to know how is living one year abroad, with people from different nationalities and this occasion I couldn’t miss.
Now, after one year here in Poland I don’t regret at all to quit my job. This experience is unique. I think I don’t have enough words to describe how I felt this year, how I discovered and improved myself in many aspects. From the beginning, I could see that this year was going to be different and I would learn a lot.
The first month wasn’t easy because everything was new, you received many information, and to that, personally I had to add my difficulties with my communication in English. But, at the end, step by step and thanks to the good people I was surrounded I could feel more integrated and live an incredible experience during whole year.
In the other hand, if we talk about the polish culture I can say that you can find, at the beginning, a little barrier. But, when you know more about them, how they live and how people are, you discover an amazing people and wonderful places around whole country. It was a nice surprise for me.
Just to finish, I would like to say that this experience let you think what you really want to your life and how you want to build it. I totally recommend for everyone.
How it’s possible to describe and write down such an intensive and complex year of volunteering? Difficult, however, it’s interesting to remember and keep this memories not only in our minds but also by writing them.
There was an enthusiastic beginning, with new place, new people, new environment. For sure that was the time of discovering this new circumstances of living, lovely period of new things around us. Learning all this new things, as was making new friends, adapting to the culture, workspace, etc., was the most beautiful and sweet moment.
In some time, already knowing the things which were surrounding us, the next stage came, was to learn the work that we supposed to do. By the way, each of us was discovering new abilities and qualities that didn’t have before. Working with kids, seniors, learning languages, traveling, making events, making friends, developing our personalities, growing as a professionals, and many other non-formal ways of LEARNING (that’s the key word) the life.
„Learning of the life”, that was my year of EVS resumed in one sentence.
I still remember the first day when I arrived in Poland, it’s been like yesterday, a road that I was starting without knowing exactly where is leading and how challenging it will be. So here I am, in an international group, different cultures, all in a different country. I start to feel like in a family very soon and that’s what made me feel that my place is here and I’m doing the right thing. The whole project was quite an adventure from where I came back being more confident, trusting myself more, in a word: evolution, I felt that I was able to discover myself, to get free and all of that through the people that was surrounding me, by the work that we were doing together among with all the volunteering, which was giving us the energy, the power to move on. We were impressed by the impact that we are making. It was a dream, a dream that I was wishing not to end but I’m not a selfish person, I received all the weapon’s to enter in the war zone, now it’s time for another dream. Good night.
I have to say, I’m ashamed but before I came to Poland I didn’t know nothing about EVS… Even though I was quite an active member of my society, it was a complete accident that I’ve found the ad of call for EVS. Anyway I’m kind of person that always put his name down when any new opportunity comes. Just to get the information. I mean… Who knows?
So this is how my journey started. Basically in two weeks from filling the form I’ve left my two jobs and a project back in Lithuania and found myself in a new city called Wroclaw. I remember myself very clearly that day. I was afraid of nothing and prepared for everything. Though I had no clear idea what is going to happen there and what I’m going to do. Paint walls probably…?
The first day was really nice. Kuba greeted me on the airport. He was ON TIME. I didn’t have to wait a minute. The van was as I imagined: old, loud and cool. I love cars where you feel like in the roller-coaster. So he drove me to my first flat at Galeria Dominikanska. Wow… The flat was so new and modern. I was expecting to have some small bed in a crappy room, but here was everything fresh and bright. Well not that I cared so much…
The first two volunteers that greeted me that day in the apartment was one of the weirdest people I have ever seen. Both Italian. Quite silent. Actually not so different, but for me looked like we came from two different worlds. I’ve tried to speak with them later that night. But even if we spoke the same language I didn’t understand nothing… Anyway. I was so hungry after the travel, but everyone decided to go for a party. So I went. I will not lie it was really fun, I met a lot of people and danced all night. Of course in the morning ran to the shop to buy some food. And don’t think that I’m complaining. It was the stupidity of me not to ask if we have some shared food. Which actually we had.
So my rumbling stomach brought me the first time to the shopping mall “Galeria Dominikanska”. The grocery shop was still closed, therefore I decided to climb up to the top of the parking to see the city. Well the view from there is not the best you can find in Wroclaw. But I remember myself so happy that morning standing in the wind and looking to the tops of the buildings.
Later on I met the rest of the volunteers. The two Italians that I met in the apartment started to look not so weird anymore. Some of them were so quiet, the others so loud. All the hugging and kissing really didn’t make me feel comfortable, but I tried my best to fit in. We had an international dinner that day.
Next two weeks we spent getting to know the city and each other. Wroclaw is a city that has a lot to offer. From beautiful architecture to some crazy pubs, I didn’t expect it to be so nice. A super tall Polish trawler named Jan was our guide during this time. I’ve listened to his stories and found myself so fascinated and inspired to open my eyes wider to the world. And maybe because of that, with him we had a lot of crazy adventures during the year.
I think I could write a book about that and all the other things that happened this year. And maybe I will. But now I’ll try not to expand too much. So yes. After around a month of integration we started our work in Zajezdnia Dabie or shorter you can say “Czasoprzestrzeń”. So I was right we painted the walls. And did so much more, of course. The place was huge, wet and cold. And I liked it very much. The idea was to make a cultural centre from this old tram depot. We spent our next two months there. Working hard, but having fun at the same time. And the people, who were strangers in the beginning started to become friends.
Summer was the peak of the EVS. So many travels, so many festivals and so many new experiences. Well I have to say my summer this year started a bit early with the beginning of May on a hitchhiking trip to Dubrovnik. I cannot speak shortly about it, therefore I’ll just say that it was the best trip in my life. What I remember the best from the summer is the SLOT ART festival. This is the part where I will tell you that sometimes in your EVS you’ll make a research how many years you would get for a murder. Just killing. I mean kidding.
Ok. Moving on. Then the summer finished and we started our new journey with “Jazda z Pomyslami”. In my opinion this project is one of the best initiatives of “TRATWA” and makes a big difference for the young minds. I wish them to continue with it as long as they can and grow together.
So the year went so fast. I would like to tell you so much more about the work we have done and the adventures we had… But you will find that on your way. However do you remember the two Italians that greet me the first day? Well, they are one of my best friends now. And all my EVS team is like a second family. These people teach me so many things during this year and I really feel that not only my eyes but also my hearth opened up. As my time here is done now and the destiny determined that I’ll spend exactly one year here, there is one more thing I need to do… I started my project on the rooftop of “Galeria Dominikanska” I will finished it there, looking at the same buildings just thru different eyes.
Don’t worry, Marta, I will not jump 😀
The one year long EVS programme has been, at the same time, the hardest, and the best decision I have ever made. My colleagues proved to be wonderful people and I can call them some of the best friends I ever had in my life – interesting, kind, fun, crazy at times, but always dependable. Sometimes it was difficult to get along, especially living together, however we always came out in the end more respectful and loving towards each other.
I believe the impact we all had through our projects was immense. All the festivals we took part in, the workshops and animations we held, and the classes we taught – all of these were important for the people who were there, learning new things, breaking stereotypes, understanding new cultures or new ways of expressing yourself. I think all the volunteers, myself included, managed to change mentalities of Polish people, even if by a little, or at least provide some joy to them.
Last but not least was the city of Wrocław, a fantastic place to live in. There is always something to do, someplace to visit, no matter if you are interested in history and culture, having a good meal, going to parties, taking part in events and festivals – you can find anything there. I think it is one of the most diverse cities in Poland, and it has enough surprises for everybody.
Fun, work, friendship, new experiences and challenges – this was the EVS life for me, where I did an amazing job together with everybody else.
I really enjoy this project because was full of interesting activities: no worries, you will have no time to be bored! Visiting schools in Lower Silesia region with animation and education workshop has been a very enriching experience for me and I felt actively involved in the Polish society. What about the old tram depot? Messy and amazing. Maybe you will have some frustrations but for sure satisfaction. Just remember to dress proper clothes during the cold winter! I recommend to everyone to bring forward a personal project: TRATWA will help you by any means possible!