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2008-1 Newsletter

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

Participants at the YG Meeting in Sternberk

Message from PTPI Europe's President

Dear Friends,

Around this time of year I always get a large number of E-mails in regards to our European Conference. Most of them are from exotic and far away countries. Some are interested in what we do within PTPI, some see opportunities to travel and meet new friends.

Even today - the year 2008 - people have great difficulties to meet. Mostly due to visa issues. I know that our Berlin office makes their utmost effort in trying to accommodate everyone by sending out invitations, speaking to embassies & consulates in many countries. Still a large part of those interested never get to leave their countries. It is a sad fact that is counterproductive to the idea of PTPI. It is through traveling and meeting other people from around the world we evolve. Not by being forced to stay at home.

Today I filled out forms to renew my children's passports. Even though we are part of the Schengen agreement and should be able to travel freely within most parts of Europe – we still have to show our passports wherever we go – to prove that we are from Europe!

I'm excited that we already have 59 registrations to our Conference in Rimini and our Early Bird deadline is still a few weeks off. We have distinguished guests signed up like our CEO & President Mary Jean Eisenhower, our Chairman of the Board of Directors Joe Patterson and our Chairman of the Board of Trustees Troy Nash just to mention a few. Thank you Valeria Magistrelli for your efforts in making this the best conference ever.

Chiara Pedretti, our secretary on the European Executive Committee, will have served her full four years when we gather in Rimini. We truly thank her for her great efforts. We are now looking for someone to fill her position. It there someone you think would be a great addition to our board? Please send in your nominations to me or to the European Office.

We are also looking for candidates to host our next European Conference in 2009. Please give me a call or drop me a line. I would love to hear from you.

I'm so humble to be a part of this great organisation. We just signed the 50th country with chapters. We now have over 250 chapters in our global network with 7.000 chapter members and over 65.000 members-at-large!

I would like to remind all chapter presidents to apply for grants from the European Program Fund we started last year. We are here to make your unique and innovating programming possible. Contact me or the office in Berlin for details.

Hoping to see you all in Rimini, I remain

Your humble friend

Rolf G Dahlberg, President of PTPI's European Council

PTPI Experiences

Sternberk – Young Generation Meeting "Let's Do It Our Way"

Between December 27 and January 3, PTPI's Sternberk Chapter in the Czech Republic invited 23 young participants from 14 countries. This PTPI sponsored Young Generation event was an opportunity for the young members of the chapter to demonstrate Czech hospitality, culture and cultural programs. All participants stayed with host families during the week, which was quite an achievement to organize, but also a wonderful experience for the participants. Key organizers were Marek Kašík, Eliška Vránová and Helča Metelková. Here are some comments from the event.

Eliksa Vranova: If I speak about what I enjoyed, I must mention art workshops. We sat and made wonderful artifacts (especially mine should be shown in museum). Outdoors activities put us together even more. It was great fun, most of participants hadn't stood on ice-skates before. But they taught me about their nation and culture during the multicultural evening which was PERFECT with all the national songs, dances, funny sets. But we learnt most from each other by chatting, simply behaving like friends. We had time during lunch and dinner so we were talking, joking, having good time. That's the way we got to know people are the same in every country. What did surprise me? For example Egyptian girls can laugh for hours like I do with my best friends, they are same.

I admire people who can organize projects which participants like and everybody finds something interesting in the program. But I can see another advantage of successful project – friendship. I made many new friends and saying goodbye to them was very difficult, I cried a river because they opened their hearts for me and I love them. And now? We are cooperating with them. We have new contacts and can ask our friends to be partners in our future projects. If we do more YG projects, we will have more and more friends around the world so we will have to do something to see each other again and after few years everybody will be friends with everybody.

My dream came true. I participated in some youth exchanges but I wanted to organize my own. I did it with the help of chapter members but any way I realized my ambitions, I took a part in "Let's do it our way!" I hope everybody who had the chance to be with us at New Year's Eve felt like in a dream too because I did.

Helca Metelkova: The main part of Czech culture is dancing, playing instruments and mostly for us it is the traditional folk singing and music. We organized the concert in a very old building of Augustinian monastery in Šternberk. Two folk singing groups came to perform their best kind of art. A.M.Úlet and Žamboši made our evening more multicultural and they started to sing in other languages, maybe for the first time in their lives and also they taught us how to play the special drums and other instruments.

Participants at the YG Meeting in Sternberg

Winter Olympic Games under the direction of YG were so funny and a great opportunity to build new friendships and a strong team. This teamwork showed us that young people, and it doesn't matter from which country they come from, are able to bring up many new ideas, interesting ones, and they definitely know how to enjoy their time together. An alternative way of cross-country skiing, figure-skating or ice skating, bob sled or skiing... all of these Olympic sports were strongly enjoyed by participants and what most... there was a SNOW! Finally some youngsters had a first chance in their lives to touch snow. First step on the skates and hard falls on the ice, they were so brave.

Polina Polyakoff (from PTPI's Tallinn Student Chapter): My favourite day of the project was definitely the celebration of the New Year's Eve on December 31. All the participants made their traditional food and presented their countries with short presentations, dances or songs. We learnt many different traditional dances and spent a great time together. Later we went to see fireworks and welcomed the new 2008 year.

PTPI's Peace Camp in Egypt

From December 6 to 16, PTPI's Peace Camp in Egypt united about 50 young people ages 16-19 from more than 25 countries around the world. The program included a wide range of opportunities to discover the Egyptian culture, to get to know each other, to interact with the adult delegation of the Global Peace Initiative, to participate in humanitarian activities and to develop new skills in various working sessions. Participants received full scholarships. This is how Aleksandra Kubica, one of the European participants, describes her experience:

I learnt about People to People International totally by chance on the Internet. While exploring the PTPI Web site, I also found some information about Peace Camp. It seemed completely unrealistic for me that I could take part. Even to dream about participating in such an event was overwhelming. After getting involved in PTPI's Adult Chapter in Gliwice, Poland, I was still quite apprehensive about the idea of sending my application. But when one of the chapter members, a wonderful woman, Mrs Iwona Zyman, encouraged me to try, I decided to do it. I was almost sure I would be rejected. When I saw an e-mail from PTPI in my mailbox saying: 'Congratulations, you were accepted!' I was discombobulated! I just couldn't believe my eyes. For the next weeks, I was incredibly happy. Until I arrived in Egypt, I was disbelieving that I was one of those 50 people who received such a huge distinction. I knew that Peace Camp would be an enriching experience and for sure I was going to learn a lot from the trip, but all what I have done and gained in Egypt surpassed my expectations more than a billion times.

Egypt is a country of miracles – pyramids, Valley of the Kings, all the temples- Karnak, Edfu, Luxor, and many more. That is the best place for such an event which lets miracles happen. We have visited the most beautiful places in Egypt that were really interesting. However, for me, all the places we have visited are not important when you compare it to all the experiences, and most importantly, the friendships made at Peace Camp.

When I learnt about Peace Camp, its idea, 'Peace through Understanding', seemed a blurry and unrealistic cliché. Somewhere deep in my mind I had a vague awareness that understanding between people could be reached only by dialogue between people who learnt how to listen to each other. But I could not believe it until I have witnessed it myself. You, the people I got the chance to meet, are the best ambassadors your countries could ever have. You are a group of the most amazing people I have ever talked to.

I have seen, and I was a part of, real dialogue between people from completely different countries and continents. I have seen Palestinians and Israelis coming together, making friends and talking about conflict between their countries, trying to understand the other's point of view. I have heard two Iraqis talking about war in their country and telling us how hard it was leaving their home and moving to another country to avoid the danger. Finally, I have seen how much people liked Poland when I was talking about it and showing some pictures. After that, Michelle and Michael told me that if they were to choose one country they want to visit the most that it would be Poland. I felt so proud to be Polish.

Then, from Alon and Daniel, I have learnt more about how Poles are seen by people in Israel. It was hard for me to hear that some Israelis consider Poles to be an anti-Semitic nation. That is an enormous generalization we need to fight. Peace Camp helped me to realize that in such situations real dialogue between people is needed, so I decided to start a Polish-Israeli project with Alon. We want to organize workshops for groups of Polish and Israeli students in order to give them the opportunity to meet each other, talk about their common history and the current situation.

Moreover, Peace Camp gave me strength to keep trying to find more people and more actions to get involved with. The student chapter I started in November, after the visit of vivacious and inspiring person Verena Denk from the European Office of PTPI in my school. It is not easy to convince people to get involved in something that is entirely new for them, something that they heard about for the first time in their life. But after Peace Camp, I was sure that this chapter is needed, and that we can really make a difference and show everybody that People to People actually is a Miracle to Miracle!

Thank you! I love you all and I will remember you for my whole life.

Aleksandra Kubica (Ola)

PTPI's Trustee Gina Boiculese Attends Seminar in Czech Republic

For one week (February 16-23) I have attended the training F.L.Y – Facilitating Learning for Youth in Czech Republic together with 28 participants from 16 different countries . It was a week of complete learning professionally as a trainer and personally in what concerns meeting and getting to know so many different people with so many different backgrounds in working with youth all over the world. The training courses were delivered by highly professional trainers from Austria, Georgia and Poland that had a great impact on our personalities through the way they presented the topics and also through the feedback we were given. I have learned a lot about the type of trainer and leader I can be and also about where my personality fits when working in an international environment.

It was a very intense week filled with hard work during workshops or laboratory phases, but also with cultural discovery while visiting the hosting town Opava. We had a wonderful traditional dinner and enough moments to talk about our organizations and volunteer backgrounds. The PTPI presentation had a great impact being highly appreciated for the numerous programs undergone and the number of dedicated people involved in the activities! I was so proud to represent so much history and so much work that the PTPI family has done for so many years! I have established contacts with my friends from other organizations and we are planning on finding ways of collaboration on future programs.

Thank you PTPI for the wonderful opportunity you gave me to represent all our family!

Gina Boiculese, Trustee PTPI Bucharest

Coming Events

Date 
Program
Contact
March 15
Sternberk, Czech Republic – Welcoming of the Spring
Helca Metelkova
March 26
Seminar on the US Presidential Election System
Hannelore Büchler
March 10-31
Art Exhibition - The Color of Mongolia, Geneva, Switzerland
Moldoi Bayanjargal
April 3-8
Training Seminar about Religion, Culture and Society
Zina Lubenova
April 2
Brussels, Belgium – exhibition "Galerie des Dinosaures" in the Natural Science Museum
www.peopletopeople.be
April 5-6
Sternberk, Czech Republic – Cleaning of the forest in Sternberk around Zelena Budka
Helca Metelkova
April 11-18
A delegation of PTPI's Vezprem Chapter will visit PTPI's Céret Chapter in France
Marianna Hári
April 16-23
A delegation of PTPI's Pecs Chapter will visit PTPI's Brussels Chapter in Belgium
Hans G. Randau
April 18-20
Sternberk, Czech Republic – Weekend activity in the forest: planting new trees
Helca Metelkova
April 27
Brussels, Belgium – Concert "Mélodie" in the Cultural Center Anderlecht
www.peopletopeople.be
May 1-4
Asia Pacific Council Conference, Gyeongju City, Korea
Jasmine Kim
May 8-11
PTPI European Conference, Rimini, Italy
www.ptpe.org/rimini2008
May 16-18
Sternberk, Czech Republic – Waterfall III: rafting on the rivers of Czech Republic
Helca Metelkova
May 23–25
Romanian Regional Meeting in Roman
www.ptpe.org/roman2008/
July 27 – Aug. 12
PTPI Estonia Summer Camp
Ruta Pels
August 11-17
European Youth Forum
www.ptpe.org/eyf2008/
September 8-13
Worldwide Conference, Cairo, Egypt
PTPI World Headquarters
October 22-26
Leadership Seminar
PTPI European Office

European Conference in Rimini: May 8-11Rimini

Registration is open – Deadlines March 24 and April 8.

Please join us in Rimini for the European Conference

Program highlights:

Thursday: Excursion day to Ravenna or Youth Meeting
Friday:  Trustee Meeting, City walks, Opening Ceremony
Saturday:  Council meeting, Chapter fair, Dinner in Villa Verucchio.
Sunday: Excursion to San Marino.

We are pleased to know that we have good support from both the city of Rimini as well as the region of Emilia-Romagna. We expect some 100 participants and encourage each chapter to send at least one delegate to the conference.

During the council meeting a new secretary will be elected. Nominations are welcome. The term is two years. Also, chapters are encouraged to host the 2009 European Conference. For more information, please contact the PTPI European Office.

European Youth Forum in Berlin: August 11-17

We have the pleasure to invite young people ages 15-17 to a unique international event: PTPI's European Youth Forum Meeting of Young Intercultural Leaders.

PTPI's European Youth Forum will enable participants to form lasting friendships with peers from different countries. The participants will enhance their intercultural and leaderships skills in various interactive workshops. During the forum, participants will also have the opportunity to develop international projects with the aim of increasing cooperation between the different groups. Participants will be encouraged to use the skills obtained at the forum to carry out own projects in their schools and communities at home.

EYFProgram Highlights:

  • Interactive workshops to enhance intercultural learning
  • Interactive workshops to develop leadership skills
  • World Café – exercise to encourage international dialogue
  • City Walk to discover Berlin – the city where East meets West
  • Discover the history of a divided city: Museum in the House at Checkpoint Charlie
  • Development of joint projects to enhance cooperation between the international groups
  • Market of Possibilities – intercultural fair prepared by participants

Deadline: April 1, 2008

Target group: Five groups of five students each (ages 15-17 years) and one group leader (at least 21 years old, preferably a teacher or group leader) from any European country – PTPI membership is an advantage for selection.

Price: The participation fee of 60 Euros for Western Europeans and 40 Euros for Central and Eastern Europeans includes accommodations, board and all activities. Travel costs are reimbursed up to 70%. There is no participation fee for group leaders. Travel costs of group leaders are reimbursed to 100% if the leader travels with the group.

Application: The application forms for group leaders and participants are available at www.ptpe.org/eyf2008. Please note that only groups can apply. Individual applications cannot be taken into consideration.

This is your chance to make friends all over Europe and to acquire valuable intercultural and leadership skills! Embrace diversity, practice tolerance and discover how you can make a difference.
Join us for this international adventure!

Invitations from Other Organizations

PTPI gets invitations from other organisations. Here are two, which we pass on. Please contact the organisers directly if you have any questions.

Subject

Families and Active Citizenship Education. An Integrated Training and International Conference

This conference is the result of a Grundtvig 1 project called "FACE IT!" which supports the development of competences in "Active Citizenship" through "Family Learning" by designing and delivering trainings at international, national, regional and local level throughout Europe. For detailed information about the mission and approach of "FACE IT!", please visit to www.faceitproject.org.

Date July 2-4, 2008
Deadline May 1, 2008
Target Group Professionals from the following categories are invited to participate: Family Learning tutors and trainers, teachers and social workers (where Family Learning is not yet an institutionalized approach), other practitioners, inspectors and managers of educational bodies with an agenda in adult education, informal education, community support, Active Citizenship and Participatory Democracy.
Price 350 Euros: Depending on the application procedures of the Socrates National Agency in your country, you may be able to apply for a Grundvtig individual mobility grant to cover the costs for your participation. For further details, please contact the organizers listed below.
Location Iasi, Romania
Organizer EuroEd Foundation, Iasi, Romania (www.euroed.ro)
Contact Information Ioana Ursache ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
Cezar Vrinceanu ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
 Subject

TOLERANCE AT SCHOOL – International Competition among European Schools

The aim of this competition is to create projects with the help of computer, which reflect the unified Europe and create European values. Projects are created through cooperation of students and teachers from European schools. All European partner schools will be invited to participate in the presentation ceremony of the contributions in Wroclaw on June 4.

Date June 4, 2008
Deadline May 19, 2008
Target Group Projects can be developed individually or in groups (just one work can be sent to the contest per school). Participants must be between 10-18 years old. They are divided into the following age groups: 10-12 years old, 13-15 years old, and 16-18 years old.
Location Wroclaw, Poland
Organizer European Association of Science and Culture Lovers PROGRESSIO and Information Centre UNESCO, School European Clubs
Contact Information Boguslawa Przewloka: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and www.progressio.pl/tolerance2008
Application Presentations must be sent on CD or DVD no later than May 19, 2008 to the following address:
Europejskie Stowarzyszenie Milosników Nauki i Kultury PROGRESSIO, ul. Orzechowa 62, 50-540 Wroclaw, Poland.

PTPI Updates

New Student Chapter

We welcome a new student chapter: PTPI's the Dolphins Chapter in Varna, Bulgaria. Chapter president is Kristian Nemtsov.

Mongolian Exhibition

Between March 10 and 31 PTPI's Niislel, Mongolia Chapter will organise an exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland. There will be more than 200 paintings of 22 artists. The Mongolian delegation has also scheduled meetings with PTPI chapters.

Awards

PTPI encourages chapters to nominate members and chapters for this year's awards. Please visit www.ptpi.org for a complete list of awards or contact PTPI directly.

Internship in Berlin

PTPI's European office offers a four month internship between May 19 and September 19. Applicants should have a good command of German and English. Deadline for applications is April 19. More information: www.ptpe.org/internship.

Leadership Seminar 2008 in Berlin

October 22-26 European chapter presidents and trustees will be invited to Berlin for the third Leadership seminar. Invitations will be sent out later in spring.

Chapter Reports

Berlin, Germany

The last months of the year 2007 were not so rich in events. On December, 7 we had a nice Christmas meeting together with 19 members and friends. Everybody enjoyed a traditional German Christmas meal.

On January 3, PTPI's Berlin Chapter welcomed a guest from South Korea. Hanbyol Lee arrived in Berlin from Prague where she had spent a day together with some other boys and girls after attending the YG seminar in Sternberk. She spent four days with us and had an opportunity to meet with the PTPI staff in the European Office.

On January 17, PTPI's European Office invited the chapter members to a wonderful News Year's Meeting at "Bosch Stiftung." More than 25 members and friends came to celebrate this event with good drinks, good food and an excellent program. In total, there were more than 200 participants at the event.

Later in January, we had one more guest, Monika Królak from Warsaw, Poland. In the end of February, our chapter was happy to welcome five young girls from Yamanashi, Japan in our city.

Only two months of the New Year 2008 have passed and we are already proud to say that we have nine new members. Most of them are younger than the average. Besides, in the year 2007, eight new members joined PTPI's Berlin Chapter. It looks like we are growing and our chapter moves forward! Of course we also lost some members. Some of them left us, because they feel too old for our activities and others passed away.

We have many good ideas for coming projects, such as meetings, a barbeque party, daytrips and a longer trip to Budapest, Veszprém and Pécs in June.

Some of our members will join the European conference in May in Rimini. I am looking forward to seeing many friends again... Will you come as well?

Hannelore Büchler, President

Brussels, Belgium

PTPI's Brussels Chapter continues its cultural excursions. On February 17 and March 2, members enjoyed two different piano concerts in the Brussels Astoria. On March 5, a delegation of the chapter visited the Clockarium, a unique clock museum in Brussels. The activities planned for the coming months are listed in this issue under "coming events." More information about the cultural program of PTPI's Brussels Chapter is also available at www.peopletopeople.be.

Daniel Schaubacher, President

Cherkasy, Ukraine: PTPI's Light the Way Student Chapter

Life at Cherkasy's high school First City Gymnasia goes on and our chapter takes an active part in it. Since the beginning of the new school year, we have a group of actors among our chapter members. This enabled us to perform a real theater show with the title A Trial on the cigarette dedicated to the Day of Struggle with bad Habits at our school.

As representative of our chapter, Marianna Chernyuk took part in the National Ecological Conference in Kiev in the end of 2007 where she made a presentation about the ecological work in our school. On Thanksgiving Day, our chapter members along with other students of the school celebrated this holiday with games and songs and by saying warm words to their classmates, teachers, parents and friends at the festive table.

Then Christmas came and the chapter members participated in The Week of Presents for our city orphanage. Little children got a lot of writing materials, games and toys. A group of members also helped to set up and decorate the New Year Tree in the school. During a contest the best poem, drawing or essay dedicated to Christmas and New Year were awarded. After that there was a disco where students had fun and celebrated the end of the first semester.

The second term of the school year started with a long-lasting quarantine due to a flu epidemic, which finished just before March. Now our chapter is getting ready for a new variety of activities in order to contribute to changing the world around us for the better.
We would like to greet all people who are united in the friendly PTPI family, and wish everybody peace, luck and happiness.

Pavlo Svitlychnyy, Adult Advisor

Interlaken, Switzerland

Greetings from the Bernese Oberland, a winter wonderland for skiing, snowboarding, sledding and yes ....Curling!!! This year's Annual Chapter Meeting began with a quick curling lesson which led to a frosty hour of some pretty competitive ice sweeping!! Afterwards, all members warmed up to a hearty meal at the Sonne restaurant in Matten. For those "night owls," the evening continued at the private jazz club of the new president.

Thomas Ammann, an architect living in Interlaken, was inducted as the new president of PTPI's Interlaken Bernese Oberland Chapter. After eight years outstanding leadership by Regina Waelti, (who founded the Chapter in 1996), and four more years by successor Ernest Wälti, Thomas Ammann was introduced as the new president at the meeting February 15. He was presented with a symbolic key engraved with the word "REX," which means "Leader." Ernest Waelti said this key would serve him in all his endeavors and open all the doors for continued success.

Thomas Ammann (l) and Ernest WaeltiVeronika Aebi has resigned from the board. We thank her for her excellence in service amid multiple duties as vice president, homestay coordinator and part time secretary. Her successor is Ernest Waelti who will serve as vice president. During the transition time, he will take over the administrative responsibilities supporting the new president. Also elected for two more years are Isabel Hänni as protocol administrator and Marie-Anne Aebi as YG coordinator. Ernst Honegger, member of PTPI's Bern Chapter and vice chairman of PTPI Board of Directors, also attended. They brought greetings and new information from Bern and Kansas City.

The Interlaken chapter reviewed the core activities for the Bernese Oberland and discussed participation in future European activities and conferences for 2008. During the meeting, we discussed the upcoming Student Ambassador groups who will visit Interlaken in July for three-four days.

Claudia Mariani and Ronnie Blakeney will be coordinating the "Bilingual Current Affairs Club," an offshoot of the former English conversation group with a focus on current news and events. This club will provide the opportunity for English speaking people to learn German and German speaking people to learn English!

Eight members of PTPI's Interlaken Chapter are slated to join the PTPI European Conference in Rimini in May, including the president and vice president. A few members also hope to attend the PTPI World Conference in Egypt.

Ernest Wälti's wish is that all members will continue to visit conferences, workshops and participate in cultural and humanitarian projects. He also encourages participation by traveling with homestays. He believes this leads to what People to People stands for, "Peace through Understanding."

As new president, Thomas Ammann believes his main objective is to do his best to achieve the high standards of former presidents Regina and Ernest Waelti. He will try to maintain the integrity of the chapter as a communicator and organizer. His first goal will be to initiate a New Membership Drive and increased participation in humanitarian projects. He encourages new ideas and recommendations from all members.

Thomas Ammann, President and Denise Girard Ammann

Kharkiv, Ukraine: PTPI's Children to Children Student Chapter

Three members of our chapter made a presentation to tell their classmates about our activities and attract new members.

As a cultural awareness activity, students of the 5th grade were assigned to choose a country, learn about its traditional food and holidays and to present the information to their class. Participants also cooked dishes traditional to the country and prepared posters to illustrate the most interesting parts of their presentations. At the end of the activity children and guests tasted the food and compared dining traditions of Ukraine with the other countries.

Students of the 7th grade held a contest to increase appreciation of intercultural diversity. Six teams introduced six different countries of the world. Participants made posters to inform about the geographical location and the culture of their country of choice and they presented typical national garments. Each team chose a speaker for the presentation. To prepare the activity, participants were encouraged to regard the culture as an iceberg. What we see is only the top of it.

Teachers and children of the 4th and 5th grades took part in the School and Classroom program. They were matched with classes from America and Romania. The participants exchanged letters in which they wrote about their country, city and school. They also discussed books, films, sports and pets.

As a community service project, children of our school gave toys and other things to the children of the orphanage Malyatko. They also prepared cards with best wishes for Christmas. The action was organized by the mayor of the primary school, Oleg Vallas, and supported by all children of the primary school. He also made a poster to show problems which orphan children suffer.

At a seminar held by an educational organization for teachers of the region of Kharkiv, we made a presentation about PTPI.

Ludmila Bodyak, Adult Advisor

Kirovograd, Ukraine: PTPI's Free Choice Student Chapter

As an active participant in PTPI's School and Classroom Program our chapter exchanges with students from Thessaloniki in Greece. We mail and e-mail each other, sharing photos, songs and pictures typical for our countries. From the Student Chapter Lesson Plans Manual, we chose to focus on the sections Cross-Cultural Understanding and Holidays and Food. Our chapter members did their research, then prepared reports and submitted them during the chapter meetings. Our next step is to organize a party, preparing some dishes of Greek cuisine.

This year, we have been offered a partnership by the recently chartered PTPI Student Chapter in Pecs, Hungary. We accepted with pleasure. We have started working on a new project with the title Various Trends in Music in Different European Countries and plan to develop it during the next reporting period.

From December 29, 2007 till January 9, 2008, one of our chapter members, Max Ivanchenko, provided a homestay for one Albanian boy, Erald Himaj, whom he had met at the English language summer camp in Hungary, organized by PTPI's Pecs Adult Chapter. Every day, our chapter members organized city walks for Erald to places of interest or entertainment: a visit to the Kirovograd Collegium, the school of our chapter members, a visit to the Korchma, a restaurant offering typical Ukrainian cuisine, as well as some parties at Max's place with home-made Ukrainian dishes served with love by his mother, Tatyana Ivanchenko. Max's family got a newborn baby that December so the atmosphere in their house was nice and cozy. In the end of his stay, Erald was offered a two-day visit to Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, where he also did a number of excursions, city walks, as well as entertainment activities, such as visiting a skating rink, a bowling club and a disco.

Tatyana Sannikova, Adult Advisor

Kurchatov, Russia: PTPI's Friends Meeting Friends Student Chapter

The members of the recently chartered PTPI Friends Meeting Friends Student Chapter in Kurchatov, Russia, are very actively involved in the School and Classroom Program. Presently they are working on the "Magazine Project" with partner schools in Bethel, Connecticut, Tipton, California and Caldwell, Kansas. The aim of the project is to share and enjoy cultural diversity by comparing different styles in Russia and the United States. Students write articles on such topics as stories and poems, landscapes and nature, musical interests and popular artists, hobbies, culture, art or architecture, recipes as well as traditions. The students also exchange letters as pen-pals.

In late November 2007, Chapter president Bogdan Gumurzhi presented PTPI and his experiences during the Global Youth Forum 2007 at a press conference with the title "My thoughts and impressions of the Global Youth Forum." Bogdan started with a PowerPoint presentation and held a 30 minute speech to answer the questions of the local newspapers and TV channel. The press conference was a great success and was followed by a series of newspaper articles and a report on TV.

On February 10 and 23, our socially-minded members spent some hours of their precious weekends on the school premises to repair old furniture and paint about 15 desks and 30 chairs. When new hand-made shelves for the classroom equipment (TV-set, DVD-player, Mini-Home Theatre) arrived, they made up their minds to paint and varnish them as well. These activities were a great success and united our team. Besides they helped to increase chapter membership – 6 new students wanted to join our chapter as they saw the real value of community service.

In the end of April, seven members of PTPI's Friends Meeting Friends Student Chapter will present PTPI at the Annual School Scientific Society. They hope to recruit additional members with this activity.

Natasha Durneva, Chapter Reporter

Oroslavje, Croatia: PTPI's The Eagles Student Chapter

In the end of 2007, The Eagles collected 258 signatures among students and teachers of our school for a petition to build a gymnasium, which our school doesn't have yet. We were invited by the local town council, who fully supported us to official submit our petition to the County Council.

Eco Eagles in OroslavjeOn January 30, our students organized a workshop about the influence of the mass media on public opinion. For this occasion, they invited a freelance reporter for the regional newspaper Zagorski list as a special guest. During the workshop, the expert discussed with the students the way of writing, choosing and publishing news.

Our former chapter member Ivana Černi, who is now a student at the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb, talked about PTPI and our chapter on Radio Samobor, which is widely listened in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. This was of course great publicity for our chapter.

As a community service project, The Eagles Eco patrols collected plastic bottles and old paper in our town. So far, we have filled seven big containers and saved around 140 young trees from being devastated.

From March 26 to 31, 2008, a group of 12 chapter members and two leaders will have homestays with PTPI's Teens Working Together Student Chapter in Santa Ynez, California USA. The program includes many opportunities for members of the two chapters to get to know each other at social gatherings and meals, a trip to Disneyland, as well as a community service project (cleaning the local beach). The chapter members will also have the opportunity to meet with PTPI President & CEO, Mary Jean Eisenhower.

Marina Krsnik, Adult Advisor

Pécs Student Chapter, Hungary

The members of PTPI's Pécs Student Chapter have organized two cultural and social activities, such as a visit to the Thalia Theater in Budapest to see the play Rock 'n Roll written by Tom Stoppard and directed by Ivan Rajmont and a tracking tour to the hill Mecsek where they were informed about the German ethnical community in Hungary and its traditions. The new student chapter was presented in an article which appeared in the local newspaper Dunántúli Napló. The chapter also engaged in a clean up activity at school and listened to a lecture about the thinning of the ozone layer. For the coming month, PTPI's Pecs Student Chapter is planning to organize a multilateral project with the title Our Country in the Light of Contemporary Films and Different Trends of Pop Culture with some sister chapters from Ukraine, Poland and if possible other countries.

Ágnes Pásztor, Adult Advisor

Roman, Romania

After an intense year in which we developed a challenging educational and socializing project for 14 children with Down's Syndrome and Autism, this year we have chosen as a target group the parents of these children in an effort to use our funds and energy in a more efficient way. As these children need daily intensive therapy, parents are the only ones who can provide this, but they need training and competent counseling. Starting with February this year, we are benefiting from the competent expertise of one of the best therapists, Mr. Tudor Mitasov, who comes to our centre every Wednesday from the University of Iasi and has individual tutoring and training classes with parents. In this way, six of the most affected children and their families benefit from this innovative project worth 500 Euro per month. Half of the sum is covered by parents and Eurasia Educational Center and the other half is covered by PTPI funds. I must particularly thank PTPI's Hannover Chapter, which has raised and sent for this stage of the project the impressive sum of 700 Euro. Without this help, parents could not have afforded to pay for this program. We are happy that one of our YGs, Raluca, is also participating in this training, volunteering to help one of the parents with some more hours of therapy for one of the children with associated DS and autism.

PTPI Roman Chapter is also supporting the Academic Debate team from Roman Voda National College, some of the members being also our YGs. They have presented in public two debates: "Local community should develop more efficient programs for integrating the Roma community" and on St. Valentine's Day: "There is love at first sight." We have decided to invite teams from other towns for a better understanding, cooperation and training for the future regional and national tournaments.

After the Conference we will start the preparations for the Regional meeting at Voronet, May 24-25. We have also invited PTPI's Chisinau Chapter and hope to have a good participation from other chapters in Romania. Voronet monastery has a symbolic and holy significance for us and in this special place we will surely find the way to everybody's hearts. Please join us and you will find out why!

Sorina Danciu, President

Sternberk, Czech Republic

On December 3-16, a photographic exhibition was held in an Augustinian monastery in Sternberk, where the young members of our chapter presented their pictures and slides from the pilgrimage journey to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. This international project with our Spanish partners took place last summer in the Northern part of Spain, as a group of 26 young people walked 333 km from Oviedo to Santiago during three weeks. The opening day of the exhibition was on December 4, with the slideshow and video presentation for the public. The exhibition is still on its way and at this moment it moved to the Grammar school in Letohrad in the region of Orlicke Mountains.

One of PTPI's Sternberk Chapter members took part in the Peace Camp in Egypt on December 6-16, 2007. As Marek Kasik describes his experience: "I had the pleasure as I was selected for attending the Peace Camp 2007 which was held in Egypt in December 2007. I met another 50 students from 27 different countries from all-around the world. During this lifetime experience we spent 12 wonderful days together visiting Egyptian monuments and historical places with the best Egyptologists ever. We also experienced "Nile Adventure" for few days. Every morning we had sessions on different topics, e.g. different religions, presentation of our own country etc. I hope everybody started thinking about the peace and how to enhance tolerance between different nations and cultures. And I think everybody did. We all became really great friends and remember all the moments we had together in that country of pharaohs."

Every year some of our members help the Charitas organization in Šternberk to make some money to be able to support the humanitarian activities in our town, country or to help people in need. This year "Three Kings Collection" took place on January 5. The whole day collection and walking around our town went along with the heavy rain showers and cold wind, but our enthusiasm brought us to great success.

There were two days of meetings with our members, including the official annual meeting of our chapter. We had a lot to do and to discuss as there were two final reports from the main projects last year and many other activities. The elections of our executive board showed us that it is necessary to be prepared for some changes and that the young generation can bring a lot of new ideas into our leadership. We had a good chance to welcome some new members as well and finally there was time to plan many new events, projects and activities for the New Year 2008.

Among upcoming events we would like to mention welcoming of the spring on March 15 – 16, when we clean the forestall area with a famous lookout on our town, which is called Green Shelter; planting new trees on April 5-6; Waterfall III on May 16 -18, which will include rafting on the rivers in the Czech Republic; and Cylindr "In Blue" on June 7 – the traditional PTPI Sternberk celebration of Children's day. International visitors are warmly welcome to participate in our events as well as to visit our beautiful country in general.

Helca Metelkova, President

Tallinn, Estonia

PTPI's Tallinn Chapter started 2008 with a five day seminar for teachers. The main topics were development education at schools, participating in Global Education Week and lifelong learning. As a result there are two applications from PTPI's Tallinn Estonia Chapter. One of them was for the Grundtvig program with partnership from six EU countries and Concept Notes for EU Call for proposals for development education at schools in the new member countries. Let's hope that both will be successful.

PTPI's Tallinn Student Chapter became a partner of PTPI's Sternberk Chapter in the YG project. We hope that it will be successful as well.

The chapter will celebrate its 15th anniversary - our chapter was founded on March 31st, 1993. Old and new chapter members and our friends will have a party at the end of March.

We expect 15 students and three teachers from PTPI's University Chapter from Park University (US) led by Olga Ganzen in May. The adult and student chapter members will invite American guests for dinner in their homes.

We will organise PTPI's summer camp for teenagers in Narva-Joesuu at the end of July.

We expect Barbara Capozzi in July. She will be travelling with a group of 40 People to People Student Ambassadors, so there will be meetings with PTPI's Tallinn and PTPI's Tallinn Student Chapter members.

We are looking forward to having Annick and Pierre Debien in May for the art exhibition and workshops in Pärnu and Viljandi and organizing a homestay in Tallinn for friends from PTPI's Gliwice Chapter at the beginning of August.

Ruta Pels, President

Varna Bulgaria: PTPI's The Dolphins Student Chapter

At the end of September 2007, our close group of friends decided to create a chapter of PTPI in Varna. We met one day and informed our friends about PTPI. Our first meeting (and all that followed) took place in the Vista language school and was attended by twelve students. At this occasion, we elected the chapter officers. The name of the chapter The Dolphins and our chapter logo were chosen at our second meeting.

After the third meeting we realized our first environmental activity: cleaning up the green park of Golden sands, a small resort near Varna. On the fourth meeting we collected the membership fee and on November 20, the chapter was officially established. The second enterprise of the chapter, to revive an old garden, was prepared at our fifth meeting. Our Vice-President, Elitsa, took part in the Global Youth Forum 2007 in Chicago.

At our sixth meeting, we prepared the next enterprise: spending the night of Halloween with children. We played a short scene and had a wonderful time together. During this time we gained new members, too.

On the 8th meeting, our biggest and most successful enterprise was discussed and approved: raising money for making the life of children living with cancer easier and happier. Thanks to the organization Foundation for helping charity in Bulgaria we gained 127 Euros. The collected money was given to the medical centre where these kids live.

The last days before Christmas, souvenirs and cards were sold by PTPI members. Sponsors of the activity were Foundation for helping charity in Bulgaria, Balkan Kids and Pikadili Supermarkets. In only two days we collected 870 Euros. Then we bought gifts for the children and invented a short funny scene for them. On January 8, we visited them, played the scene and gave the gifts and the money.

One of our members, Emiliya, is going to attend an international training course for leaders in Brussels. Two others, Chris and Alex, are going to attend an international seminar organized by the PTPI members in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Discussions about the international project "Junge Wege in Europa" are our priority for the future meetings.

The members of The Dolphins are about 20. We have already completed four serious enterprises, but there is more to be learned in the future and we want to continue our efforts to spread love, peace and understanding among young people!

Yoanna Lyubenova, Secretary

Veszprém, Hungary

Our exchange program with PTPI's Céret Chapter is going fine. We are visiting them with six enthusiastic students from April 11-18; and then they will come, most likely right after our visit. It was on very short notice, but we managed to find sponsors with the help of the parents. Hopefully, we can continue this exchange and next year we will have more time to make arrangements and preparations.

Marianna Hári, President

Zalishchyky, Ukraine: Student Chapter

In order to attract new members, we presented PTPI to the students of our school and showed a film about PTPI. Articles about PTPI activities and events are published in the Zalishchyky Youth Newspaper.

During the Christmas holidays, members of our chapter went carolling in the community to families and the elderly and collected money for the local churches. We also gave much needed school items to the local orphanage. As a community service project, we collected waste paper and scrap metal and encouraged other students to do the same.

On Valentine's Day, we organized a contest for the best hand-made Valentine's card. Lots of pupils came to the exhibition of the cards and found a big hall full of red hearts, magnificent wishes, love lines and colourful arrangements. The best works were awarded.

On the eve of St. Valentine's Day, we also held a song competition with the title Sing out with Love. The aim was to listen to and to enjoy love songs of different performers in English. The judges awarded the participants in the competition.

After their participation in a language program in the United Kingdom, our adult advisor and two of our members made a presentation about Great Britain, its culture, history and places of interest. They shared their impressions after visiting this wonderful country.

In June, our chapter plans on hosting a group from California, USA, for 3 days and we are going to host a group of students from Poland in May.

Oleksandra Voychyshyn, Adult Advisor

Zürich, Switzerland

The chapter held its annual meeting on March 13. Klaus Mazenauer will serve as president. There were two new members attending the meeting, who also will visit PTPI in Japan this summer.