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Newsletter 2007-1

Message from PTPI Europe's President | PTPI Experiences | Coming Events | PTPI Updates |
Chapter Reports | Download as PDF | www.ptpi.org

Bicycles being delivered to the Roman Chapter from Bern

Message from PTPI Europe's President

I'm so excited about the fact that spring is approaching. For us up here in the Northern parts of Europe that is a time to travel over an extended weekend to interesting cities like Warsaw, Paris, Berlin, Budapest, London, Milano, etc. For us within PTPI it also means that we will soon get to see each other again in Interlaken, Switzerland for the European Conference. It is only 10 weeks to go! I can't imagine a more beautiful place to be in mid-May – please check out the PTPE Web site for pictures to be inspired. People are signing up in record numbers – congratulations to Ernest & Regina Wälti and the Organizing Committee.

PTPI in Europe has over the past year created more for youth than ever before. There are now 12 student chapters in Europe, and several interesting events for young members are planned for the months ahead. There are seminars, forums, camps and exchanges between chapters. Some have humanitarian aims, others to overcome racism, improve language and tolerance. In addition our first university chapter in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria continues to organize programs, which also promote young members. There are currently at least three new student and university chapters about to be formed. I welcome this development and encourage all members and chapters to continue supporting this promising trend.

In the past year we have increased the number of young members by 173 % - and there are currently 2.486 members in 90 chapters worldwide involved in Student and University Chapter activities! For us members who remember our fear a few years back for an organisation with an increasingly older membership as the years went by – all the efforts have given fruitful results! We now have a vital membership ranging from 1 to 100 years of age.

In the upcoming months there will be a European Youth Forum in Berlin Germany, an International Youth Summer Camp where East meets West at Lake Balaton in Hungary, "How to move forward" an International Youth Seminar in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, intercultural programs between Vaslui Romania and Oroslavje, Croatia – this is just to mention a few of the activities to come.

Bogdan Tamba, our Youth Coordinator on the European Executive Committee, will have served his full four years when we gather in Interlaken. We truly thank him for his great efforts. We are now looking for someone to fill his position. Is there someone you think would be a great addition to our board? Please send in your nominations to me or to the European Office.

For all of you Trustees out there. This year we will have two meetings in Europe! The first will take place in conjunction with the European Conference in May and the second in Berlin when they will host the annual Board of Trustees meeting. We hope you will take the opportunity to participate.

Hoping to see as many of you as possible in Interlaken, I remain,

Your humble friend,

Rolf G. Dahlberg, President PTPE

PTPI Experiences

WE CARE – Humanitarian Program in Romania

PTPI's Roman, Romania Chapter has started a Saturday school program for children with Down Syndrome and autism. Project leader and Chapter President Sorina Danciu, her husband Costel, the Roman chapter members, as well as support from different countries have made this project possible. This is Sorina's report.

PTPI's Roman, Romania Chapter has started the Education for All programs following the successful fundraising campaign "Caroling for special children" during Christmas time. The aim of the project was to set up a Saturday school for children with Down Syndrome and autism and to support parents and teachers to integrate them in mainstream schools. If funds are available, we intend to support a day care center for kindergarten children starting with September and carry on the Saturday school for those who attend school. This is the first project and initiative of this kind in our town and that is why it was enthusiastically received by parents and the local community. Up to now children with these disabilities were kept at home, isolated from children of their age and with no real support to attend school. We offer a quality education program, develop social skills by involving students from schools as volunteers and facilitate a physical education program at Roman Voda National College. Our partner Eurasia After-School Educational Center offers their facilities without charge. Due to the innovative character of the project we were invited to participate in a national research program, Intuitive Pedagogical Techniques, and have been offered a special multimedia alphabet.

The presence and involvement of our chapter's YGs is one of the innovations of our program. The kids have the chance to interact with other children and youth who really care about them and show them love and friendship.

For the first meeting, parents had to stay because the first time in a new environment is difficult, especially for children with autism. There are ten children registered so far. The attractive fairytale projected on the wall and the sports activity with the school children at the gym really conquered the hearts of the kids and they could hardly wait for the next Saturday. At the second meeting, there was no need for parents to stay with their children any more.

For the second meeting, we brought new games and toys and managed to set up the computers received from PTPI's Bern Chapter. Children participated in various activities, so as not to get bored. They also had 15 minutes computer work. They really enjoyed it! They didn't want to leave the computers until we announced that we were going to the Gym, as they really love going there. This time, they had a more structured program and they were eager to listen to the instructions. At the end they were rewarded with a volleyball game.

The project has received very good media attention; a two hour TV show dedicated to kindergarten children in town. There were discussions about our program, parents were encouraged to contact us and, hopefully, this raised the awareness of public opinion and educators about the necessity of integrating these children in mainstream schools. Thanks to this show we registered another three children. And we have been included in the National Research Program "Intuitive Didactic Strategies."

This program is a unique experience for us. It has been immediately and enthusiastically supported by PTPI's World Headquarters, our sister chapter Bern, which sent an impressive donation of computers and bikes, PTPI's Greater Los Angeles Chapter, John Paton and PTPI's Hannover Chapter, which organized a Romanian evening. From PTPI we feel a bridge of solidarity and friendship, a loud clear voice: WE CARE! We are really impressed with the warmth and support we receive. To tell the truth, I didn't expect it to be such a demanding program, but I am happy to see that the children are enthusiastic and can hardly wait to come again. You should see their parents' eyes! Since this is intended to be a long term project you are all invited to join. Just contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Typical Saturday Program:

8.30-9.00 Reception
9.00-9.30 Speech therapy
9.30-10:00 Play
10:00-10.15  Break for refreshments
10.15-10.40 Arts and crafts
10.40-11.00 IT and multimedia stimulation and intuitive learning
11.00-12.00 Sports including the way to the GYM

I would like to mention the local members of the team: Adriana Rusu, (psycho therapist), Irinel Severin (sports teacher), Angelica Tabacaru (teacher), YG members and Dr Constantin Danciu (physician and chapter member).

Public Relation Seminar in Greece

In December, Gunild Bogdahn participated in a seminar called Media Bezart organized by the Hellenic Association of Informatics in Nea Makri, near Athens in Greece. Together with 30 persons coming from 16 countries, our European PR officer worked on Public Relations and Communication themes.

The seminar was well prepared and very interesting. I was the only participant from Denmark, but most of the countries around the Mediterranean Sea were represented. The participants were all member of different clubs, many of them were part of European Voluntary Service (EVS) program.

The program of the seminar tackled: the preparation of an informative newsletter, the drafting of a leaflet, the promotion of events in the media, the best way to contact newspapers, radio and television and the creation of a Web site. The seminar was good and all the participants worked with enthusiasm. We worked in teams and we all got along well together despite our different ages – from 16 to 60.
But teamwork was not all. One guest speaker told us about the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for Dialog between Cultures, another guest was a dancing instructor, who taught us how to dance the famous Zorba dance and another guest was a journalist from a newspaper in Athens.

The best parts were the intercultural evenings. Every country representative had prepared a presentation, a power point show or a film, and had brought delicious food, drinks and sweets. It was also great that we had the chance to visit the Acropolis and the old city of Athens on Sunday. The weather was fine - 23 degrees in the sun, on December 10th 2006!

I came to learn about PR, but I also brought my PR experience from People to People. I had good contact with some of the participants. After returning home I am still in contact with people from Slovenia, Romania and Germany. I hope we will succeed in opening new chapters.
Within the PTPI European Board we discussed how to enhance contact from and to the chapters. We agreed that each board member will be contact person for a certain number of chapters. As soon as the preparations are done each chapter will be introduced to the contact person. We hope this initiative will bring the chapters and the board closer together.

I would like to encourage you all to make arrangements for joining us in Interlaken at the European Conference in May, 2007.

Gunild Bogdahn, PTPE PR Officer, Denmark

Coming Events

Date Program Contact
March 16 Theater play: "Jacques a dit" in Brussels, Belgium Blanche Decoster-Peycker
March 27
Theater play: "Lunes de miel", Brussels, Belgium. Proceeds support handicapped people.
Blanche Decoster-Peycker
March 26 Annual General Meeting of in Chester, England Peter Whitby
April 4 Visit to the toy museum, special family afternoon in Brussels, Belgium Blanche Decoster-Peycker
April 18-22 Intercultural Program for PTPI's Vaslui, Romania Student Chapter in Oroslavje and the region Marina Krsnik
April 22 Visit to the Museum of Urban Transport of Brussels, tour with the historical tram Blanche Decoster-Peycker
May 1-5
"How to move forward" international youth seminar against racism in Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Zina Lubenova
May 17-20 PTPI European Conference PTPI European Office
July 3 Annual recital of music exchange program in Chester, England Peter Whitby
July 30 - Aug. 5 PTPI European Youth Forum, 'All Different, All Equal', An Approach to Tolerance PTPI European Office
Spetember 27-29 PTPI Board of Trustees Meeting in Berlin PTPI European Office
November 7-11 PTPI Global Youth Forum, Chicago PTPI World Headquarters
December 6-16 PTPI Peace Campl, Egypt PTPI World Headquarters
December 7-18 PTPI Global Peace Initiative, Egypt PTPI World Headquarters

PTPI European Conference – Interlaken May 17-20

PTPI's European Conference will be held in Interlaken, Switzerland. Invitations have been sent out to all chapters and members via e-mail. The conference is the best way to meet with chapters and members from all over Europe. We also expect guests from overseas.

European Conference 2007
Date May 17-20
Place Interlaken, Switzerland
Registration Deadline April 15 (March 22)
Registration fee 230 CHF (210 CHF)
Conference Web site www.ptpe.org/interlaken2007
Conference Grants Available (deadline March 15)

Chapters are encouraged to host the 2008 European Conference. If you would like to be considered, please contact the PTPI European office and prepare to make a short presentation of the city at the conference. The conference is usually held in May each year.

PTPE Annual Meeting

On Saturday the PTPE council meeting will be held. All conference delegates are welcome to participate. This year the chapter presentations will be in form of a fair. Each chapter will have space and table to display its chapter, city and programs. Detailed instructions will be sent out to all participants in March/April.

Each chapter has one vote (maximum three votes per country). The annual report of PTPE will be sent out before the conference to all chapters and made available on the conference Web site.

During the meeting two positions of the five people European Executive Committee are up for election. Treasurer: Cornelia Siegenthaler has served two years and offers to serve another two years. Youth coordinator: Bogdan Tamba has served a maximum of four years and cannot be re-elected. Nominations for the EEC can be sent to Rolf Dahlberg or the PTPI European Office. Nominations can also be made at the conference.

Office Officer  Residence/Chapter First elected
President Rolf Dahlberg Stockholm, Sweden 2006
Secretary Chiara Pedretti Milano, Italy 2004
Treasurer Cornelia Siegenthaler Bern, Switzerland 2005
PR Officer Gunild Bogdahn Denmark 2006
Youth coordinator Bogdan Tamba Iasi, Romania 2003

Thanks to the Interlaken Organising Committee the days in May will be filled with interesting programs for all participants. We are sure you will not be disappointed.

European Conference – Preliminary Program

Thursday May 17 Optional YG Day
Sight seeing options in:
♦ Bönigen
♦ Ringgenberg/Goldswil
♦ Giessbach (by boat)
♦ YG Dinner
Friday May 18 Arrival day
♦ Arrival registrations
♦ Interlaken sight seeing
♦ Board of Trustees Meeting
♦ Welcome Aperitif, Dinner and entertainment
Saturday May 19 Council meeting and Chapter Fair
♦ Conference Sessions
♦ Lunch
♦ Speaker
♦ Chapter fair
♦ Aperitif, Dinner and Ball
Sunday May 20 Excursion day
Famous places in the Bernese Alps:
♦ Lauterbrunnen, Mürren (1645 m)
♦ Lunch
♦ Trümmelbachfälle (waterfalls inside a mountain)


PTPI's European Youth Forum: July 30 – August 5

We have the pleasure to invite young people between 15 and 17 years old to the first European Youth Forum of PTPI! The theme of the European Youth Forum is "All Different - All Equal" - An Approach to Tolerance. It will take place in Berlin and the Educational Center Kurt Löwenstein, located at about 30 kilometers from Berlin, from July 30 to August 5, 2007.

Join us for this international adventure!

Aim

The aim of PTPI's European Youth Forum is to provide an intercultural learning experience for participants by enabling them to interact with peers from 17 different European countries. Participants will take part in interactive exercises and workshops on topics such as intercultural sensitivity, human rights related to tolerance and antidiscrimination, project management and project development. During the forum, participants will have the opportunity to develop projects that foster tolerance and help to overcome stereotypes, discrimination and racism, in the spirit of the All Different All Equal campaign of the Council of Europe. Participants will be encouraged to use the skills obtained at the forum to carry out own projects in their schools and communities.

Target Group

Invited are young people between 15 and 17 years old with good English skills from the following countries: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. The event is sponsored by People to People International and the Council of Europe. Due to limited funds, we can only invite 34 people. For this reason, we were not able to include all European countries where we have PTPI chapters. We apologize to all members in the countries not listed.

Costs

The participation fee of 50 Euros for Central and Eastern Europeans and 70 Euros for Western Europeans covers accommodations, board and all activities during the forum. Reimbursement of the actual travel costs can be given up to 70% upon presentation of the original tickets.
Program Highlights

  • Workshops to increase intercultural sensitivity and to reflect on causes for stereotypes, discrimination and racism
  • Culture Fair
  • World Café "All different, all similar"
  • Visit to the Jewish Museum in Berlin and theater workshop "emigration"
  • City Walk to discover Berlin
  • Workshops on human rights related to tolerance
  • Presentation of the "All Different – All Equal" Campaign of the Council of Europe
  • Workshop on project management and project development

Application

Please visit the conference Web site for more information and to download the application form: www.ptpe.org/eyf2007. Deadline for application is April 2, 2007.

Photographic Competition "Art against Racism" – May 25

WHO: Amateurs or professional photographers interested in the themes of the competition, 18-30 years old
WHAT: Traditional negatives of photographs or digital images are accepted.
WHEN: Photos should be submitted no later than May 25, 2007.

PTPI's Plovdiv, Bulgaria Chapter invites young people, ages 18-30, to interpret the theme of the project "Art against Racism" in three photographs. The main aim of this project is to encourage young people to participate in building peaceful societies based on diversity and inclusion, in a spirit of respect, tolerance, and mutual understanding. All contributions should be clearly related to at least one of the following issues:

  • Equality
  • Dignity and Justice
  • Democracy and Tolerance
  • Existing forms of oppression and discrimination
  • Cultural diversity
  • Racial Equity and Inclusion
  • Violence and aggression
  • Mobility and migration in Europe

The contest is open to young photographers, either amateur or professional, born between January 1, 1977 and July 3, 1989. The submitted photographs should represent an original and innovative approach to the topical issues. A brief caption explaining every photo should be turned in as well. Detailed instructions about how to participate in this competition are available at www.ptpi-bg.tripod.com/photographiccompetitionartagainstracism/id3.html. Deadline for submission is May 25.

The jury of the competition is composed of five leading representatives of the media and the photographic sector (journalists, photographers and photo editors).The jury will evaluate the photographs and will select the best contributions from each participating country.

The 17 best photographs will be displayed in exhibitions in Plovdiv, Berlin, Warsaw and Budapest. An "Art against Racism" catalogue will be published to accompany the exhibitions in Bulgaria and abroad. The catalogue will present the 17 best artworks as well as all other contributions to the competition, which meet the project theme requirements.

English Language Summer Camp "East Meets West" – July 29 – August 7

PTPI's Pécs, Hungary Chapter invites young people to a unique international experience: the English Language Summer Camp "East Meets West" from July 29 to August 7, 2007. Twenty participants ages 13-16 from eastern and western Europe will have the opportunity to make friends, improve their English language skills and enjoy the beautiful landscape and beaches of lake Balaton.

Location: Balatonmáriafürdő on the southern banks of Lake Balaton in Hungary, on the premises of the Regens-Wagner Foundation, situated right by the lake. Take a look at this beautiful site at www.regenswagner.t-online.hu.

Location:
Balatonmáriafürdő on the southern banks of Lake Balaton in Hungary, on the premises of the Regens-Wagner Foundation, situated right by the lake. Take a look at this beautiful site at www.regenswagner.t-online.hu.
Date: July 29 – August 7
Program: Leisure program, English language courses, communication orientated workshops, excursions
Target Group:
Invited are PTPI members, friends and non-members from Eastern and Western European countries between 13 and 16 years old
with a basic understanding of the English language (Please note: The camp is not suited for beginners.)
Costs: The program fee includes full board, lodging in double rooms and all programs and activities:
  • Participants from Western Europe: EUR 200,-
  • Participants from Central and Eastern Europe: EUR 120,- or HUF 30.000,-

Travel costs need to be paid by participants

Contact person: Hans G. Randau, president of PTPI's Pecs Chapter, E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Application: The application can be downloaded from the Web site of PTPI's Pécs Chapter. Deadline for applications is May 2, 2007.
Leaders: Anikó Bedekovits-Garami, Pécs; Anne Hawksworth, Céret/France (teacher and native English speaker); Gergely Kiss, Pécs

We strongly encourage all European PTPI Chapters to support this excellent initiative of PTPI's Pécs Chapter by promoting the event among their members. The program is especially interesting for young people with basic English skills that would like to improve their knowledge for participation in future exchange projects.

PTPI Board of Trustees Meeting – Berlin September 27-29

PTPI will hold its 2007 Annual Board of Trustees Meeting in Berlin. The event is open for both PTPI Trustees and non-Trustees. While there, you will get a very good chance to see and experience Berlin. Invitations will be sent out shortly.

PTPI Peace Camp –Egypt December 7-16 – it is for free!!

PTPI invites young people (16-19) to participate in this year's Peace Camp, which will be held in Egypt December 6-17. If selected to participate PTPI will cover all costs for the event and reimburse all or part of the international airfare. The program is a unique possibility to come together with other young adults from different countries and to express views and experiences. For more information, please contact PTPI's office or visit www.ptpi.org. Deadline for applications is May 31.

PTPI Updates

Sister Chapter Program for Student Chapters

The Sister Chapter Program pairs participating student chapters with other student chapters from a different country. While communicating with one another, chapters learn about another culture, exchange ideas and work on joint projects. The aim of this program is to increase interaction between student chapters of different countries and continents. Our hope is that this program will strengthen PTPI's worldwide student chapter network and further our mission of Peace through Understanding.

Participant Benefits:

  • Exposure to other parts of the world without traveling.
  • Learning about another country and culture through direct people-to-people contact.
  • Expanding intellectual curiosity and becoming more inquisitive thinkers.
  • Considering issues of global concern from a different perspective.
  • Opportunity to work on joint projects with your sister chapter.
  • Developing friendships that can last a lifetime.
  • Strengthening your chapter by learning what does and does not work from your sister chapter.
  • Collaborating with your sister chapter on projects to achieve greater results.

If you wish to take part in this program, please contact Kristine Knutter, Youth Programs Coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or +1-800-676-7874. She will supply you with more detailed information and match your chapter with an adequate partner chapter abroad.

Language Ambassador Program

PTPI's Language Ambassador Program has taken off very well. There are nine participating chapters and 13 teachers. Additional chapters and teachers may apply at any time. For more information, please visit: www.ptpe.org/language-ambassador.

Mural award

PTPI's Oroslavje Chapter won first prize for a mural called Peace through Understanding at this year's Global Youth Mural Project.

Global Youth Service Day

We want to encourage all young European PTPI members to participate in Global Youth Service Day (GYSD). Global Youth Service Day is the largest annual celebration of young volunteers, where millions of young people in countries everywhere highlight and carry out thousands of community improvement projects.

How to get started? Take an assessment of your community's needs and then plan a service project to fill that need. Also, brainstorm reasons why the problem exists. To get more information about GYSD projects around the world and inspiration for your own event, visit www.GYSD.org.

Global Youth Service Day will take place April 20-22nd.

Once you have decided on a project, please contact Kristine Knutter in PTPI's World Headquarters to register your event. Forms have already been sent out to all student chapters. If you haven't received a form, or if you have questions, just let us know.

Project registration should be completed by April 13. Forms can be turned in by e-mail or postal service to People to People International World Headquarters at 501 E. Armour Blvd. Kansas City, MO 64109-2200 USA, attention Kristine Knutter; E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Global Youth Service Day is a great way to connect with the world and benefit your local community at the same time. We wish you great success for your efforts and thank you in advance for your commitment!

PTPI Award Nominations 2007

All PTPI directors, trustees and chapter presidents are encouraged to nominate deserving individuals to receive an award. Below are all awards categories. Recipients will be awarded at the Trustees Meeting in Berlin in September and at the Global Youth Forum in Chicago in November. PTPI also seeks nominations for the 2008 Make a Difference Award and the Eisenhower Medallion. Deadline for nominations is May 1. Student chapters are also welcome to nominate.

  • Eisenhower Medallion (2008 presentation)
  • Eisenhower Distinguished Service Award
  • Make A Difference Award (2008 presentation)
  • James T. Doty Memorial Award for Unique and Innovative Programming:
    • A. Individual or Group Award
    • B. Chapter Award (Adult)
  • Best Chapter Newsletter Award (Adult and Student)
  • Best Chapter Web site Award (Adult and Student)
  • Chapter Leadership Award
  • Chapter Membership Award
  • International Visitors Program Award
  • James T. Doty Memorial Award for Unique and Innovative Programming (Student Chapter)
  • Best Student Chapter Leadership Award
  • Student Chapter Outstanding Adult Advisor Award
  • Student Chapter Membership Award
  • Student Chapter International Visitors Program Award
  • Community Service Project Award (School and Classroom Program)
  • Lifetime Achievement Recognition Award

Chaper Reports

Berlin, Germany

Hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas and an exciting party on New Year's Eve.

During our regular round-table meeting on January 5 at our new meeting point restaurant "Heidelbeere" we were talking about all the plans we have and discussed our future activities for 2007. If you are looking at the list "Coming Events," you will see we are happy to offer lots of things! Our first daytrip was an excursion to the old monastery "Kloster Neuzelle." We all had a nice day together with members and PTPI friends.

On February 5, the chapter organised a music evening with Jacopo, who is a singer we met in Florence last year. He and his friend Ivan on piano entertained us with Italian popular music. Our host Björn also contributed with magical tricks. During the break, Jacopo and Ivan cooked for the 15 members.

In April we will go again to see "Tempelhof Airport." All participants at this guided tour on November 4 last year were very impressed by the history and the stories they heard during the tour through this giant building.

Our plan to visit the new chapter in Warsaw comes true. A group of about 14 members will go by train to the capital of Poland for 4 or 5 days (April 19 – 23). I am sure an interesting program is waiting for us.

Just now, our chapter is preparing for the "Trustees Meeting" in September. Our chapter will co-ordinate some sightseeing and dinners for the participants. We hope all participants will have a wonderful time in our city.

This is all I can report for the first quarter of the year. Next time it will be much more, because I can write about our trips to Warsaw and Interlaken. Till then!

Hannelore Büchler, President

Veszprém, Hungary

Chapter members were part of a concert for 200 people, mainly students. This was the first time the band played publicly. Another band was also invited so the event lasted for three hours and it turned out to be quite a success. The band is also interested in playing abroad so if any of you plan an international music event and would like to have a heavy metal band, too, please let us know.

Marianna Harí, President

Bern, Switzerland

Bern Chapter is glad to report that relations with Roman-sister Chapter are growing and improving. Beginning of December a transport left Bern with 30 computers, 20 bikes and some Christmas parcels.

Sorina Danciu of PTPI's Roman Chapter wrote: Thank you all from my heart for everything you sent. There are not enough words to thank you. I know how much you all involved and put your heart into preparing the transport.

Simon Krebs and Michal Schlatter, who took care and escorted the 14 Romanian YGs last summer, went to visit them at the end of the year. They celebrated a New Year's party and brought them the 10 kg Emmental-cheese the YGs had prepared 5 months before in the Exhibition Cheese Dairy Affoltern. This scenic village is situated in the centre of the Emmen valley in the heart of Switzerland.

On March 5, the chapter held its 22nd General Assembly with about 20 participants. As a tradition, the chapter offers an evening meal to the participants. Reports were made about the last European Conference in Denmark, the Worldwide Conference in Sydney and the projects with our "Sister Chapter Roman."

The Chapter's Board of Directors had to be elected or re-elected. President Otto Burri, Treasurer Felix Engler and Ernst Honegger will serve for another term. Newly elected are Linda Rickli and Simon Krebs. Ulrich Krebs, our homestay coordinator (printer and photographer) serves for another year, as will the auditor Paul Stucki. Thanks go to Cornelia Siegenthaler who served on the Board since 2001 and Ulrich Krebs who acted as Secretary since 2004.

Otto Burri, President

Brussels, Belgium

People to People Belgium Chapter ASBL maintains an active program of social, artistic and cultural activities. Meetings or events take place almost every week. In November, we were invited to a special birthday party honouring our veteran member Lucienne De Vries at her daughter's home.

A large group of PTPI friends enjoyed that special evening on January 5, as they did a Christmas concert in the chapel of the college a few weeks before. Reksi Sata, originally from Albania and active there with PTPI, is a talented musician; she played the cello in the orchestra at both events. In January, about a dozen members and friends participated in a first aid Red Cross course and all graduated! Many were those who attended a South American fund-raising concert to help children with cerebral palsy. At the Palais des Beaux Arts, we visited the Belgian painter Spilliaert's retrospective exhibition. He is well known for his impressionistic seaside paintings. On a Sunday afternoon, we went to the Royal Gallery Theatre to see the humoristic "Revue" of 2006.

A sizeable group visited on February 7 the Sphinx exhibition at the ING Cultural Centre - a remarkable presentation of statues and artefacts from Ancient Egypt and how egyptomania gradually penetrated Western culture. This exhibition visit ended with tea, coffee and cake at the new coffee shop of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts. On a rainy afternoon, a group of PTPI ladies practiced floral art and table decoration for Valentine's Day. In the afternoon of February 21, a group met for another special hands-on practical experience: "scrap booking." All participants acquired unique skills in creating wonderful photo albums. On February 16 no less than 36 members and friends enjoyed a special anniversary dinner at the fashionable Le Mess restaurant, to celebrate the birthday of nine members. February 23 consisted in another successful outing by bus to the Factory Outlet Shopping Centre of Maasmechelen; many were those who could not resist the branded items they discovered at bargain prices. Above all, they enjoyed a wonderful day of fellowship. On February 28, we visited a cultural exhibition on Morocco, and then met for teatime with Moroccan immigrants in Brussels. In between, dinners-at-home were organized for visitors from Florida, USA and other countries. Come and visit the European capital!

Daniel Schaubacher, President

Galych, Ukraine

During 2006, members of PTPI's Galych Chapter conducted several intellectual, cultural, and sport activities. We had regular chapter meetings, organized interesting events like leadership training, info-seminar about Euro-Atlantic integration, sport weekend programs including swimming and rowing classes, trips, summer camp and an archaeological expedition. Also our members were improving their English and started studying German.

During spring 2007, we will organize several regional info projects and actions interesting for us and useful for children, youth and our community. Among them Day of Europe and Euro-Atlantic integration are already planned.

We would like to improve our contacts with other European Chapters and gather more international experiences.

Vasyl Ukhman, President

Sternberk, Czech Republic

Over New Year, four of our chapter members visited our friends from past years' projects in Tudela, Spain. We not only enjoyed the company and nice Navara region, but also prepared and planned our new exchange project for this summer.

There is no doubt, that the concert of Žamboši (January 19) was one of the greatest cultural events in our little town of Šternberk for the last few months. The couple Stáňa Brahová and Honza Žamboch from Vsetín, prepared a unique performance for our guests. They sang, played guitar and flute and talked with a good sense of humour. A particularity of this folk and jazz concert was the participation of the great drummer Jura Nedavaška, who gave his whole heart to the playing.

On January 20, we held our annual meeting that most of our members attended. This year we will be very busy and full of exciting events for our chapter.

In February, we experienced „Tým bydlink"(team building) in the way our members like it most: We spent three wonderful days together in a wooden cottage in the middle of the wild Czech forest, without electricity or any technical devices that the modern world offers and we felt more happy and free than ever. We also invited one of our friends from Poland, Darek, who is working as a European volunteer in the Czech Republic at this moment. It was a quite interesting and more multicultural event than we thought it could be. We played fantastic team building games, learned a lot about each other and walked more than 20 kilometres in our beautiful nature. The weather was nice and we enjoyed that fantastic time together very much.

In the long dark evenings at this time of year, we usually organize evenings of presentations and slideshows for the public about all parts of the world. On February 22, our good friend and biology lover Petr Kovařík came from Olomouc with his wife Dominika and their only a few months old sun Vojta and they talked about their lovely travelling and great experiences in a remote part of India. Everybody was impressed how beautiful and unknown some places of the earth still are and how happy people can be, even if their life is very simple.

For the coming months we have planned the following events.

  • March 24: "Welcoming of the spring"
  • March 29: Iceland slide presentation
  • April 14: „Calling of the Forest": clean our mess in our forest!
  • April 20-22: „Kukačka (Cuckoo)" Celebration of the traditional Celtic festival
  • May 8: „Waterfall II": Water rafting river Moravská Sázava
  • June 2: "Cylindr": Traditional celebration of the Children´s day. We are also going to host our visitors from PTPI in Arizona.

We would like to invite you to visit our beautiful country – the Czech Republic and we can offer you a homestay in Šternberk or in the very close region (Olomouc – the cultural heritage city, Jeseníky mountains with the highest peak Praděd, Orlické mountains, Beskydy mountains and other places). For information and contact Helča Metelková: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Interlaken, Switzerland

The Chapter's Annual Meeting 2007 was held in a special place on Friday evening last week: in the basement of a Pizza restaurant in Interlaken, called "Piz Paz," where a small but very nice skittle-alley is installed. A skittle alley is something like bowling, only bigger and better. The skittle-alley was reserved just for our group. At the beginning everybody was encouraged to play at nine-pins for one hour. Of course a drink was offered to the invited participants. Some hadn't played this game for ages, therefore not every "shot" was successful, but people had fun and we laughed a lot.

After this cheerful socializing hour, the "business" part of the meeting started: the president's annual report, the financial report of the treasurer and the Chapter's activities program for the year 2007 were presented. Coming activities are: the European Conference, a visit from a group of Student Ambassadors, the organization of All-Swiss-Chapter-Meeting, etc... We then welcomed new members (the Chapter is still growing), elected a new board member (by the way an American woman) and gave a detailed report about all the preparations for the European Conference in Interlaken May 17- 20. (www.ptpe.org/interlaken2007)

The president named all the firms who are supporting the conference. He also prepared a list with several tasks to do at the conference and asked people for help. He happily got many offers of assistance.

Since the first English conversation course was very successful, it was decided to have a second one for about eight people in April and May. It will again be held by Ronnie who is native speaker. Later fine pizzas were served and a spontaneously formed choir sang several Swiss folk songs.

Our member Robert, a journalist, reported once again about this meeting and his article was published in the local newspaper three days later. Those reports in newspapers are very helpful to inform the public and gain new PTPI members.

Ernest Wälti, President

Khmelnitsky, Ukraine

You are welcomed by Ukraine, gymnasium 2, РТРI's The Young Leader Student Chapter. Our gymnasium has been part of UNESCO school projects for 21 years.

The directions of our work are human rights, other countries and cultures as well as studying world problems and the role of the system of the United Nations in their settlement.

Here is an overview of our student chapter projects over the past few months:

September:

  • "The Green Wave" - collected dust in woods and parks.
  • Peace Day: held a competition of pictures on asphalt.

October:

  • We hosted students from Moldova (the University of Beltzy). They practiced teaching Ukrainian in our school for a month.

November:

  • Collected toys & school supplies for orphans in boarding schools.
  • Tolerance Day: held the activity "Peace Lanterns."

December and January:

  • "Help Birds in Winter" - made feeding racks for birds
  • "Fur-tree" - students made cards against the destruction of fur-trees in woods – the project was continued in January
  • Organized charitable concerts for children with limited opportunities
  • Started a cooperation with Serbia

We have planned and organized charitable and ecological action. It has already become a tradition that in fall the festival of the world cultures takes place, where we can take a closer look at different nationalities and their cultures.

We also took part in the international competition "Mondialogo" where we represented our project "The Sunflower of Peace."

Our gymnasium has many class-room-museums:

  • Podolsk's customs and traditions (ethnological aspect)
  • Fighting Glory (WWII)
  • History of Our School
  • UNESCO

The press centre constantly works in our school and we print out the newspaper "In Four Eyes." We sent the symbol of our school, last releases of the school newspaper, a photo of actions and a movie which children made in the ethnological museum to PTPI.

Roksolana Kameniash, President and Svetlana Shengilevich, Adult advisor

Kiev, Ukraine

On December 21, PTPI's Kyivites, Kiev Student Chapter invited the adult advisors of all Ukrainian Student Chapters to a special seminar. The seminar was organized by Anna Chuico, adult advisor of PTPI's Kiev Chapter, and Valentina Dzyabenko, Vice-president of the Ukrainian Movement Educators for Peace and Mutual Understanding and great supporter of PTPI in Ukraine. This was the first meeting of all the representatives of PTPI Student Chapters in Ukraine. During the interactive workshop, Valentina and Anna presented the recommendations and results of PTPI's European Leadership Seminar, which was held last October in Berlin. In a friendly atmosphere of cooperation, a mutual action plan was created that includes, for example, the organization of a summer camp for active members of the PTPI Student Chapters in Ukraine and their partners, participation in the School and Classroom Program, participation in the International Visitors Program and other chapter projects. The next meeting is planned for June to exchange the results of our work, to share our experiences and just to have fun together!

Anna Chuiko, Adult Advisor

Oroslavje, Croatia

Just before Christmas time, Nera, Vlatka and Roberta were collecting and packing food and groceries for families from Oroslavje. Caritas collects food for people who need financial help and also for the old and the ill. They also delivered five packages. It was hard work but they said, "We are glad we could help."

Fifteen students were involved in fundraising. Everything was organized by Viktorija, our homestay coordinator. They made cakes, packed them and sold them in school and in the town. They want to help to finance the excursion of the third grade and raise some money for the Romanian chapter that may come to visit in April.

Marina Krsnik, Adult Advisor

Värmland, Sweden

The winter months of November, December and January have been relatively quiet months for activities for our chapter.

The Marble Family had previously planned a family trip to Germany to experience Christmas shopping in Berlin, and decided to include attending the Grand Opening at the new PTPE office on Schillerstrasse. Our Vice-President, Christina Leander, spent a portion of her Christmas holiday in a more exotic part of the world: Beijing, China. Although, this trip was a private family trip to visit relatives, she took the time out to meet with Chinese PTPI members, Mr. and Mrs. Aray and Ajay River, for a homestay.

On January 3, twenty PTPI Värmland Chapter members, friends and relatives spent a fun-filled winter afternoon get-together, appropriately named: Winter Celebration. This occasion was meant for our members and friends to get together to celebrate the white winter that finally arrived just a few days before. We started by meeting at the city's new outdoor ice-skating rink á la New York-style, which I might add that one of our youngest PTPI members had the honour of being the first to try out the ice at the press conference and premiere approximately two weeks earlier. Afterwards, we warmed us up in the Spikgården, where we ate a good buffet including fruit, cheese and crackers, cold cuts and potato salad, and of course, a fabulous, delicious dish called "smörgåstårta" (a Swedish "sandwich cake"). A smörgåstårta is not a sugary dessert, but a kind of a large sandwich that looks like a cake. The smörgåstårta is normally made up of several layers of buttered white bread with creamy fillings in between and toppings. The fillings and toppings vary, but egg and mayonnaise are usually two of the ingredients found and in combination with liver pate spread, cold cut ham, caviar, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, shrimp and/or smoked salmon.

In February, we have a week of "Sportlov" (eng. Sports Vacation) when schoolchildren are given one week off in the winter. Sportlov is something that many look forward to – both young and old. It gives the Swedish people a chance to enjoy the winter season, come out to the mountains, and see beautiful wintery landscape and especially to do a little snowboarding, down-hill and cross-country skiing or even just building a snowman, throwing snowballs and making snow angels...

Antoinette Mc Intyre-Andersson, President

Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria

1) Voluntary Language Teaching Project (VLTP)

The purpose of this project is to organize additional language courses that are not offered in the curriculum of the American University of Bulgaria (AUBG). The languages that will be offered to the students include Italian (Course Instructor- Professor Diego Lucci), Portuguese (Course Instructor- Professor Julio Pontes), Russian, Romanian, Turkish, and Albanian. The courses will be taught by a native speaker. A survey will be conducted in order to find out which language is demanded the most and determine the number of people interested. The courses will be offered twice a week in the evenings. All AUBG Students can register to these courses. The students will not only have a chance to learn conversational speech, but at the same time they will obtain more information on the culture of the country whose language is taught.

2) International Youth Leadership Development Seminar:

The International Youth Leadership Development Seminar is a project that will be organized in mid-April. The project will unite young leaders from all over Europe and enable them to share experiences and exchange ideas. The project is aiming to gather around 70 students from the AUBG university and different European countries. The five-day-event will be hosted in AUBG Campus. The program will include simulations and workshops offered by professional trainers as well as a cultural trip to Sofia. Distinguished lecturers, who have already demonstrated specific leadership skills in their professional life, will be invited to inspire the participants. The students will have a chance to interact with guest lecturers not only from top international companies, but at the same time spend time with the people who have demonstrated leadership skills in humanitarian and non-governmental organizations (NGO).

3) Bulgarian Youth and the European Union

The goal of this project is to test the hypothesis that the Bulgarian youth welcomes the entrance of Bulgaria into the EU without knowing basic facts and principles of the EU. In other words, the aim of the project is to test the knowledge of the students on the European Union and their expectations from Bulgaria's accession to EU. A survey will be conducted among students from several Blagoevgrad high schools and from the South-Western University. The results of the survey will be presented in a written report and a presentation to AUBG students. The report will also be forwarded to appropriate individuals, institutions and NGOs.

4) Human Rights in Eastern Europe

The main purpose of the project is to learn more about human rights problems and issues in different Eastern European countries. Each student will gather information about the human rights situation in one Eastern European country and prepares a presentation on this topic. The presentations will be followed by roundtable discussions about ways of improving the respect of human rights in the different countries. This will give a good overview on the human rights situation in different Eastern European countries.

5) Drug Awareness Campaign through Multi-Media

Through this Internet campaign, AUBG students will learn about the effects that using drugs can have on their academic, social and personal lives. A blog will be set up either on the AUBG Forum (www.aubg.org) or on another website, where a moderator will guide the students' discussions. The anonymity of the students will be guaranteed. To spice up the project, a multimedia contest will take place at the end of the discussions to which students can contribute. The winners of the contest will be awarded.

The aim of the project is:

  • To promote drug awareness among the AUBG students
  • To give students a chance to express their own views on the matter, while being totally anonymous
  • To inform students on the effects drugs can have on their everyday lives.

While PTPI AUBG Chapter does not claim that the project will make everyone turn away from even thinking about using drugs, we do believe that it is important to address the issue and give students a chance to discuss freely and without fear of repercussions.

Environmental Issues – Global Warming

The project will be led by Professor Maria Tsankova. The aim of the project is to bring environmental issues including global warming to the attention of AUBG students. The event will be organized as campaign, involving students in discussions on the topic. Lecturers will be invited to make presentations on this topic. The students will be working with Prof. Tsankova in teams.

Rauf Zeynalov, President

Zalishchyky, Ukraine

A happy moment came when we received our PTPI Certificate, signed by Mary Jean Eisenhower, on December 5. We had a meeting to celebrate this important event.

During this winter time the members of our chapter took part in different activities. We gathered and packed presents for the children of the local orphanage and then distributed those gift bags on December 19, St. Nicholas Day.

Zalishchyky Speciality School held a contest for the most impressive Christmas and New Year's bouquet. PTPI's Zalishchyky Chapter won the certificate for the 1 place!

For Valentine's Day our members prepared information about the holiday and how it is celebrated around the world and made reports in different classes. The Chapter initiated a competition in the school for the most creative original Valentine card.

We have already begun planning a service project for National Global Youth Service Day and will inform the other Chapters about our plans later.

Zalishchyky Student Chapter