Print

2009-1 PTPE Newsletter

Message from President | PTPI Experiences | Coming Events | PTPI Updates | Chapter Reports | Download as PDF

Message from the President

Dear Friends,Rolf Dahlberg

I'm glad and proud to have PTPI friends. In time of need, I feel stronger. Last week, when the media company I have been working for decided to close down due to the declining ad-markets, I was first shocked. Then, after communicating with many of you friends out there, I got calm and reassured that I will get through this. This week, I got a two-month consulting job and some interviews are lined up. Thank you all for helping me get through this. I'm sure there are others in the organization in the same predicament. Let us all help them as well.

At the end of last month, I attended PTPI's Board of Directors Meeting in the United States. It is reassuring to hear that PTPI's balance sheet remains very strong.

I'm very proud to see our PTPI family grow in Europe and around the world. Since fall, we have chartered PTPI's Kiev Ukraine Adult Chapter, PTPI's Skopje Republic of Macedonia Chapter, PTPI's Gliwice Poland Student Chapter, PTPI's Istanbul Turkey Student Chapter, PTPI's Tirana University Chapter, PTPI's Trbovlje Slovenia Chapter and PTPI's Vladimir Russia Student Chapter. Welcome to this wonderful group of unique individuals!

PTPI's inaugural Homestay Excursion to the American Pacific Coast took place November 4-15, 2008. The delegation consisted of individuals representing PTPI's Gliwice Poland Chapter, PTPI's Berlin Germany Chapter and PTPI's Kiev Ukraine Student Chapter. Many more exciting trips and events are planned by and for our chapters. You can read more in this newsletter.
In the beginning of June, it will be time to again gather for our European Conference, this year in the city of Montpellier in southern France. The international Board of Directors will be joining us this time.

Cornelia Siegenthaler, our Treasurer on the European Excecutive Committee, will have served for four years when we meet in Montpellier. We truly thank her for her great efforts. We are now looking for someone to fill her position. Is there someone you think would be a great addition to our board? We also would like nominations for the position of Auditor. Please send in your nominations to me or to the European Office.

For all of you Trustees out there, this year's two meetings will be in June in conjunction with the European Conference and in September in conjunction with the 2009 Annual Trustees Meeting in Las Vegas! We hope you will take the opportunity to participate.

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

Your humble friend

Rolf G. Dahlberg

Brussels Group Pecs Forum

PTPI Experiences

Student Chapter Exchanges

For two days in March, ten students from Pécs, Hungary visited Oroslavje in neighbouring Croatia. The program was initiated by Hans Randau. Below is Marina Ksnik's (Adult Advisor in Oroslavje) report of the event.

The students and two adult advisors, Agnes Pasztor and Szilvia Kazmer, of PTPI Pécs Hungary Chapter visited PTPI's Oroslavje Croatia (The Eagles) Chapter, March 20-22, and enjoyed numerous activities. The Hungarian students were greeted by Oroslavje High School authorities; the principal of the school, Ms Mučnjak, and the school pedagogue, Ms Bračić-Bunčec. The workshop prepared by the Eagles contained a quiz on Hungary and Croatia, activities with the aim of getting to get to know each other better, and Hungarian and Croatian traditional folk songs.

On Friday evening, all the hosts and guests together with other Eagles members had a pizza at the famous local pizzeria. On Saturday, we went sightseeing in Zagreb, the capital, and the tour was prepared by the Eagles. Each monument or significant building was described by the Croatian students, who put a lot of effort into gathering information about the famous sites and made an effort to eloquently present it to the guests. Afterwards, we had some free time in the afternoon to do some souvenir shopping.

In the evening, after dinner in a restaurant with the advisors and the principle, Ms. Mučnjak, the students and the adult advisors alike went to a disco to taste the atmosphere of a teenagers' night life.

Sunday morning was free. Some spent it with their hosts; others went sightseeing, fishing or simply had a lazy morning sleeping after a night out.

The departure of our new friends was very emotional, and there were some tears too. The Hungarian students were seen off not only by the Croatian students, but also by the school authorities and the parents, who expressed their satisfaction with the homestay.

It was a short time, but close bonds were established with the Pécs Hungary Chapter members and adult advisors, and the time spent with the guests proved very valuable. Memories of the visit will always stay in our minds and hearts. It proved once again that PTPI members are all friendly and warm-hearted people, who are trying to make a difference in the world. That's why I also have to thank Hans Randau, who was the initiator of the homestay, for sending such great advisors and students to Croatia.

Coming Events

Date Program Contact
March 20
PTPI Zurich: Annual Meeting
Klaus Mazenauer
March 26 - April 5
PTPI Peace Camp in Jordan
PTPI World Headquarters
April 3–5
PTPI Sternberk: Planting of new trees
Helca Metelkova
April 3-9
PTPI Blagoevgrad: Environmental Week
Adelina Pavlova
April 6
Chester: Annual Meeting
Heather Exell
April 8-15
International Youth Meeting "On the Wings of a Dove" in Céret
PTPI
April 20-26
Plovdiv: Training Course in Sofia
Stoyka Beleva
April 23-26
PTPI Kiev: II International Lingo Festival
Anna Chuiko
April 22
PTPI Sternberk: ,,Amphibian afternoon" for children
Helca Metelkova
May 23- 30
PTPI Denmark: Trip through Romania
May 30
PTPI Sternberk: Children's Day
Helca Metelkova
June 4-7
European Conference in Montpellier, France
June 20
PTPI Berlin: Summer Grill Party
Hannelore Büchler
June 26-29
PTPI Bern: Delegation of Student Ambassadors
PTPI World Headquarters
July 12-19
PTPI Plovdiv: Youth Exchange in Slovenia
PTPI, NFAPI
July 18-19
PTPI Berlin: Weekend Trip to Weimar
Hannelore Büchler
August 1
PTPI Berlin: Trip to Potsdam
Hannelore Büchler
August 3-9
European Youth Forum in Berlin
August 22
PTPI Bern: Monthly Meeting and Summer Party
Felix Engler
September 3-6
PTPI Board of Trustees-Meeting in Las Vegas
PTPI World Headquarters
September 18-28
Trip to Poland and Czech Republic
European Office
November 23-29
Leadership Seminar
European Office

PTPI's European Youth Forum "All Europe is our stage!"

This is a chance to make friends from all over Europe and take part in a unique theatre project!

Target Group

Groups should consist of five young people ages 15-17 and one adult leader from any European country including non-E.U. member states. Participants need to have good English-language skills. First experiences in theatre or other performing arts, as well as membership of People to People International are advantages for selection but are not requirements.

Youth Forum

Date  August 3-9, 2009
Location Berlin, Germany
Language English
Deadline April 15, 2009
Details http://www.ptpe.org/projects/eyf2009/

Costs

The participation fee of 60 euros for Western Europeans and 40 euros for all others covers accommodations, board and participation in all program parts. Travel costs can be reimbursed up to a maximum of 70%. Visa costs need to be covered by participants. There is no participation fee for group leaders. Travel costs of group leaders are reimbursed up to 100% under the condition that the leader travels with the group.

Application

The application forms for participants and group leaders are available at ptpe.org/eyf2009. Please note that individuals cannot apply. A complete application consists of the applications of five young people and one adult from the same country. The applications should be sent by fax or e-mail to PTPI's European Office (+49 30 8891 6434, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ). Each application should include the required signatures.

Central European Homestay in September

Thanks to Hans-Dieter Robel, there will be a homestay tour stretching over three countries (Germany, Poland and Czech Republic) and five chapters. The best part is that anyone is invited to participate!

Summary of program:

Time:  September 18-28
Program: Berlin – Gliwice – Katowice – Olumouc – Sternberk – Prague

Local chapters will provide homestays and programs. For anyone interested, please contact Hans-Dieter Robel.

PTPI European Conference – Montpellier, June 4-7

Rimini

All chapters and members are invited to this year's European Conference. It will be held in Montpellier, France.

We are very pleased that PTPI's Board of Directors has also chosen to have its meeting in Montpellier (June 3-4). Attending the conference will also be PTPI's President and CEO, Mary Eisenhower. For more information, please visit:

Montpellier Homepage

Conference Summary

Participants  PTPI members and nonmembers Place Montpellier, France
Conference Web site Click here Registration Deadline May 4 (early bird April 20)
Language English Organizers PTPI Montpellier, PTPE, PTPI
Conference Venue Corum Conference Center Registration Fee (EUR) 180 (155)
Time June 4-7, 2009 Homestay Available in Montpellier, Céret, Angoulême
Conference Grant Available Suggested Hotel Holiday Inn/Métropole

Preliminary Program

The program will be a combination of social and cultural events. For the Council Meeting on Saturday, all chapters are encouraged to present their chapters and regions at the chapter fair.

Thursday June 4 - Optional Day Friday June 5 - Arrival and Registration – City Walks
  • Arrival – all day
  • Excursion to Saint-Guilhem-le-desert 9:00 – 17:00
  • Youth Meeting (afternoon)
  • Dinner
  • Arrival and Registration – all day (Hotel Métropole)
  • City Sightseeing in Montpellier (morning and afternoon)
  • Board of Trustees Meeting (afternoon)
  • Bus transfer to La Grande Motte and Welcome Reception
Saturday June 6 - Council Meeting and Chapter Fair Sunday June 7 - Excursion Day
  • Council Meeting (morning)
  • Lunch
  • Conference continues (Chapter Fair)
  • Conference Gala Dinner – Hotel Métropole
  • Departure for Camargue
  • Lunch
  • Return to Montpellier 15:00
  • Departures
  • Homestay or Paris Program (optional)

Council Meeting

For the Council Meeting, there will be elections to the Executive Committee. Each officer is elected for two years and can serve a maximum of two terms. There are no limits for the auditors.

Position Officer First elected Election
President Rolf Dahlberg, Sweden Köge 2006  No election
Secretary Hannelore Büchler, Germany  Rimini 2008  No election
Treasurer  Cornelia Siegenthaler, Switzerland  Tirana 2005 Cannot be reelected
PR Officer Gunild Bogdahn, Denmark Köge 2006 No election
Youth Coordinator Sorina Danciu, Romania Interlaken 2007 Cannot be reelected
Auditor  Felix Engler, Switzerland Baveno 2004
Auditor Andrew Martin, England Tirana 2005

For the 2010 European Conference, chapters are welcome to come with suggestions. PTPI's Pécs Hungary Chapter has for two years offered to host the conference. Pécs will be the cultural capital of Europe next year, which will bring extra attention to the city.

PTPI Updates

Peter Whitby

Following the death of Peter Whitby, People to People International has lost one of its most dedicated members. Peter held every office in the Chester Chapter and then held the office of President of Europe. He was a Trustee of the Board of PTPI and was then voted to become a Director, working tirelessly to attend meetings and conferences all around the world. He was highly respected and liked by the tremendous number of friends he made and was always the life and soul of any gathering. He will always be remembered for his love of getting everyone to sing. He will be sadly missed.

PTPI's Chester, England Chapter

PTPI Funds and Sponsorship

PTPI offers different ways to financially support chapters and programs. For details and application forms, please visit the Web site and/or contact the PTPI offices.

PTPI's Matching Grant Program has been restructured and is now offered in two different ways: a.) Chapter Grant (250 USD) or b.) Chapter Matching Grant (1.000 USD). Chapters that have been active for at least one year and are in good standing (membership dues have been paid) can apply for the grants. Application deadlines are: March 15, June 15, September 15 and December 15. Decisions regarding the grants are made by PTPI World Headquarters.

The European Program Fund is offered to chapters and individuals. There is no deadline. The description is available online at www.ptpe.org/epf. The European Executive Committee decides who receives the funds.

Through the YG Grant, PTPI offers support for chapter programs for Young Generation members (18-30 years old). PTPI's European Office decides who receives the grants. Previous years PTPI's Sternberk Czech Republic and PTPI's Plovdiv Bulgaria Chapters have been awarded. This year, YG Grants of 1500 euros were awarded to two chapters. There were seven applicants.

Chapter Country Program Date Web site
Céret France On the Wings of a Dove April 8-15  www.ptpe.org/ceret2009
Yerevan Armenia Cooperation Path August/September

New Chapters

Since fall, there are a few new chapters, which we welcome to the PTPI family.

Chapter Country President Chartered
Gliwice Student Poland Aleksandra Michniewicz December 2008
Kiev Ukraine Victoria Marynovych October 2008
Skopje Republic of Macedonia Enisa Murseli January 2009
Tirana University Albania Enisa Bajrami January 2009
Trbovlje Slovenia Uros Skrinar January 2009
Vladimir Student Russia Slava Romanychev February 2009

In both Kiev and Tirana, PTPI now has three chapters: student, university and adult. The chapters in Trbovlje and Skopje are the first PTPI chapters in Slovenia and the Republic of Macedonia. PTPI's Sochi Russia Chapter has been closed.

Language Ambassador Program

The program continues this year. One U.S. member, Mark Johnson from California, will most likely teach in Romania this summer. For interested chapters, Margaret Turner from Kansas City, Missouri USA also offers to teach. The program is described in detail at www.ptpe.org/language-ambassador.

PTPI Publications – On Track

Each month "On Track" is issued. PTPI encourages chapters and members to explore the newsletter and to share news and photographs. On Track can be subscribed to via www.ptpi.org. For chapter updates, please contact Stacey Chance ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).

PTPI Radio

Hans Randau of PTPI's Pécs, Hungary Chapter continues to offer PTPI Radio. There are two transmissions: both on internet SHOUTcast station: http://sztrim.periszkopradio.hu:8088.

Saturdays: 10:00. CET in English – People to People International "Calling Europe".

Sundays: 16:00 CET in German – People to People International "Wir in Europa".

International Visitors Program – Homestay

PTPI encourages chapters to take part in the International Visitors Program, one of the most popular programs in Europe, by either offering homestays or by visiting other chapters. Currently, chapters in the following European cities are offering homestays:

Albania: Korce and Tirana Belgium: Brussels Bulgaria: Plovdiv Croatia: Oroslavje
Czech Republic: Sternberk Denmark England: Chester, Harrogate Estonia: Tallinn
France: Angoulême, Céret, Montpellier  Georgia: Tbilisi Germany: Berlin Hungary: Pécs, Veszprém
Italy: Milan Poland: Gliwice, Warsaw  Romania: Bucharest, Iasi, Roman, Vaslui Russia: Moscow, Troitsk
Slovenia: Trbovlje Sweden: Karlstad Switzerland: Bern, Interlaken, Zürich Ukraine: Eastern Ukraine

PTPI supports the program by establishing contacts between chapters, and supplying manuals and/or advice. The homestay fee in Europe is 35 euros, which is paid to the hosting chapter.
Before and after the European Conference, homestays in France will be available. Because we expect international visitors as well, any chapter in Europe is welcome to offer homestays on the conference Web site.

A list of all European chapters is available on www.ptpe.org/chapters. The site indicates which chapters offer homestays.

At the Council Meeting in Montpellier, we will encourage a discussion about how to promote the program even more. Possible goals for the program are:

  • At least one chapter per country will offer homestays.
  • Each chapter will participate in the program at least once each year.
  • Expand the program to include participants from other countries.

Chapter Reports

Berlin, Germany Chapter

December 5, we had a Christmas celebration in our favourite restaurant "Heidelbeere." Most of the participants ordered the typical Germany Christmas dinner "Gänsebraten" (roast goose). December 6, twelve members enjoyed the show in "Old Texas."Berlin Chapter USA

January 8, a delegation of our chapter attended the official New Year Reception in the building of Robert Bosch Foundation, along with 250 guests of diverse backgrounds. The event was a cooperation project of Robert Bosch Foundation and different NGOs located in the building, including the European Office of People to People International. Our members especially enjoyed the performance of the "Berlin Comedian Harmonists."

Sunday afternoon, January 18, Verena and Lars invited many young people to PTPI's European Office for a Young Generation Meeting, and many YG's came! Hans-Dieter, and my husband, Peter, and I also had the opportunity to attend and present PTPI's Berlin Germany Chapter and offer some brochures. It was decided to meet again in an Uzbek restaurant in Berlin to learn more about Uzbekistan and PTPI on February 28. Chapter members Dagmar, Ilona and Hans-Dieter went there and met many people who were interested in hearing more about PTPI in Berlin and all around the world.

January 20 is really an important date in American history! Some members of PTPI's Berlin Germany Chapter accepted an invitation to attend the inauguration party for the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama, in the "Goya," one of Berlin's biggest clubs. Many thanks go to our member Arik, who made this possible. It really was a great event. We all watched the ceremony on a very big t.v. screen and had feelings of bliss by being able to share this historical moment. I can remember that Berlin was in an "Obama fever" last summer when Barack Obama held his speech here...and now a dream became true!

At our meeting in restaurant "Heidelbeere" on Friday, March 6, we welcomed Monika Krolak from Warsaw in Berlin. March 10, we had our annual meeting.

We are happy to announce that we have six new members. And the best is: two are young students! This is very good for the average age of our chapter.

In June this year, we look forward to welcoming guests from PTPI's Pécs Hungary Chapter. We are also planning a number of events and trips, which you can find under "coming events."

If you want to visit us, please let us know. Meanwhile, all the best!

Hannelore Büchler, President

Brussels, Belgium Chapter

No less than 84 revellers – members and friends of PTPI's Belgium Brussels Chapter, officials of European institutions, and visitors from Armenia, Estonia, France, Germany and Spain gathered for our annual Gala Christmas Dinner Dance, Saturday, December 13, in the panoramic Plein Ciel dining rooms of the Hotel Hilton in Brussels to celebrate international friendship and understanding. Lars Poignant, Managing Director of European Operations, brought the greetings of PTPI Europe and his Berlin Germany Chapter. Daniel Schaubacher, president of the Belgian chapter, alluding in his remarks to the Christmas festive lights of Brussels visible from the Hilton Tower, compared them, as we leave a fateful year, to essential human values such as love, solidarity, integrity and compassion, which should illuminate our families and communities in the coming year. Anne Hawksworth from Perpignan, France invited everyone to attend PTPI's European Conference next June in Montpellier, France and for homestays in southwest France and the Pyrenees Hills region. After a delicious meal, each guest received a small Christmas gift, and many joined the dance floor to the sound of evergreens and DJ music until the wee hours of the night.

Chocolate MakerJanuary 7, our group went through the Soignes woods to Tervuren, the site of the Belgian Versailles castle erected under King Leopold II. The castle is surrounded by ponds and gardens, and now serves as host to the Museum of Central Africa. We later met at the Chalet Vert to exchange New Year greetings over tea, coffee, crepes and cake. January 8, our group attended the annual New Year concert - a flurry of Viennese music performed by the Waterloo Chamber Orchestra.

We were a large group of friends January 28, so we could afford a guide for a visit to the historic "Falcon House" in Brussels also called the Cocoa and Chocolate Museum, a unique memento to this energetic and sweet beverage and food for the gods. The Conquistadores brought raw cocoa beans back to Europe in the 17th century. The cocoa beverage became a craze for queens, kings and nobility, for whom it had healthy and invigorating virtues. By the end of the 18th century, chocolate was invented. A pharmacist of Swiss origin, Neuhaus, created the praline in Brussels and gradually Belgian chocolates such as Godiva, Corné, Leonidas and today Galler and Marcolini, which all became world famous. We owe thanks to Christine Pairon, our dynamic event manager.

February 5, we took a guided tour of the Evere Windmill, which today is home to a food museum. February 8, some of us attended the Pianofolia Festival, a concert with as many as six pianists playing simultaneously! Our Valentine meeting on February 14 consisted of tea time with pastries and other delicious sweets in the Hilton coffee shop – a great occasion for renewing friendly acquaintances.

Daniel Schaubacher, President

Cherkasy, (Light the Way) Ukraine Student Chapter

Last December was especially rich in events, meetings and activities in PTPI's Cherkasy Ukraine Student Chapter. The month started with our traditional collection of New Year gifts for our orphanage. We collected more than 140 toys and money to buy 20 painting sets. Also, chapter members prepared a concert programme with New Year greetings for the kids.

During the same month, Dirk Schubel, head of the Political, Press and Information Section of the European Commission's Delegation to Ukraine, visited our city. Our adult advisor, Nadia Ananyeva, and two chapter representatives Fedir Zahynaiko and Maxym Potyomkin were invited to the meeting with him. They discussed the most important issues of European integration of Ukraine and cooperation between educational establishments, and informed him about the activities held by our chapter.

The end of the month included the New Year holiday, a festive concert for the teachers, Christmas celebrations with junior pupils, and congratulations to our high school's retired teachers, who chapter members visited at home.

At present, we are planning new activities and getting ready for Global Youth Service Day. We wish all PTPI members bright sunny days and warmth in their hearts.

Pavlo Svitlychnyy, Adult Advisor

Chester, England Chapter

As most of you know, Chester lost one of its most well-known and well-loved members this year. Peter Whitby lost his brave battle against cancer at the end of January. His death will not only leave a big gap in PTPI's Chester England Chapter, but also in the European and international conferences and meetings. He will be very much missed by all who knew him.

We continued our programme with this year's USA Spectacular Concert on March 6. This is the fundraising concert for our Lakewood Music Exchange Student. It is also the concert, where this year's student is presented with her travel documents. She is a pianist, who will be travelling to Lakewood, Colorado to stay with a host family. She has the opportunity to perform with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. Later in June and July, the Lakewood student will be hosted in Chester and perform various concerts in this area. Our annual General Meeting will take place on April 6, 2009.

Heather Exell, Treasurer

Chisinau, Moldavia Chapter

It was a time of peace and love, for which all children waited a whole year. In Chisinau, our chapter members organised a theatre entitled "Santa Claus and the Aladdin's Lamp" for the children of the Community Centre. The actors were students from the Academy of Arts, where Ulmanu Ala, member of our chapter, teaches. After the show, the children received small presents from Santa Claus.Homestay in Romania

Five members of our chapter (Olga Sirbu, Ludmila and Ecaterina Stratan, Alexandru Buzdugan and Valeriu Antoci) visited PTPI's Roman Romania Chapter between January 30 and February 2. For two days, members from both chapters went to Vatra Dornei, a picturesque city in Suceava, Bukovinafor hiking in the mountains, snowball fights, tasting of traditional local food, and lots of talking and laughing. We walked on the top of the mountain, played snowballs, and had lot of fun. Especially tasty were the warm wine with sugar and cinnamon (the traditional way of drinking wine in Moldova during winter time) and the grilled meat cooked by the boys, while the girls prepared other dishes and gossiped. We enjoyed playing different games; the craziest was football in the middle of the night with a basketball on a court covered with snow.

Although we spent only three days together, we have the impression that we will know one another for a life time.

Ludmila Stratan

Katowice, Poland (Silesian) Student Chapter

Inspired by Amnesty International, our chapter wrote letters to raise awareness about those who are imprisoned due to human rights activities. During a two-day campaign in December, chapter members wrote more than 110 letters. Chapter member Monika Zielińska wrote 32 letters, which was the record.

In January, the chapter joined the "Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity," the biggest charity event in Poland. The money raised this year will go to early cancer diagnosis for children. Our adult advisor, Janusz Woźniak, was the main coordinator of the event in our school, where 200 students participated. We managed to raise 25.000 zloty (6.000 euro), which is quite a lot. We will join the action next year. And of course, we will try to raise more next time.

Aleksandra Kubica, President

Kharkiv, Ukraine (Children to Children) Student Chapter

Hello dear PTPI!

This quarter was very bright and interesting for our chapter. That's why we have many things to tell you about.

During the last week of December, we participated in concerts devoted to Christmas and the New Year. We also sent cards with best wishes to our foreign friends.

Our chapter started the year 2009 with a celebration of the old New Year for students in grades 1-5. Next, we had a Polish Ball. The pupils of grade 5 in our school learn Polish and know a lot about Polish history and traditions. Organizing the ball was their idea, and the teachers helped to prepare it. Pupils who attended had to wear special costumes.

Kharkiv SCThe main purpose of our chapter in this quarter was spreading information about PTPI among our citizens. A group of PTPI members held different trainings about conflict prevention in our school, as well as a presentation about PTPI. As a result, our schoolmates decided to help us with our programs.

February 13, we held the "Small Olympic School Games" in order to overcome the passive way of life. The newspaper of Kharkiv published an article about this event. For St. Valentine's Day, our chapter gave a speech about this international holiday to the pupils of lower grades. For the older students of our school, we organized a special mailing, so they could exchange their feelings towards one another. Volunteers of our chapter also offered fortune-telling to students. We know that mutual understanding also needs humour. That is why we decided to organize the competition "Club of Funny People" for students of grades 9-11. The 10th graders won the game as they were the funniest!

Our English teachers prepared a performance of "Hansel and Gretel," together with the 4th and 5th grade children. It was a very creative play.

We are planning a great event called "International Candy Day" to present international sweets to students in our school. We have many plans for next quarter. We promise we will tell you everything and even more about it.

Julia Berezhnaja, President and Yana Nichiporenko, Vice President

Khmelnytsky, Ukraine (Young Leader) Student Chapter

The chapter is using PTPI's Lessons Plans and currently learning about Indonesia. In the 2008 Global Youth Mural project of PTPI's School and Classroom Program, the chapter came in second place. In December, members organized a "Save Fir Tree" movement in order to stop forests from disappearing, and in January, the chapter held an activity of traditional Ukrainian winter folk songs for school students.

Kiev, Ukraine (Kyivites) Student Chapter

December 2, our school participated in an international conference against drug abuse among young people. Students from Estonia, Lithuania, Ireland and Ukraine took part. We discussed common bad habits such as smoking, drinking alcohol and drug addiction, as well as possibilities for increasing the number of leisure activities for young people. Our guests shared examples of good practice from their schools.

January 20, our school invited students from the University of Tourism. Two girls came to tell our students about their university, studies, teachers and traditions. For example, we liked their tradition to celebrate joining the university by climbing to Ukraine's highest peak, Goverla in the Carpathians Mountains. There, on the top of the mountain, they receive their student documents.

For International Mother Tongue Day, we prepared an exhibition of wall papers, February 21, and organized a conference with the theme "Education as the main mean of development" in our school on February 26. The conference started with a brainstorming session about the question: "What is development?" Then we divided the students in small groups, and they translated the poem "Learning a language" from English into Ukrainian or Russian.

Our chapter is planning to organize the following activities for Global Youth Service Day 2009:

  • an antismoking campaign
  • decorating the area around our school by planting trees and flowers
  • organizing sports tournaments for our students
  • promoting the tolerance program
  • informing the students about harmful radiation from mobile telephones

Nataliya Tsareva, Adult Advisor

Kurchatov, Russia (Friends Meeting Friends) Student Chapter

Our ongoing pen pal exchange project with a school in California and our successful cultural activities attract a lot of interest from the local school community. Spending time together and doing something meaningful and good for other people give the chapter members a feeling of belonging and unity. January 14, our chapter president organized a membership renewal activity, to which potential new members were invited as well.

In early December, chapter members organized two sales of handmade pastries to raise 250 dollars for our cultural activities: "A Visit to the Regional Centre Kursk " on December 19 and "A visit to the recreation and entertainment centre in Kursk" on February 20. The members had a wonderful opportunity to go to the cinema and to play bowling afterwards. There was also time for shopping.Kurchatov

In early January, our active chapter members volunteered on the school premises. We did some small furniture repairs in the classrooms and fixed new furniture as well. There is new equipment installed in the classroom, which means that we shall be able to make vivid presentations about PTPI and our chapter on a huge screen using a new projector connected to the computer. This activity helped us to unite our chapter and to involve new members into social work.

February 14, a wonderful four-hour party was organized by our chapter to raise cross-cultural awareness and to broaden students' outlook. A chain of touching love songs and contests was followed by disco. No one felt indifferent; everyone took part.

Thanks to the 2008 PTPI Leadership Seminar in Berlin on PR and media, our adult advisor wrote three published press releases concerning our chapter's success in fostering international communication and raising cross-cultural awareness, and chapter prospects.

Roman Bysov, President

Oroslavje, Croatia (The Eagles) Student Chapter

In January, our former president, Morena, together with eight freshmen, organized an English workshop for disabled children and adults in the rehabilitation centre "Pustodol." The Eagles' chapter members joined the children in drawing, painting, cutting, gluing, singing and dancing. They asked us to come again soon.

During the second half of January, members of our chapter (Kristina, Ana, Marija and Marina) held a workshop about women's past and current position in society for members and friends.

Three chapter members were invited to the local radio station to talk about chapter activities and PTPI. They were also interviewed about their homestay in California, the Global Youth Forum in Denver and their emotions about receiving the two PTPI awards: the Best International Visitors Award" and, the Best Adult Advisor Award in 2008.

Marina Krsnik, Adult advisor

Pécs, Hungary Chapter

February 5, PTPI's Pécs Hungary Chapter held its General Assembly. Out of 21 members, 15 were present, as well as two guests who wished to join the chapter.

Chapter president, Hans Randau, reported on the European Conference in Rimini, the homestay visit from Berlin, the traditional summer barbecue and the visit to PTPI's Brussels Belgium Chapter in September. While in Belgium, a delegation of PTPI's Pecs Hungary Chapter made a presentation at the Hungarian Cultural Centre about the city of Pécs being the European Capital of Culture in 2010. The delegation also presented new means of PR used by the chapter, i.e. the radio programs transmitted via a local FM station and on the Internet via Shoutcast server and Live365. Additional reports were given by Anikó and Julia as vice president and treasurer, respectively.

Gergely Kiss was elected new chapter president and Anikó Bedekovits-Garami was elected homestay coordinator. Hans Randau serves as vice president and PR officer. Julia remains secretary and treasurer, and Ágnes Pásztor remains adult advisor for the student chapter, assisted by Szilvia Kázmér, Anikó and Gergely.

After some discussion, it was decided that the chapter will uphold its application to host PTPI's European Conference in 2010. Next on the chapter's agenda is a homestay visit to Berlin, a visit to Oroslavje in Croatia to discuss future exchanges of student chapter members and, of course, the European Conference in Montpellier.

Hans Randau, Vice President

Sofia, Bulgaria (The Doves) Student Chapter

SofiaJanuary 21 we visited an orphanage in Gorna Banya near Sofia to distribute donations and spend the afternoon with the children. With the money raised from the exhibition in December, our chapter members bought a washing machine and treats for each child of the orphanage. We also discussed the idea of teaching English at the orphanage with the teachers. The children were very happy to receive presents and to talk about their everyday lives and achievements.

At the end of February, we organized a special workshop to inform students about opportunities for studying abroad. The senior chapter members explained the steps for applying to universities and colleges in the United Kingdom, United States, Germany, France and the Netherlands.

Yavor Ivanov

Sternberk, Czech Republic Chapter

Candle party: December 19, we celebrated the lovely Christmas time and also the birthday of our president, Helga Metelková. The party started at 18:00 with the photographic exhibition of our summer exchange project in the Augustinian Monastery, and we had an opportunity to talk about our experiences with other members or visitors from the public. The night moved on, and we had a chance to taste all the Christmas cakes and cookies, drink beer or wine, talk with one another, dance and sing; whatever was possible. Every year, the typical present of this party is the same: a candle or as many candles as someone can bring. It was a wonderful atmosphere thanks to the bright light around.

January 17, we held our Annual Meeting, where our chapter members discussed, planned and prepared our future activities, new projects and other important issues for the New Year. There was also a traditional election for board members.

On the same day, the chapter organized a table tennis tournament. Players from the whole region and people from Brno in south Moravia took part. The participants had a lot of fun, and some of them also received great prizes. The first prize was a trip to Budapest; the second prize was a gift certificate at a bookstore; and the third prize was a sweet cake!

Between February 11 and March 31, we presented an exhibition of photographs from the summer exchange project "From little things big things grow" in the Prostějov Youth Information Centre. The exchange united 36 young people from Czech Republic, England, Estonia, Finland and Spain in Sternberk during the summer of 2008.

From February 27 to March 1, our chapter invited members and friends to a weekend of "Winter Pleasures." The program included teambuilding activities, sports and interactive games.

Helča Metelková, President

Tirana, Albania (Horizon) Student Chapter

December 27, our chapter organized a Christmas party. The party was sponsored by Language Schools in Albania. Approximately 50 members from the student chapter, 10 members from PTPI's Tirana Adult Chapter, as well as parents of students and friends took part in the event. Four new members joined the chapter after the party.

PTPI's Tirana Student Chapter presented People to People International and the activities of our chapter to the students of LSIA (Language Schools in Albania) on February 12. The initiative attracted four new members to the chapter.

February 15, 27 participants took part in the event "Hand-to-Hand: Helping and Protecting Children's' Rights" with the aim of fostering peace in our community, helping children in need, and protecting children's rights. We invited Kejda Menaj, a social worker who is also one of the adult advisors of our student chapter. She spoke about children's rights and her experiences working with deaf children. We also watched animated videos about children's rights and played interactive games about having the right to speak, to feel freely and much more. Photos of all our events are available on Facebook.

Blerina Gjonaj, Adult Advisor

Varna, Bulgaria (The Dolphins) Student ChapterVarna

PTPI's Varna Bulgaria Student Chapter can report continuous growth of its membership thanks to presentations done in the Vista Language School in Varna, mouth-to-mouth propaganda by members, as well as the creation and distribution of 1000 calendars. We currently have 43 members.

After previous training by the Sanitary Institute of Varna, our chapter organized a campaign against AIDS on December 1. We handed out brochures and condoms to pedestrians in Varna. During the first two weeks of December, we also organized presentations about how to lead a healthy lifestyle in the Vista Language School.

December 20 and 21, members and friends created and sold Christmas cards and souvenirs in an extraordinary fundraising effort. The proceeds amounted to 3600 leva, which is approximately 1795 euro. This money was used to buy three plasma TVs and a play station for the children with leukaemia in the hospital.

January 13, two members were interviewed about the chapter's Christmas Charity activities by a well-known television broadcaster in Varna. Chapter member Andreana was also interviewed about the activities of the chapter by the local radio station on several occasions.