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2008-3 Newsletter

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

European Youth Forum in Berlin, Germany

Message from PTPI Europe's President

Dear Friends,

I am excited about all the PTPI activities happening around the world. Last weekend, I visited our Swiss friends for the All Swiss Meeting in Zürich. We had participants from France, England, Germany, Sweden, South Africa etc. It was truly an international event. Beautiful scenery, blue skies, eternal sunshine coupled with good friends and wonderful food – what more could a person need? I would like to thank Klaus Mazenauer and his family for organizing such a wonderful program.

I hope that everyone has had a great summer. I worked most of mine apart from PTPI's Educational & Humanitarian Initiative to Russia in July. We had an amazing ten days in Moscow, Novgorod and St. Petersburg. We had the privilege of meeting our friends from PTPI's Moscow Chapter whose wonderful president is Diana Belan. We were also happy to meet Oleg Preobrajenski, vice president of PTPI's Troitsk Chapter, whom many of you have met over the years.

Now, it is time for PTPI's 18th Worldwide Conference in Cairo. It is exciting to be in Egypt for the first time! I am rooming with a dear friend from the United States, whom I first met in China a few years ago. His family adopted me during that trip.

In October, we will have our third Leadership Seminar in Berlin. The last seminar held two years ago was a remarkable experience. I hope to see many of the chapters there.

Please remember the European Program Fund. The European Executive Committee would love to sponsor events initiated by our chapters. Please contact us with your ideas. Wishing you all a great PTPI fall, I remain

Your humble friend

Rolf G Dahlberg

PTPI Experiences

PTPI's European Youth Forum in Berlin – Meeting of Young Intercultural Leaders

August 11-17, 25 young people from Bulgaria, Romania, Russia, Slovenia and Ukraine, along with five dedicated group leaders united in Berlin for the second European Youth Forum (EYF). Here are some impressions from participants:

From the moment I arrived at the EYF in Berlin, I felt that I belonged there. I was delighted to see a bunch of people with tastes and thoughts similar to mine. It was nice sharing ideas on different topics, but the thing I loved most was that I could interact with PTPI staff. I didn't expect them to be so friendly and open-minded. The greatest achievement was that I managed to get rid of my fear of speaking in public. It was great debating with the others and learning firsthand what team spirit actually means. I also liked the idea of learning about the different countries represented at the forum. It was interesting to discover many customs and then analyze which ones are similar to those of my country.

The day in Berlin was fabulous. I also really enjoyed having a chat at Savigny Platz during one of the evening excursion. I think Berlin is one of the coolest cities I've ever seen. I really enjoyed this forum and hope we'll meet again next year.

Andreea Lazarescu, Member of the Young Generation group of PTPI's Roman Chapter in Romania

A Meeting of Young Intercultural Leaders and Much More

Most of us have been to summer schools and other types of international holidays before the European Youth Forum and know that it is almost impossible to get to know everybody, not to mention keep in touch afterwards. This time, however, it was different as unbelievable as that may sound. A week after I returned home, I had messages from a significant number of the young leaders I met in Berlin. Ninety percent of the letters ended with: "Hope we'll meet soon!"

What did we learn from each other? We learned to be tolerant and to be tolerable, to work and to fit in a team. We also learned our preferred roles in a team – leader, hard worker or co-coordinator. I strongly believe that the European Youth Forum helped most of us to overcome our social problems such as lack of good communication skills or shyness.

After the forum, the knowledge that really matters is what we can do, rather than what we know. Now, I feel I can communicate better; take part in discussions; make presentations and put forward my ideas clearly in English; and identify types of leadership. I also feel I can rely on the people I met!

Kalina Cherneva, President of PTPI's The Doves Student Chapter in Sofia, Bulgaria

New Friends

EYF

EYF1

YG Meeting 2008 – Participation Towards Citizenship

This year, PTPI's Young Generation Meeting, a training course "Participation Towards Citizenship" for 18-30 year olds, was organized by PTPI's Plovdiv Chapter in Berlin August 4-9. The 25 participants came from 13 countries. One participant was Sofiya Tsvetkova of PTPI's University Chapter in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. Here are her impressions:

The training course undoubtedly expanded both my theoretical knowledge and practical background on the issues of participation and citizenship. The content of the activities and sessions was well-balanced and focused. It not only increased participants' understanding of the terms concerned, but also prompted a common development of ideas to expand participation and citizens' awareness of the vital role their voice could play within their respective socio-political milieus. The facilitators contributed to the sessions by providing examples from their personal experiences. In terms of logistics, the seminar was run extremely smoothly. Bearing in mind the international dimension of the training, it certainly offered participants plenty of opportunities for networking, and promoted future cooperation on project ideas conceived during the seminar. To recapitulate, the training course as a whole most definitely lived up to my expectations.

Visiting Chisinau

After the regional meeting in Voronet in May, my new friends, members of PTPI's Chisinau Chapter, invited me for a visit to the Republic of Moldova. Looking at a map, I realized that the distance from Roman to Chisinau is only 240 kilometers. Since I always used to look only to the West, I knew almost nothing about this city. That was another reason to make this trip.

 Excursion to Old Orhei in MoldovaIt was a short Friday to Sunday visit. Chapter members Liuba Botnari and Ala Ulmanu were my hosts, and I want to thank them for taking such good care of me. I very much enjoyed the city walks through Chisinau, the amusement park, Moldavian beer and partying at night. During Saturday, we took a short trip to the archeological complex of Old Orhei. This natural fortress shaped from rock by the Raut River was chosen to be a settlement by many civilizations throughout time, starting with the 8th and 7th centuries BC. One of the best memories was dinner at "La Placinte," which translated into English means something like "pie shop." In fact, it is a small network of traditional Moldavian restaurants that serve very good meals and excellent house wine in addition to many different pies.

Special thanks go to Olga Sirbu, president of PTPI's Chisinau Chapter, and to all the members who joined us during the weekend. I enjoyed the time we spent together, and I will surely return because there are still many things that I didn't see or do. They have also promised to visit me in Romania, and I will make sure this meeting will take place.

Andrei Corduneanu, Member of PTPI's Roman Chapter in Romania

Intercultural Language Program 2008

Over the years, PTPI members have successfully applied and participated in Council of Europe intercultural language programs. This year, Christian Kolev and Vadim Toader of PTPI's Varna Chapter in Bulgaria and PTPI's Roman Chapter in Romania took part in a four-week program in Kassel, Germany. It is our hope to offer scholarships for future programs. Written by Christian and Vadim:

In Kassel, we noticed that there are many new people, with many different points of view, who have been learning German for various periods of time. We found that we spoke better than some, while others spoke better than us. Regardless of how good or bad a person's German language, we always managed to understand one another. By the end of the course, we really lived up to the program's motto: alle anders, alle gleich (all different, all equal).

The first week was all fun and games; getting to know everybody; presenting our organizations; and introduction into the program. Both of us were representatives of our countries but also PTPI representatives. As time passed, we got more into the program, and among visiting various youth centers and neighboring cities, our group soon got a visit from Council of Europe.

We had workshops and lectures about the function and activities of the Council of Europe and in particular the European Youth Foundation. By the third week, discussion had shifted to human rights. By playing innocent role playing games and expressing our opinions, we were able to learn so much, and with all the workshops, the program was an extremely enriching experience. It was clearly so much more than a language course.

During morning classes with teachers, we had discussions about topics that we would cover further in the afternoon with a trainer. In the afternoon, while really getting deep into the topic with our trainer, we practiced all the grammar and new words that we had learned with our teachers. Our group of 27 people was first divided into two groups according to our capability of speaking German, and then we were divided into four more groups for four projects that we had to work on during our stay. No matter how much we got mixed, we managed to have a great time in Kassel, and the friendships that we made there are going to last a long time.

From Little Things, Big Things Grow

Seven participants from Estonia took part in the project called ''From little things, big things grow'' in Sternberk, Czech Republic. During the project, we helped to restore the local Augustinian monastery, visited a psychiatric hospital (arranged Olympic Games with the patients), rafted down the Morava River, went camping and had many interesting activities including a musical workshop and multicultural evening. All participants lived together in the monastery and quickly became close friends. The atmosphere of the project was friendly, and no one ever felt lonely or bored. We had many different concerts, which were open to the public and even met the mayor of Sternberk. During the last evening, we had lovely bonfire and barbeque party. Life in the monastery was funny and nice, and all the participants were really happy to be there. Everyone was sad when we finally had to say goodbye to our international friends, but we promised to see each other again and stay in touch.

Polina Polykoff, Secretary of PTPI's Tallinn Student Chapter in Estonia

Friendship Caravan – a Company of Travellers

For 17 days, a young group from California USA enjoyed a European Caravan through Berlin, Gliwice, Katowice, Budapest, Sternberk and Prague. The trip was carefully planned by Elly Washington and Kay Kuns, who accompanied the group. After the first stop for four days in Berlin, with visits to the former Berlin Wall and the palace of Sanssouci in Potsdam, and a barbeque dinner one evening, the group took the night train to Southern Poland, where PTPI's chapters in Gliwice and the newly started Student Chapter in Katowice offered a full program. Here are selected quotes from both travellers and hosts:
  • As we arrived, we were greeted in the Polish traditional way with bread and salt.
  • Our chapter had the opportunity to host the participants of the Friendship Caravan. These were our first guests; so we wanted to make a good impression. Actually, we didn't know what to expect. We knew, though, what we intended to present. We started with visiting an after-school. For most of the participants this was their first contact with foreigners; so they were very excited. We played some small games, had an entertaining English lesson and a great time overall. The kids and teachers were really grateful for our effort.
  • Of course our students are generations removed from World War II and the Cold War, but this trip opened their eyes. As one of them stated, "It is one thing to read about these events in history, it is another to see [them] first hand."
  • While each country we visited had its splendor and beauty, it was the people who made the trip so fabulous. I honestly feel like I now have family in each place where we had a homestay.
  • The cooperation between Gliwice's adult and student chapters and the Katowice's student chapter in coordinating our visit was a wonderful testimony of ambassadorial diplomacy. You are all to be commended for your people-to-people spirit!
  • Our two-day excursion to Budapest, Hungary was made more special in that Zsuzsanna and Laslo greeted us upon arrival and joined us that night for dinner. We are excited about their interest in starting a chapter in this beautiful city. We continued our daily minimum walk of approximately 10 miles as we saw the sights and took a boat trip on the Danube River. What a beautiful city ... one to return to some day.
  • Our last homestay took place in Sternberk, where an active chapter under the leadership of Helca, Peter and Marek provided us with a most memorable stay.
  • On Sunday, American and Czech chapter members worked together to start the building of a volleyball court used by the chapter for annual Children's Day activities and other events. We sanded down pipes, primed and painted them and dug holes to stabilize them. I think our group may have done the hardest work, and others will follow us to finish the final project! Our hard work was rewarded by the excellent cooking of Helca's mom, who provided the lunch soup, bread and desserts -- -thank you! We played Russian pins and ballgames, roasted sausages for dinner over a campfire and sang songs with chapter member, Peter, who is a terrific support for Helca and the other members.

Before returning to California, the group visited Prague. Jana Magdonova from Sternberk accompanied the group and showed them the Czech capital, making sure the tour had a perfect end.

Coming Events

Date  Program Contact
September 4-9 
 PTPI's Pécs Chapter visits PTPI's Brussels Chapter
Anikó Bedekovits-Garami
September 5 
Reception at the Hungarian Cultural Centre in Brussels and presentation of Pécs by PTPI's Pécs Chapter 
Daniel Schaubacher
September 12
Volunteer Organisations Day - PTPI'S Berlin Chapter 
Hannelore Büchler
September 13
PTPI's Berlin Chapter: trip to Schlaubetal
Dagmar Schönbeck
September 12-14
Feedback alias Comeback and PTPI Sternberk Chapter Meeting
Helca Metelkova
September 18-28
Visitors from New Zealand in Sternberk
Helca Metelkova
September 20
Italian Concert Night in Hamburg
Christiane Schadow
September 24 
PTPI's Brussels Chapter: visit of the Charier Museum
www.peopletopeople.be
September 25-27
PTPI Kharkiv - Children to Children Chapter: Tolerance - a seminar
Ludmila Romanova
October 8
PTPI's Brussels Chapter: visit of the Maison Cauchie
www.peopletopeople.be
October 18
PTPI's Berlin Chapter: trip to Leipzig
Dagmar Schönbeck
October 22-26
PTPI's Leadership Seminar: Public Relations, Berlin
PTPI European Office
October 26
PTPI's Brussels Chapter: theater play L'assassin habite au 21
www.peopletopeople.be
November 1
Dinner in "Old Texas" with PTPI's Berlin Chapter
Hannelore Büchler
November 4
Afternoon in PTPI's European Office: talking about trips and events
Hannelore Büchler
November 4-15
Homestay Excursion to America's Pacific Coast
PTPI World Headquarters
November 12-16
Global Youth Forum, Denver, Colorado, USA
PTPI World Headquarters
December 1
Youth forum "Make Your Choice" devoted to the healthy way of living, Kiev, Ukraine
 
December 6
Dinner in "Old Texas" with PTPI's Berlin Chapter
Hannelore Büchler
December 13
PTPI's Brussels Chapter: Gala Dinner Dance in the Hotel Hilton
Daniel Schaubacher
June 4-7, 2009
PTPI's European Conference in Montpellier, France
PTPI European Office

PTPI Updates

Chapter ChangesYerevan

We welcome two new chapters: PTPI's Yerevan, Chapter and PTPI's Budapest Chapter. The Yerevan chapter is the first in Armenia. The president of the new Hungarian chapter, Zsuzsanna Balogh, and ten members have already received groups to the Hungarian chapter during the summer. In August, PTPI's Kiev Chapter was closed.

Join Our Blog for PTPI Youth in Europe!

PTPI's youth in Europe has been evolving from a small but enthusiast Swiss initiative group (Simon Troxler, Miriam Casas Troxler, Cornelia Siegenthaler and Simon Krebs) about eight years ago, to an impressive number of 16 student chapters, three university chapters and several active youth groups within adult chapters, namely in Roman, Céret, Tallinn and Gliwice. For the last few years, we have been encouraging our young members to participate in important youth events designed especially for them such as the European Youth Forum, Global Youth Forum, Peace Camp, European Young Generation Meetings and various PTPI chapter initiatives for youth. Community Youth Service Day activities together with other humanitarian and intercultural initiatives have been carried out and presented in our publications and on our Web sites.

The proverb says: One picture is worth ten thousand words. I have therefore decided to use a tool in fashion nowadays to make our activities more visible, let everybody know about your projects and fundraising campaigns, and give you the opportunity to get to know one another better.

So, if you want to share a good experience and post some inspiring photos; if you are planning a project and are looking for other PTPI members who may be interested in joining; if you offer a homestay program; or if you wish to share special news from your chapter, then the catchwords are: go blogging on www.ptpeyg.blogspot.com or write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Sorina Danciu, Youth Coordinating Officer of PTPI Europe

Joyce C. Hall College Scholarship

People to People International World Headquarters are accepting applications for the Joyce C. Hall College Scholarship. Five students will be selected for a 2,000 USD scholarship. The funds will be sent directly to each student's university or college and applied to his/her account.

Requirements for applying:

  • Experience with People to People International through participation in one of our programs
  • Current member of People to People International
  • Full time student
  • 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale
  • Applicants, who have already been awarded, may not apply again.

A complete application contains an application form, statement of the applicant's participation in a PTPI activity, an original essay on a given theme, statement of Financial Need Form, three recommendation letters and a transcript from school.

Completed applications must be sent to PTPI World Headquarters no later than October 15. For more information and to download the application form, please visit www.ptpi.org/programs/PDFs/Hall_App.pdf. For further questions, please contact PTPI World Headquarters by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at +1 816 531 4701.

Pen Pals for Albania

PTPI's Tirana Student Chapter has recently launched an initiative for English language students in Albania. PTPI members can support those efforts in several ways:

  • Help students to practice their English by becoming the pen pal of a student.
  • Help students by supplying dictionaries or books.
  • Help students by sponsoring their tuition fees.

If you are interested in supporting those efforts, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . More information is available at www.ptpe.org.

European Youth Forum – Meeting of Young Intercultural Leaders

August 11-17, we had the pleasure to host 25 young people ages 15-17 and five group leaders from Bulgaria, Romania, Russia, Slovenia and Ukraine in Berlin for the second European Youth Forum. Participants had the opportunity to get to know one another, learn more about one another's countries and PTPI, improve their leadership skills and develop cooperation projects. Two experience reports of participants are included in this issue of the European Newsletter. We also invite you to visit www.ptpe.org/eyf2008 for more reports and numerous pictures from the event. We want to use this opportunity to thank all participants for their great motivation, thorough preparation and dedication. You really made this event a special intercultural experience for us.

Membership Dues

During fall, PTPI chapters are kindly asked to pay their chapter dues. Each chapter president will receive an invoice a month in advance and instructions how to pay the fees.

Due date Chapter type Amount
October 1 Student and University Chapters 2 EUR/member
January 1 Adult Chapters 3 EUR/member

Chapter Reports

Berlin, Germany

Just after I finished the last newsletter, we started our trip to Hungary. Five Berlin members had a really good time in this beautiful country. We met members from the brand new chapter in Budapest. We were happy having these kind and perfect guides. Many thanks to them!

After Budapest, we went to Veszprém, where we all had homestays. Our hosts arranged a good program for all of us. We visited a school, where one of our members gave a lesson about German history, and we had the opportunity to talk about People to People International to the young students. In the afternoon, we made a tour to Lake Balaton, which is a nice area. A tour through the city and a meeting with chapter members were important points in the program. Also at our last stop in Pécs – which will be the European Culture City in 2010 – we had homestays. Julia and Hans from PTPI's Pécs Chapter were responsible for the program, which included a wonderful welcome dinner, a guided city walk, a visit to a flea market, a tour to Villány with wine tasting etc. In all of these Hungarian cities, we had a good time together with our hosts, and we will be very happy to welcome our new friends in Berlin!

PTPI Berlin members Visiting BudapestOne day after we came back from Hungary, we had guests from California USA. Elly Washington and Kay Kuns came to see Berlin together with four students, and they spent their days in homestays.

In July, we hosted a member from PTPI'S Warsaw Chapter for five days. We arranged sightseeing tours and a meeting with some members from Berlin, the same as with Barbara Capozzi and three teachers and 44 students from Italy.

One weekend, our chapter invited members and friends for a walk through Pankow, a nice district of Berlin. We all enjoyed the walk and the sunny weather.

 

Our chapter will be present at the 18th Worldwide Conference in Cairo, where we receive the "International Visitors Program Award," a great honour for all of us. I hope many other European members will be there!

Hannelore Büchler, President

Bern, Switzerland

July 9, PTPI's Bern Chapter held its first "English Höck" Meeting, which is planned to be organized every second Wednesday.

August 16, PTPI's Zürich Chapter had its traditional All Swiss Meeting, which some of our members attended. During this one-day meeting, we had the opportunity not only to be in the nature and enjoy the beauty of this region, but also to share experiences and ideas, and to spend a great time together.

August 30, we had our traditional Summer Party.

Ernst Honegger, President

Brussels, Belgium

June 21, PTPI's Brussels Chapter held an astoundingly successful Peace and Love Dinner Dance at the fashionable Repos des Chasseurs restaurant in Watermael-Boitsfort in the wooded outskirts of Brussels. With more than 50 revelers, many costumed as in the 60s, participants were unanimous in praising the creative organizers. The latter have been so motivated as to announce another similar event for December 13 at the Brussels Hilton – the 2008 People to People Christmas Party. For further information and reservations, please contact Christine Pairon at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

July 10, Andris Piebalgs, the European Commissioner for Energy, and Lawrence D. Wohlers, chargé d'affaires at the US Mission to the European Union, invited PTPI's Brussels Chapter to attend the opening of an American art exhibition featuring sculptures by American artist John D. Antone inspired by Europe at the headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels.

Daniel Schaubacher, president of PTPI's Brussels Chapter, and Blanche Decoster Peycker, PTPI trustee and vice president of PTPI's Brussels Chapter, took this opportunity to share information about PTPI's mission and programs with the hosts, the artist, European officials and American diplomats, as well as with other attendees.

July 26, a beautiful summer afternoon, a delegation of PTPI's Brussels Chapter visited the medieval castle of Gaasbeek, which is surrounded by a wonderful park, ponds and vegetable and flower gardens. It is said that Bruegel took inspiration for his now famous paintings of landscapes from the vast garden terrace, which offers a scenic panorama on the hilly countryside. People to People went on a guided tour of the interior, in which many rooms were part of a special exhibit on divas and other celebrities featuring a unique collection of dresses and paintings. The excursion was concluded by a happy hour and refreshments in the quaint Egmont tavern.

During the beginning of September, PTPI's Brussels Chapter will host a delegation of PTPI's Pécs, Hungary Chapter. September 5, the delegation will present the city of Pécs, which will be the European capital of culture in 2010, in the Hungarian Cultural Center of Brussels. PTPI's Pécs Chapter will apply to host PTPI's European Conference in 2010.

PTPI's Brussels Chapter invites members and friends to a promenade and refreshment in the Parc Léopold of Brussels on September 10. September 24, the chapter plans a visit to the Charlier Museum. October 8, a visit of the Maison Chauchie is on the agenda and on October 26, the members of PTPI's Brussels Chapter will go to the theater play L'assassin habite au 21. Information about all coming events is available online at www.peopletopeople.be.

Daniel Schaubacher, President

Chisinau, Moldova

Following the contacts made at the PTPI seminar in Romania in May, Andrei Corduneanu of PTPI's Roman Chapter visited us for a weekend. We had a great time together and showed him the cave monastery of Orheiul Vechi and had a small picnic on Ivancea Lake.

Olga Sirbu, President

Denmark

PTPI's Haderslev-Vojens Chapter met PTPI's Delaware Chapter at the Trustee Meeting in Berlin. We agreed to have a three-day homestay in Wilmington, Delaware USA, which has been planned for two years. We have received much help in planning a day trip to visit the Amish People in Lancaster County while we are in Delaware. The group of 17 adults will also spend three days in Washington DC before arriving in Delaware.

Gunild Bogdahn, Vice President

Interlaken, Switzerland

This year, Student Ambassadors and teachers from the United States once again visited Interlaken and the greater Bernese Oberland area. Over the weekend of July 19-20,, PTPI's Interlaken Chapter provided homestays in Swiss families for 43 visitors.

Interlaken Homestay group from USAThe group from North Carolina – 24 girls and 16 boys aged 15-18 and four teachers – travelled from Paris to Interlaken via Strasbourg and Lucerne. Chapter President Thomas Ammann welcomed the young guests at a local attraction, a suspension rope park, whose owner was also on hand to greet the visitors. City Councilman Philippe Ritschard then offered a heartfelt and informative welcome message, describing Interlaken and its surroundings as a special holiday destination with many sights and natural attractions. He encouraged everyone to enjoy their Swiss family experience and to return one day again with their own family and friends. The welcome message was followed by an introduction to the park, and all of the guests received a free-entry coupon to be used at any time during their stay. The families and students were invited to stay and enjoy the warm summer evening until nightfall, and to get to know one another around a shared grill in the shade of the surrounding woods.

The group from North Carolina – 24 girls and 16 boys aged 15-18 and four teachers – travelled from Paris to Interlaken via Strasbourg and Lucerne. Chapter President Thomas Ammann welcomed the young guests at a local attraction, a suspension rope park, whose owner was also on hand to greet the visitors. City Councilman Philippe Ritschard then offered a heartfelt and informative welcome message, describing Interlaken and its surroundings as a special holiday destination with many sights and natural attractions. He encouraged everyone to enjoy their Swiss family experience and to return one day again with their own family and friends. The welcome message was followed by an introduction to the park, and all of the guests received a free-entry coupon to be used at any time during their stay. The families and students were invited to stay and enjoy the warm summer evening until nightfall, and to get to know one another around a shared grill in the shade of the surrounding woods.

The visit ended with a group lunch before the Student Ambassadors headed for their next destinations of Heidiland, Salzburg and Vienna. At the beginning of August, the students ended their trip in Rome, from where they flew home. Post-visit memories and comments from both guests and host families are consistently positive. Host family members of all ages truly took their guests into their homes and hearts.

Thomas Ammann, President

Katowice, Poland: PTPI's Silesian Student Chapter

Katowice VisitPTPI's Silesian Student Chapter recently supported Habitat for Humanity's mission of building homes for families who cannot afford a place to live by themselves.

The Global Village Program of Habitat for Humanity invites men and women of all ages, communions and races all over the world to help people in other countries by building houses for them.

None of us had any building experience; so we had to adopt all necessary skill as we went. We have learned to prepare glue, which we then used to secure bricks and rais walls. We also dug and levelled ground, straightened wires for construction reinforcement and even cut planks with chainsaws.

Despite there being only a few of us, we gave a 110% effort and worked very hard to give someone else a better living. Each of us felt satisfied as we watched the walls going higher and higher.

Kuba Kucera, Secretary

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

July 20, PTPI's Friends Meeting Friends Student Chapter organized an interview with the local TV channel to share our plans to participate in the European Youth Forum in August. July 22, a report appeared on our local TV channel. . As our speech on TV was very emotional, everyone in our hometown became interested in our plans and wished us good luck.

August 25-27, our chapter members volunteered on the school premises. Along with repairs, we helped school staff to clean the classrooms. Now, our school is ready for a new academic year, and we are glad to have helped and put our personal input into its preparation. It was nice to meet with old friends and do some work together!

August 28-30, we decided to make a film entitled "A virtual trip to Kurchatov, Russia" about our hometown of Kurchatov. Chapter members plunged into this activity with great enthusiasm and pleasure as we hope to attract our new friends to visit us and have a homestay in our town. It was really great to try our hands at directing and filming. We are going to share our film with our project partners and invite them to visit us next year.

September 1, the recently elected President of PTPI's Kurchatov Chapter, Roman Bysov, will hold a presentation about PTPI and its role in obtaining intercultural knowledge.

The chapter also collects money, clothes and other supplies for people of the conflict areas in Caucasus, where many people are homeless now.

Elena Tarlovskay, Adult Advisor

Narva, Estonia

This summer, young PTPI members took part in a few projects. I think the most important one was the conference in Kaikas, which provided an arts master class and teen drama festival. Thirty kids from Moscow, who were staying in Kaikas for twelve days, joined us for camp activities, including sport competitions. By working together, they gained a lot of new friends in Estonia. Also, the members' activities at the summer camp in Ryapino, Russia where they had an opportunity to improve their foreign language skills.

Tamara Tsvetkova, Adult Advisor

Oroslavje, Croatian: PTPI's the Eagles Student Chapter

PTPI's Oroslavje, the Eagles Student Chapter was active through the school year. Our school was privileged to host the celebration of European Day in our county, and thanks to that, we represented PTPI and our chapter to our foreign guests, Ministry of Education officials, county and town officials and the school authorities and students.

Our chapter secretary has received a scholarship for PTPI's Global Youth Forum in Denver, Colorado USA, where she will represent our chapter, school and country as one of the speakers on the International Student Panel.

Two of our members were guests at a radio broadcast, during which they talked about our peace and humanitarian initiatives, and our visit to the United States and our wonderful hosts, PTPI's Teens Working Together Chapter and their adult advisors.

One American girl visited Croatia for two weeks and became a member of the Crnica family in the Croatian capital, Zagreb. Her host family put tremendous effort into making her stay as enjoyable as possible and showed her wonders not only of the capital and the surroundings, but also of the Adriatic Sea.

Marina Krsnik, Adult Advisor

Pécs, Hungary

There was no real holiday break for The Pécs Chapter this year. Having returned from the conference in Rimini, with stops in Ljubljana and Venice, we immediately received five guests from Berlin for a homestay from June 13-17, among them was our new European secretary, Hanne. The program for our guests included a dance theatre performance at the Tettye ruins, a visit to the flea market of Pécs, as well as excursions to Villány to taste the famous wines of the region and to Orfü lakeside for a dinner.

June 16, we held our monthly meeting with some new members. In July, we held our traditional summer barbeque with lots of food and drinks.

September 4-9, six chapter members visited PTPI's Brussels Chapter. We presented PTPI and the city and region of Pécs to the public at the Hungarian Cultural Centre. The presentation was supported by the communication and marketing division of the management for Pécs as European Capital of Culture in 2010. The presentation was followed by a reception and buffet-style dinner, to which numerous personalities and media were invited. A video edition of the presentation can be watched on www.youtube.com – A Glimpse of Pécs -- and at www.virtualtourist.com.

After returning home, we have another monthly meeting and a press conference, where we will report on the visit to Brussels and listen to a report by Gergely Kiss, one of our members, who is a participant at PTPI's World Conference in Cairo.

English language courses will be restarted and a very promising contact has been established with a local commercial-free radio station. They have offered to publish a weekly one-hour program about PTPI or any subject we want together with international folk and world music. Our public relations efforts are growing, and maybe you can soon listen to us LIVE.

Hans G. Randau, President

Roman, Romania

Our young chapter members were very busy this summer. Nine visited Berlin for different reasons and at different times but with the same aim: to benefit from intercultural experiences. Five young YGs (Andreea, Cezara, Letty, Roxana and Michael) participated in the European Youth Forum, while three older YGs (Andrei, Cosmin and Alex) joined the Young Generation Meeting organized by PTPI's Plovdiv Chapter as a training course with the topic "Participation towards Citizenship." Vadim completed a one-month German language course with a short visit in Berlin during the EYF. Andrei also visited our sister chapter in Chisinau and had a very good time there; he is already planning a future meeting. For the near future, we will concentrate on organizing some more exchanges and homestay programs as we are always happy to travel and have guests.

Sorina Danciu, President

Sofia, Bulgaria – the Doves Student Chapter

Membership DriveJune 2, PTPI's Doves Student Chapter visited an orphanage to celebrate Children's Day. In addition to the cups and plates we bought for them, we brought some sweets, toys and clothes. We also established a relationship with this orphanage and promised to keep in touch so we can deliver what they need in the future.

All 27 chapter members helped in a membership recruitment drive by inviting their friends to meetings and promoting the idea of PTPI and our chapter. The drive resulted in an increase from 27 to 40 members.

During the summer, we offered help to 8th-graders as they attended one extra English class per week. For three small groups we made dictations, helped with grammar, conducted speaking exercises, provided materials and clarified what opportunities they have for taking certificates in English.

Five of our chapter members participated in the European Youth Forum in Berlin in August.

Kalina Charneva, President

Sternberk, Czech Republic


June 7, we held our fifth turn of Cylindr celebration, a traditional, beneficial chapter event for children and friends of PTPI. Our main topic was "In Blue," which meant that everyone wore blue clothes, and everything was covered in blue colour. More than 80 people enjoyed this "blue" afternoon and night, full of fun blue games, competitions, blue cakes, sweets, drinks and also blue music! The night was ended with a dark blue movie and finally with a bonfire, at which some played guitar and sang blue songs. This event helped us to raise funds for our international activities.

June 22-25, we held a preparation meeting for our summer youth exchange project, "From little things, big things grow," in Šternberk.

June 28-July 2, we hosted the Friendship Caravan, a group of U.S. students and leaders from PTPI's Central Valley Student Chapter and Teens Working Student Chapter in California USA. They helped us with a community project and stayed with our families for a few days to gain new experiences and meet new people from another culture. Together we built new posts in our field for sports activities. We also cleaned, painted and prepared the posts to be secured in the ground. The program ended with visits to Šternberk's castle, historical centre, Olomouc city and zoo. We had a nice time together and enjoyed it very much.

PTPI Sternberk members with visitors from CaliforniaJune 29 - August 4, Katie Gorrell from California USA stayed with our chapter to teach our members and friends English in a more fun way. She was our guest for nearly five weeks, during which she stayed with four different families to experience as much Czech culture, lifestyle, tradition and daily life as possible. We had a lovely time with Katie and a great opportunity to speak English in ordinary life situations.

August 1-12, we had our biggest project, "From little things, big things grow," an international youth exchange project, which took place in the former Augustinian monastery in Šternberk. Young people from five European countries – PTPI's Chester Chapter from England, PTPI's Estonia Chapter, PTPI's Sternberk Chapter and students from Spain and Finland – came to work and spend twelve days together. They did a lot to help the monastery be a better place for cultural events and public actions. The project wasn't only hard work, but also included leisure time, teambuilding activities in a rope centre, rafting on the Morava River, painting t-shirts and participating in workshops and Olympic Games in the psychiatric hospital. We had a chance to get to know one another better, better understand different cultures, cooperate on projects, meet new friends and show the local community that young people are involved and interested in what is going on in their town, country or in Europe. We also demonstrated to our mayor that the town can count on us. Even though we are a small chapter, together with friends all around the World, we can do big things. As our project motto says: "From little things, big things grow." This project was supported by the European Commission's Youth in Action Program.

August 15-25, a bilateral youth exchange was held in Wroclaw, Poland (Ceski film vs. Polska chekolada). Nine chapter members participated in this interesting project of ten days of sport, cultural, international activities and exchange. We asked: How does Poland taste? What do we have in common? What are differences and what makes our nations so typical? Where do our history and traditions start? These questions were answered during the project, and what's more, strong relationships were the result.

Helca Metelkova, President

Tallinn, Estonia

Summer Camp in Narva-JoesuuJuly 6, PTPI's Tallinn Adult and Student Chapters received a visit from Student Ambassadors led by Barbara Capozzi. It was very nice meeting at the Ulemiste Hotel and walking through Old Town in the evening. Our American guests visited not only official tourist sites, but also hidden places in the medieval town and a nice chocolate cafe and supermarket. Five chapter members met with Managing Director of European Operations Lars Poignant on July 18 in Tallinn and were invited for lunch at the African Kitchen, where they discussed PTPI news.

July 24, Ruta Pels and Alex Smulski spent a nice day in the Old Town with Richard Berrett, president of PTPI's Central Valley Chapter in California USA, and his wife, Diane, when they came via a Baltic Sea cruise to Tallinn for one day.

Polina Poljakoff with young people from Estonia participated in a PTPI Sternberk Chapter project in the Czech Republic. PTPI's Tallinn Adult and Narva Student Chapters organised their annual PTPI Summer Camp in Narva-Joesuu. This year, we also found two new partner NGOs -- Peace Dream and Anti-AIDS. Finally, good news came from the Grundtvig Long Life European Program that our project "Europe needs active seniors," organized with six other European NGOs, „was accepted! Now we are waiting for results from the EuroAids Program in development education.

Ruta Pels, President

Yerevan, Armenia

August 23, PTPI's Yerevan Chapter organized a ceremony, where our vice president presented PTPI's activities to young people who want to become involve as volunteers with our chapter with the aim of becoming members in the future. Chapter President Silva Vardanyan congratulated the members and distributed membership cards at the event. She encouraged members to cooperate with other chapters to successfully implement different programs.

We plan to have similar events in September and October for non-members to learn about local and international PTPI programs.

Silva Vardanyan, President

Zalishchyky, Ukraine

At the beginning of summer, our student chapter held a project for young people that consisted of performing different programs such as singing, dancing, dramatics and sports.

In June, members made a small journey to the Carpathians Mountains. Our aim was to discover our native landscape and culture of that special region in the western part of Ukraine.

Our most important project was to prepare for the European Youth Forum. Thanks to all the members of PTPI's Zalishchyky Student Chapter who made posters, placards and other materials to bring to Berlin. Five of our members went to Germany.. We will never forget the brilliant time that we spent with everyone. Thank you for the well-organized forum. We gained an intercultural learning experience by participating in different workshops and interactive games. We were impressed by the beauty of Berlin and the number of nationalities who live in peace in this cosmopolitan city. We are happy that we could make so many new friends. During this forum, we felt more engaged than ever before in PTPI's activities. The meeting of intercultural leaders gave us much experience and support for our future projects, and hope for mutual collaboration among PTPI's chapters. We decided to organize an exhibition of our photos taken in Berlin during the European Youth Forum. Also, our adult advisor prepared a report about our chapter's participation, which she presented at a teachers' meeting.

Uliana Strelbitska, President