2009-2 PTPE Newsletter

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

Message of the President

Dear Friends,Rolf Dahlberg

The special feeling from having met many of you at our European Conference in Montpellier is still there. I know many of you got a late note from me a few days later, in which I expressed some sentiments on the matter. Since I finally joined Facebook last weekend, I have shared so many wonderful comments and pictures from many of you – Thank you! I have learned to realize there is a whole new world out there. I just checked that 15 of 36 current trustees in Europe are on this social network. Even our Chairman of the Board of Directors has registered in the last few days. With activities and friends at all corners of the globe, it is a good platform through which our organization can communicate.

On behalf of the European Executive Committee, I would like to extend our deepest gratitude to Lars Poignant and Verena Denk from our Berlin Office for making this conference so memorable. Thanks also go to all performers and our chapters for making the chapter fair so enjoyable. Thank you, President Rolf Dahlberg Anne Hawksworth and Muriel Tabet, for letting us share your wonderful place on earth!

I would like to welcome a new member of the EEC, who was elected during the Council Meeting. It is our friend Iwona Zyman from the PTPI's Gliwice Poland Chapter. She was elected as Treasurer for the next two years. She will be a great addition to our team. Welcome! The venue for the 2010 European Conference will be Pécs in southwestern Hungary. It will take place May 20-23. Hans Randau and Gergerly Kiss from the PTPI Pécs Hungary Chapter will welcome us!

During the conference weekend, we also had our fourth annual Trustee Meeting in conjunction with the European Confer-ence. This year, we were blessed with the presence of Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Troy Nash and the Vice Chair for the Americas, Barb Capozzi. We had an active session, sharing our thoughts on six different topics. We will share the results of the session with you shortly. The next Board of Trustees Meeting will be in Las Vegas, Nevada September 2. I hope to see many of you there.

I hope all of you have a great upcoming summer filled with PTPI activities. I would love it if you drop me a line and tell me about them – please post them, together with lots of pictures, on Facebook. I wish you a great summer and hope to see many of you at the All Swiss Meeting in Bern, Switzerland August 22 or at the Leadership Seminar in Berlin at the end of November.

Your humble friend,

Rolf G. Dahlberg

PTPI Experiences

Homestay Excursion - Europeans visited America's Pacific Coast

Last August PTPI offered European members a new kind of exchange program called the "Homestay Excursion to America's Pacific Coast." PTPI Trustee Dagmar Schönbeck from Berlin was among the seven participants who attended. This is her report. Another Homestay Excursion program in the USA will be offered from August 27 to September 6, 2009. Those interested please contact PTPI World Headquarters.

When I found out about this opportunity, I didn't hesitate a minute to register. In the end, taking part would be a group of seven delegates from three different countries: Marek, Aleksandra, Elzbieta, Anita and Ewa from Poland, Natalya from the Ukraine and I from Germany.

On November 5, one day after the U.S. presidential vote, our group got together for the first time in San Francisco. There, we were glad to meet Jewelee Cox from PTPI World Headquarters, who arranged every-thing for our trip. Together, we undertook a selected sightseeing tour for half a day.

During the next two weeks, we had the opportunity to see what the American way of life is like. We were hosted by members of the chapters in Stockton, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. At each place, an interesting program like visiting Yosemite National Park, Sacramento, Universal Studios, the Getty Museum and "The Strip,"which is home to numerous casinos and shows in Las Vegas, was prepared. The welcome and farewell dinners were also a good chance to get to know local members. Besides the official program, we took part in the daily life of our host families. Every time we had to leave our hosts for the next place, it was hard to say good-bye, but thanks to e-mail it will be easy to keep in touch, and we all hope to welcome our American friends to Europe in the near future.

Finally, one more thing which is remarkable for me: I enjoyed being part of a (small) international group because it enabled me to learn about the cultures etc. of two other countries and to make new friends.

An experience in Albania

Thanks to the invitation from a member of PTPI's Tirana, Albania Chapter and the Language Schools in Albania (LSIA), I had the chance to visit Albania once more and spend some time in Tirana, Gramsh (a small town in the heart of Albania) and Gjirokaster. My aim was to offer some playful lessons to the students who take English courses at the different schools of LSIA that I visited.

I had brought writing cards, which were purchased by Blerina Gjonaj, a member of PTPI's Tirana, Albania Student Chapter. She had bought a lot of drawing and painting material, so we could work on creating posters and cards. With a lot of enthusiasm, the pupils painted and decorated the cards, which were sold at PTPI's European Conference in Montpellier during early June.

The pupils' included their thoughts about pollution, personal symbols, as well as vegetables and fruits. The posters will be hung on the walls of their respective classrooms, so everybody at those schools can admire them at any time. Because the posterss are in bright colors, they will brighten the classrooms.

What a pleasure it was for the schoolgirls and boys to sing songs like "I've got six pence for my darling Cle-mentine" and also to learn some tongue twisters like "We eat what we can and what we can't we can." The teachers and I also tried free speaking with some classes, which was quite a challenge for the students.

The main aim of my stay was to give youths and also adults the pleasure and fun of speaking the English language without any stress. I hope I helped a little bit in achieving these goals, and I thank all the people who did their best to ensure I had agreat stay in Albania, be it in Tirana, Gramsh or Gjirokaster. Thanks to all the teachers who dared to get involved in the adventure.

Thank you and goodbye.

Veronica Kobel, PTPI's Bern, Switzerland Chapter

On the Wings of a Dove

PTPI's YG Grant was shared between PTPI's Céret, France and Yerevan, Armenia Chapters. During Easter, Anne Hawksworth organised the program "On the Wings of a Dove" together with chapter members. Here is her report.

April 8-15, we welcomed our guests from Czech Republic, Germany, Lebanon, Romania and Switzerland, who had come to visit the Céret, France Chapter and take part in the "On the Wings of a Dove" meeting we had organized. Despite the sometimes bad weather, we put on an interesting and varied program for them.

The participants had the chance to experience the wide cultural and historical aspects of the area, and they were given the opportunity to sample Catalan hospitality and culture through their homestays with local host families. Sightseeing opportunities around the town were covered by a treasure trail, which included a quiz in English, around the town's monuments.. For a glimpse of the local scenery, we drove up to St. Ferreol vantage point and then took the Pilgrim's Path down the mountain-side. Also in the program was a trip to the Rivesaltes Refugee Camp and visits to local museums, including the Museum of Maréchal Joffre, who was born and brought up in Rivesaltes.

During their stay, the group was able to sample many culinary influences present in the area. We ate frogs' legs, snails in sauce and paella, which were specially made for us by Le Chef à La Carte and his wife, who brought all the cutlery and dishes with them up to St. Ferreol's Chapel! On Good Friday, we ate fish followed by mint tea and Arabic cakes at Aziz's restaurant in the Arab quarter.. We also had the chance to try local ice cream and other regional Easter recipes like Bunyetes, Easter omelette and Easter lamb.

One of the program's special highlights was a focus on the different religious communities of Céret, which include Muslims, Jews and Christians. The participants visited churches and met with spiritual leaders on Easter Friday, finishing with On Vous Annonce La Paix (Evenou Shalom Alerhem)– an anonymous Hebrew saying for peace. During an official reception at the town hall, participants met the mayor, for whom they sang alongside traditional Goig Catalan Easter singers. The program ended with a special excursion to Barcelona.

Coming Events

Yerevan "Young to Young" Seminar: August 18-21

PTPI's Yerevan, Armenia Chapter is pleased to invite you to take part in its "Young for Young" Seminar. Aims:

  • To increase the understanding of PTPI Yerevan, Armenia Chapter members and non-members about PTPI activities and the programs of chapters in Europe and other countries
  • To give an opportunity for Armenian and international students to communicate with one another
  • To promote the development of cooperation between the Young Generation of Europe and other countries

Venue: Garni, Geghard, Saghmosavank (to visit historical places), Armenia
Target audience: Young Generation (18-30 years old); young members of PTPI chapters, young members of different NGOs, students, non-members, international students
Participant fees: EUR 20 for members and students (EUR 30 for non-members)
Web site:

Homestay Excursion to the United Sates: August 27-September 6

PTPI invites you to join a three-city homestay excursion in August/September.

Preliminary Agenda:

  • Los Angeles, California (August 27 – 29)
  • Stockton, California (August 30 – September 1)
  • Las Vegas, Nevada (September 2 – 6)

PTPI's Americas Regional Meeting and Board of Trustees Meeting will take place in Las Vegas. Registration is now open at Contact Jill Helsel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or +1.816.531.4701. Deadline: July 15, 2009

Americas Regional Meeting / Board of Trustees Meeting: September 3-5

PTPI invites all members to its combined Americas Regional Meeting and Board of Trustees Meeting in Las Vegas USA, September 3-5.

Program Highlights:

  • Community Service Project at Opportunity Village
  • Annual Awards Ceremony and Luncheon
  • Presentation by humanitarian, actor and director Michael Cory Davis
  • Gala Dinner at Cili's Restaurant
  • Chapter Officer Leadership Luncheon and Session
  • Facilitated afternoon session on building a strong PTPI Chapter Network
  • No Host Dinners with PTPI's Las Vegas, Nevada Chapter

Deadline: August 3, 2009
Conference Web site:

PTPI's Leadership Seminar - 2009 Volunteers for Intercultural Learning: November 23-29

We invite PTPI chapter presidents, adult advisors and trustees in Europe to the 2009 Leadership Seminar in Berlin. This year, the title is Volunteers for Intercultural Learning. The program is sponsored by the European Commission. We welcome not only PTPI leaders, but also leaders of other volunteer organizations in Europe. The seminar will be an excellent opportunity to connect with NGO leaders and PTPI representatives from throughout Europe, exchange experiences, enhance your intercultural skills and develop new projects.

People to People International aims to foster international understanding through direct people-to people contacts. PTPI's international leadership seminar is a special program to support and connect the leaders of volunteer organizations in Europe. This is your chance to get to know leaders from volunteer organizations throughout Europe and People to People International to improve your intercultural skills, benefit from one another's experiences and create new projects.

Target Group
PTPI leaders from any European country (preferably chapter presidents and adult advisors of student chapters, as well as European Trustees and members of the European Executive Committee; if the chapter president is unable to attend, he/she can nominate another chapter officer or member to represent the chapter; applicants should be at least 18 years old.) Leaders from volunteer organizations or clubs in European Union member states (except Germany) are also welcome. Membership with PTPI is not necessary to apply. Applicants should be at least 18 years old and interested in organizing projects that foster intercultural learning and international friendship.

The working language of the seminar is English.

There is no participation fee. Accommodations and board are provided by People to People International. Travel costs are reimbursed up to 100% upon presentation of original tickets.

Hotel Christophorus in Berlin, Germany:

August 14, 2009

This seminar has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. People to People International organizes this seminar and also gives financial support.

Call for European Chapters from Kurchatov, Russia: September 26

Dear PTPI friends all over Europe,

Kurchatov, Russia (Friends Meeting Friends) Student Chapter invites you to support our BIG activity in September 2009 – The Day of European Languages. This is YOUR chance to have your voice heard and recognized. Join our activity and send us a small video greeting in your native language. Say "Hello" to our community and raise cross-cultural awareness. Let us develop a feeling of unity within the big European family. Please include the following in your greeting:

Dear Friends, Today is September 26 and we are celebrating the Day of European languages. We are from (name of the place, country) and we are a part of Europe - one big family. (Name of the chapter) greets you on the Day of European languages and sends you best regards! Enjoy our unity in diversity.

Email your recorded greetings to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or mail them to: Elena Tarlovskaya, Leningradskaya Street 33/24, Kurchatov, 307250, Russia. If you want to attend our activity, please let Elena know and the chapter will organize a homestay for you.

More homestay – South Korea

PTPI's Ulsan, Korea Chapter is offering homestays for PTPI chapter members around the world. If you would like to learn more about participating in PTPI's International Visitors Program, please visit our Web site or contact Jill Helsel at PTPI World Headquarters.

PTPI Updates

European Conference

In early June, 100 participants came to Montpellier in southern France for PTPI's European Conference. For the first time the Board of Directors held its meeting in conjunction with the conference. Representatives from 20 countries, including special guests from Egypt, Japan, Taiwan and the United States, attended.

The conference offered an opportunity to reach out to non-members. For example, at the Youth Meeting on Thursday, most of the 30 participants came from Montpellier and Céret and were not members. Verena Denk, program associate and European youth director, led the three-hour meeting, which focused on intercultural learning.

Teamwork at ConferenceThirty-one delegates participated in the full day excursion to the UNESCO heritage village of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, where they experienced French history and culture, as well as wine tasting at Montperyoux.

At the Board of Trustees Meeting, Rolf Dahlberg, vice chairman of the Board of Trustees, led an afternoon workshop about the roles and functions of trustees, as well as program development. The 50 participants of the workshop created a document, which consisted of six themes. The results will soon be shared with all trustees on the conference Web site:

At the Council Meeting, Cornelia Siegenthaler of Zürich, Switzerland was thanked for her four years as treasurer for Europe. Thank you Cornelia! Iwona Zyman of Gliwice, Poland was elected as new treasurer. At the council meeting, the chapter presentations were divided into two parts. The first part consisted of reports from three chapters.

  • Antoaneta Pophlebarova: PTPI's Varna, Bulgaria (The Dolphins) Student Chapter.Dancing at the Conference
  • Annick Debien: PTPI's Angoulême, France Chapter
  • Myriam Schaubacher: PTPI's Brussels, Belgium Chapter

The second part included the chapter fair. Chapters from Europe and overseas presented their programs, as well as their regional food and drinks.

Members of PTPI's Céret, France Chapter, along with Chiara Pedretti, offered artistic components through song and dance. In addition, PTPI's Global Youth Murals were on display.

PTPI President/CEO, Mary Eisenhower, gave a report on PTPI programs. Verena Denk and Lars Poignant also provided updates.. Sunday's excursion offered a very nice visit to Aigues-Mortes in the Camargue, as well as a last chance to taste wine and enjoy good food at Les Cuisiniers Vignerons before the conference ended.

The next conference will be held May 20-23, 2010 in Pécs, Hungary. Photos from the conference can be viewed at the Conference Web site.

Community Chapter

PTPI has had three different types of chapters for a few years. What previously have been called adult chapters will now be referred to as community chapters. There are currently 39 community, 19 student and four university chapters in Europe.

Bylaws updates

At the European Conference, the PTPE bylaws were changed. Among other things, the date of payments was changed to October 1 for student and university chapters and to January 1 for community chapters. The revised bylaws will be distributed to all chapter presidents and can be requested from the PTPI European Office.

Chapter Reports

Berlin, Germany Chapter

Just back from the European Conference and it's time to write our chapter report for this newsletter! All 101 participants had really a good time together in Montpellier. The city has about 240,000 inhabitants, old and new quarters and a magnificent Old Town.Daytrip to Szczecin, Poland

June 4-7, we had a full program, but the excursions, coffee breaks, lunches and dinners on Saturday and Sunday made the whole time varied and wonderful. All 12 members from Berlin, who attended this great event, agree with me when I say: It is not the location, the food or the weather that make a conference unique—it's the people. They make each conference unique and outstanding. I am sure you will find more details written by our European President, Rolf Dahlberg. April 4, Dagmar organized a day trip by train to Szczecin. Many members joined the tour, and we had a wonderful day in the city, which is not far from the German/Polish border.

Monika Krolak from Warsaw was in Berlin, again, April 19-24. Karin and Christian Lehmann hosted her during her stay, and some members took the chance to meet her for a walk or for a drink in a restaurant. At the end of the month, Britta Ördec arranged a day trip to Wolfsburg. Members and PTPI friends went by train to the "Autostadt." Also, our two exmembers Andrea and Julia from Hannover came to see us again. In June, five members of PTPI's Pécs, Hungary Chapter visited us. We will report more in the next newsletter. Also, after a long search, we have found a new location for our roundtable (Stammtisch) meeting. Starting July 3 (then August 7, September 4, October 2, November 6 and December 4), we will meet in the Pizzeria Bella Italia. Hope to see you there! That's all for the second quarter of 2009. Looking forward to reading your reports!

Hannelore Büchler, President

Bern, Switzerland Chapter

Many of our Bern members have just returned from the Montpellier Conference with happy memories of good times, meeting old friends and beginning new friendships. Plans are already being made to attend the conference next year. Our summer homestays are rapidly approaching, and Ueli Krebs is busy organizing host families and group activities for our visitors. As always, the weather in Switzerland is a big factor in group planning. We are hoping for lots of sun and blue skies so Bern can show itself in its best light to our visitors from abroad. August 22 – remember the date! It's the date of our Swiss Meeting in Bern, and our summer party the same evening in Bern and Hinterkappelen. We are planning a wonderful day for our Swiss sister chapters and have a few surprises for you... Everyone is welcome in the evening, too, to meet our homestay host families. Contact Ueli Krebs or Ernst Honegger for more details. The more, the merrier...!

Linda Rickli

Brussels, Belgium Chapter

Country-Side ExcursionThe Brussels, Belgium Chapter held a summer dinner and dance June 27 at the Italian Restaurant La Fattoria. Additional recent activities include a bird watching excursion in a Brussels park; another successful scrapbook workshop; a packed boogie-woogie concert; a guided tour of historic Brussels with certified guide Sarah Strange, who pointed out houses of celebrities who lived in the European capital; and a countryside excursion with a visit to a goat farm and cheese factory, and a horse-driven carriage ride. Upcoming social and cultural events will be at the rate of one every week or two weeks to meet the manifold expectations of a diversified audience. Events will be coordinated by our competent Event & Web site Manager, Christine Pairon. See under Agenda for details.

Daniel Schaubacher, President

Chisinau, Moldova ChapterMeetings in the Community Center

During the last few months, we have held three seminars for youth at the "Fantastic" Community Center. Each event was attended by approximately 15 high school students, most of whom were non-members. The events were facilitated by Olga Sirbu, Ludmila Stratan, Liuba Botnari and Ludmila Mihaescu. The topics of the meetings were as follows. February 28: Human Rights Education April 18: Intercultural Learning and Youth May 30: Youth Participation During the seminars, a short lecture was followed by debates, discussion and exercises on the meeting topic. In late June, we will hold a meeting with the topic of People to People International – Promoting Peace through Understanding at the center.

Olga Sirbu, President

Gliwice, Poland Student Chapter

Members are still writing to students in Stockton, California USA. We know one another better with every letter. Our idea is to cooperate with another chapter situated in Europe near Poland. This would help us to visit our pen pals and cooperate with them more closely. We still take care of the students from the primary school club. We help with their homework and prepare fun games for them. In February, we painted and renovated our classroom. In our opinion, the classrooms are now more comfortable for doing homework, learning or even playing. In March, we started helping students from our afterschool club. At our age, it is a great challenge to work with teenagers. It's a great experience, though, that helps us to understand other people better. Now we're working on our Service Day plans. We also organized a special stall with cakes and cookies that we baked. The money that we collected was given to our school student council.

Aleksandra Aleksander, President

Kharkiv, Ukraine (Children to Children) Chapter

Hello dear colleagues. Our chapter has finished both the academic and working quarter, and here is a summary of our activities. In the past, we briefly told you about a great event called International Candy Day (ICD), which was held February 25. Every chapter member produced project work about the national cuisine of countries such as the USA, France, Russia, Ukraine, Greece, China, Mexico and so on. They brought a specimen of candy from the chosen country. It was very interesting to learn more about the cuisines and common peculiarities of cooking.

We are planning many other interesting, informative events like ICD. Knowing about the problem of pruning first spring flowers such as snowdrops and primroses, which can badly influence the ecological balance, and knowing that selling them is illegal, we distributed booklets containing this information. Chapter member Marina Bocharova with Nika Berdnik prepared a project about the consequences of such actions and the punishment for lawbreakers. It was called "Sprout of the Future," and a speech about the actions and consequences was given to every pupil of our high school.

April 3-7, a Newspaper Contest was held. The content's topic was PTPI's history and our chapter's activities. Grades 7-10 took part. Because we do many activities and many students know the details about them, the contents wasn't a problem for them. The main topic of PTPI was divided into the categories: Famous People Cooperating with PTPI, Dwight D. Eisenhower's Biography, Activities of the chapter and others. The contest's curator was Yana Nichiporenko.

April 15, we held a global conference about the harm of fast food. It was called "We Are What We Eat." It consisted of watching a film about the potential dangers of fast food and speeches about situations from our daily life. There was a lot of new, interesting information for the audience of8th and 9th graders. This event impressed many students because sometimes it's strange to realize that the usual way of life is wrong and sometimes dangerous. We tried to warn them through this event.

April 25, a group of our PTPI members went to the orphanage. The group's leader was Julia Berezhnaya. The purpose of the visit was to give presents and spend the day with the children, playing with them and having discussions about peace and friendship. Unfortunately their nannies didn't allow any pictures of the children and that is why we aren't able to share our great experience with you. We really feel sorry for abandoned children. And that's why our chapter is trying to do anything to help and support them.

April 26, another group of PTPI members went to an animal asylum with their leader Yana Nichiporenko. During May, we held two presentations and, as the result, we gained eight new members.

May 9 is Victory Day of the Great Patriotic War. As is tradition, a concert was organized. We gave presents to our dear veterans, we sent greeting cards with best wishes to people who couldn't attend. With every year that passes, our history vanishes from our memories, but we will do everything to avoid that.

May 11-18 was a week of training for primary school students. The topics were varied: "Adaptation in New Society," "My occupation," "My Future in This Life," "Me and Society," and "Relationship in my Team." We are will hold a discussion about falsehood and its consequences.

June 10, we are expecting guests from Poland. There is a centre of Ukrainian-Polish Friendship in our school. Many PTPI members participate in activities there. Last year, a group of students went to Poland and this year, Polish students will visit us. We will tell them much about PTPI and our causes. Our team finds inspiration in love and happiness! We are trying to make our world better! Thanks PTPI for giving us this great opportunity!

Julia Berezhnaya, President; Yana Nichiporenko, Vice President

Khmelnitsky, Ukraine Student Chapter

In April, our members took part in the action "Hear all." We helped students to collect money to help purchase medical equipment for the city hospital. April 8, the 15-16-year-old students went outdoors to work on the school grounds. They planted bushes, dug trees, gathered dry leaves and cleared away rubbish.

May 11, we conducted a meeting on the topic "Result of activity of the student chapter, re-elections and presentation of activity to new members."

May 16, we conducted an exhibition of pets with the name "My four-footed friend." Members brought their pets from home, and they were exhibited near the high schools. There were dogs, cats, hamsters and guinea pigs on display. Everyone who visited the exhibition gave some money to the donation box. It was decided the money collected should go to a local animal refuge.

May 22-23, we conducted the "European Fair of Creation and Innovations" for the representatives of Euro Clubs in three regions. More than 30 delegates came from different towns and villages. We presented the activities of our chapter and conducted the project "Iranian Children." We will communicate with the organizers of the project and send our gifts.

May 23, our members celebrated Europe Day in the city of Ternopol. This event is described on a Web site of our high school. We have created a booklet, in which we present the activities of our chapter for 2008-2009. Our children will gather paper on May 21. After gathering money, dinners will be cooked and handed out at the local homeless shelter.

Svetlana Shengilevich, Adult Advisor

Kiev, Ukraine (Kyivites) Student Chapter

PTPI's Kiev Ukraine Student Chapter had an exciting and memorable spring! We were involved in so many interesting activities. March 1-3, we presented the project "School of the Future" in Budapest at the International Conference of European Schools with the title "Challenges in Schools". This conference was arranged by the British Council of Europe. We used the opportunity to present our international programs and promote the activities of PTPI. Our presentation met great interest. We hope that we will have new partners in Europe soon!

March 13, at our general meeting, we proclaimed a new initiative in Ukraine that is called "Youth against Corruption as an Educational Cultural Project." We have got support from 4 international movements: Intercultural Caravan "INTERKULTURO", international media movement "Pure Channels", "Nabat 2020"and the international movement "in Support of UNESCO and UN resolutions". The initiative aims at getting rid of the corruption in our society to protect our students from it in their future adult lives. This new activity was launched at a round table meeting with the title "The events of corruption in our society and how to be protected from them." We shared PowerPoint presentations on this theme and held lessons in law at the schools. We plan to hold science conferences and forums for students as well as poster contests and photo exhibitions. Together with PTPI's Kiev University Chapter, we will hold the first science-practical conference for students on September 10 where we will present projects on this topic.

April 22 – 26, PTPI's Kiev Ukraine Student together with the Kiev University and Adult Chapters held the Second International Language Festival "The Ecology of Communication" in Kiev with the aim of presenting languages and cultures of a variety of nations. The event was organized in cooperation with embassies and cultural centers of 25 countries and took place in the assembly hall of the University for Economics and Law in Kiev. Participants were school and university students, PTPI members, scientific and teaching staff members of Linguistics, Country Studies, History and Culturology departments, representatives of nations, nationalities and ethnic groups, official representatives of UNESCO, foreign embassies and diasporas, researchers, artists, travelers, journalists as well as other native- and non-native speaking admirers of national and ethnic languages and cultures. The festival also offered extraordinary insights in the practice and use of the different languages and informed about language territories.

April 24, the representatives of cultural centers had the opportunity to exchange experiences and best practices concerning the organization of international festivals. 

April 25, participants joined the ethnic day of the earth, which was celebrated with concerts, the artistic festival "ethno sound", national dances as well as a "living children gallery" that invited youngsters to create their own masterpieces as a language of friendship. The third International Language Festival is planned for 2010. (13 pictures of different national delegations)

Anna Chuiko, Adult Advisor

Kiev, Ukraine (School 323) Student Chapter

February 26, we organized the city conference "Education as the main means of development," during which we discussed the problems of modern education. Our students and guests from different city schools formed four groups and translated a poem from English to Ukrainian or Russian. Here is this poem:

 With the mists lifting
Learning a Language
Is like doing a jigsaw puzzle of a million pieces
With a picture that keeps changing.
It's like getting lost in a foreign city without a map.
It's like playing tennis without a ball,
Like being an ant in a field of grasshoppers.
It's being an acrobat with a broken leg,
An actor without a script,
A carpenter without a saw,
A storyteller without a middle or an end.
But then gradually it's like being out in the early morning
It's like a chink of light under a door,
Like finding the glove you were looking for,
Catching the train you thought you were going to miss,
Getting an unlooked-for present, exchanging a smile.
And then one day it's like riding a bicycle very fast downhill.

Olivia McMahon – Scotland

Each group represented its variant of the translation. March 24-26, our students took part in the fourth regional conference "UN model," in which all participants imitated the work of the United Nations. Our high school represented two countries: India and Russia. Our students expressed these countries' views on the international economic crisis and ways out of it. Many schools from all over Kiev took part in this conference. April 9, our school took part in a meeting devoted to the future development of school activities, which was organized by the Ukrainian Movement "Teachers for peace and understanding.". We also took part in Global Youth Service Day (GYSD). Information and photos about our efforts were sent to PTPI World Headquarters, and now they are available on PTPI's GYSD Web site. May 27, we met a teacher from Scotland named David Stolls. He told our students and teachers about his program of teaching English in many countries via the Internet.

Nataliya Tsareva, Adult Advisor

Kurchatov, Russia (Friends Meeting Friends) Student Chapter

This spring, our chapter organized two pastry sales to raise money for our service work and cultural programming. March 12, we raised approximately $100 USD to cover the cost of our excursion to the ancient town of Rylsk. April 28, we raised approximately $100 USD to purchase a present for a World War II Veteran and to congratulate him on Victory Day. The rest of money was used to buy presents for visiting American educators and students, as well as to put on a Russian tea party for them.

March 25, it was announced that our adult advisor Elena Tarlovskaya had become a finalist in the 2009 Teachers to Teachers Programme administered by the American Councils. This means next February she will stay in the USA for four weeks, during which she will take part in a professional development programme at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana USA

Peace Camp in Amman, YordanMarch 26-April 5, our student Natalia Durneva represented our country at Peace Camp in Jordan. Natalia did her best to use this opportunity to make new friends, to help others to get a deeper insight into Russian culture, and at the same time she learned so much from other participants. She developed her communication, leadership and conflict management skills, and after her return, shared this valuable, unforgettable experience with the whole community.

April 21, an article featuring Natalia Duryea's participation in Peace Camp2008 appeared in a regional newspaper.

April 19, our chapter was extremely busy and excited. A group of three professors and six students from Mount Union College, Ohio USA, arrived for a friendly visit to our school. All the chapter members were engaged in the preparation and in the cultural programme on that day. Bogdan, our first chapter president, served as an interpreter and was responsible for the excursion around the school. Elena Tarlovskaya and Tamara Burovnikova accompanied the guests all the time. Natalia Durneva, Andrey Kholodov, Roman Bysov and Vitaly Grebennikov were responsible for the tea party and the festive concert "Russia-USA: the meeting of two cultures." Roman and Vitaly also worked as cameramen. With the $100 USD that was raised, we organized a wonderful tea party with a real Russian tea urn and had a special cake baked; it said "Welcome to Kurchatov." During the concert, chapter members made a wonderful and striking presentation about Russian cultural heritage, Russian character and the mysterious Russian soul.

May 19, there was a report on TV that featured the visit of the American students and teachers who came to visit our school. The report was watched by the town community, so everybody knows our chapter is active in establishing contacts with educators, trainers and students from the USA.

April 24-26, our chapter successfully participated in Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) 2009. Our members carried out three projects: "Two hours English-reading rules tuition,, "Planting trees - Green Belt Project" and the "Cross cultural awareness project - Languages of the United Europe."

April 24, our Adult Advisor gave a five-minute interview via Skype to László Bognár, who works for the Foundation for Democratic Youth, the Hungarian NLA of GYSD.

April 25, the Foundation for Democratic Youth aired a ten-hour live radio show about Hungarian events and GYSD. The show was aired through a community radio station and the Internet. During the interview, Elena described our GYSD projects. It was a great honor for our chapter to highlight our activities on the global level!

May 19, to attract new members and make our chapter activities more visible, we participated in the regional festival of youth movements "Childhood without borders." We presented our Pen Friends Club experience, our participation in the PTPI School and Classroom Program, as well as our achievements in cross-cultural interaction. Our material was highly regarded by the selection committee! Our Pen Friends Club was awarded the cup and the title of "Peace-keeper." Our students greatly enjoyed the title "Peace keeper," along with the diploma and the cup! Our efforts to promote peace and our steps to make friends with the world have been recognized and appreciated at a regional level!

Elena Tarlovskaya, Adult Advisor

Oroslavje, Croatia (The Eagles) Student Chapter

After the exchange with PTPI's Pécs Hungary Student Chapter in March [See Newsletter 2009-1] we coverage in the newspaper Zagorski List and we were featured in the news on Radio Hrvatsko Zagorje – Krapina and on its Internet page. We also attended a talk with a representative from the U.S. Embassy in Zagreb.

Marina Krsnik, Adult Advisor

Pécs, Hungary Student Chapter

We enjoyed every moment of our trip to Croatia. Our hosts made it unforgettable with their warm welcome and extraordinary hospitality. All the programs were great, and we were happy not only because we learned more about Croatian people/language/history, but also because we made true friends there. On the way back, we were thinking very hard with the students if there was any way we could return all the love and affection we got from Marina, the students and their parents. We can hardly wait to welcome them here to our homes in Pécs and spend some more time with them.

April 28, we took part in a special picnic. It was organized by the American Corner of Pécs to celebrate Arbor Day, a U.S. holiday that encourages individuals and groups to plant trees. We participated in different programs, all of which had a connection with the environment and trees. These programs included planting plants that we could take home afterwards and making our own environmental friendly by using shopping bags with different patterns. Later that day, we had snacks at the organic buffet, where we tasted different kinds of healthy foods made from 100 percent natural ingredients. After the meal, we grabbed crayons and started to decorate the walls with drawings of trees. Finally, we listened to an interesting presentation about environmental consciousness. Our presenter raised the issue of waste and recycling, and offered different solutions for the problem. She showed us examples of environmental friendly packages and discussed three different ways of packaging milk and dairy products. She explained the first type of packaging needed more than 300 years to degrade, and the second had three layers and was very difficult to recycle. The third, which she suggested we buy, was the most environmentally friendly; it had two layers and could be recycled easily. She also talked about the problem of using plastic bags for shopping. To sum up, we got handy tips and some useful advice about how to be green and what products to buy if we go shopping.

Szilvia Kázmér, Adult Advisor

Roman, Romania Chapter

The Young Generation members of PTPI's Roman, Romania Chapter are happy to announce their project proposal has been approved by the National Agency. It is included under Action 1.1 – Youth exchange, of the Youth in Action Programme run by the EU. The project is called "Ready, steady... go for a healthy life!" It will take place in Piatra Neamt, the recently named green city of Romania and consist of organizing a multilateral youth exchange August 19-28. The main theme of this project is maintaining a healthy lifestyle in a problematic and stressful environment. The activities will last nine days, and the participants will be 30 young people who represent six non-governmental associations from Romania, Lithuania, Turkey, Malta, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. The Bulgarian and Czech Republic youth are also PTPI members, while the others are partners from different European exchanges. The activities will mime a healthy way of living. There will be debates related to this topic, and a lot of physical outdoor events. There also will be a full day in the countryside, where everybody will take part in rural activities and taste natural and healthy products. The final day will be dedicated to putting together a Healthy Life Guide written in seven languages (six of the participants' languages plus English). The guide will present healthy activities that can be undertaken in the participants' countries. All of the activities will be achieved through non-formal methods of education andwill involve every team in the organization and implementation stages.

Andrei Corduneanu, Youth Coordinator

Sofia, Bulgaria (The Doves) Student Chapter

April 16-17, we organized a fundraising exhibition, which collected 450 BGN (EUR 230) for the chapter treasury. The funds will be used for future PTPI projects.

Kalina Cherneva President

Šternberk, Czech Republic Chapter

March 21, our traditional event to wake up our members and friends after the long winter was held in the beautiful countryside of Central Moravia – Velký Kosír and the surrounding region. From the start, the sun was shining and the blue sky brought lovely smiles to our faces. All of us wore green and yellow colors, including our painted faces, which displayed a green four-leaf clover. We climbed the highest peak, which is called Moravian Mount Everest, played some funny games, took a lot of pictures and talked and walked for at least 20 kilometers. The best part of the day was the joint call of„Je jaro!, meaning spring is here!

Cylindr CelebrationsApril 4, because the weather of early spring was nice, in fact too nice and dry for planting new trees in the forest, we decided to slightly change our plans. Instead of planting trees, we cleaned and cut the shrubs around our famous Green Shelter, the beautiful view point above the town of Šternberk. Not many people from the public came, but there were enough people to do a good job; we finally cleaned the whole area of rubbish and shrubs. This was the second year our chapter members and friends cleaned the shelter area, and we feel we'd like to adopt this place forever.

April 25, we finally planted those new trees! We joined a public planting organized by another NGO in town, and made our town more green and lovely. Together with members of Children's Club Plejády, we planted more than ten full-grown trees in the town center and made new alleys on the streets. This was quite a hard job for the children, but after few weeks, we can see the beautiful green all around, and we can feel the difference. Here is a big thank you to all who helped us. May 22, we organized a program with all kinds of sports, games and activities on the water and land. Children, youngsters and their parents and grandparents enjoyed it very much. Even more excitement came during the late afternoon, when a thunderstorm started and intensified the experience. We all loved that!

May 30, Cylindr is never the same. This year it was red. We changed the color from blue to red, and it worked very well. The weather changed from heavy rain in the morning to warm and sunny in the afternoon. It was great, and a lot of children and our friends joined us. Everybody and everything was in red: gingerbreads, music, t-shirts, candies and cookies, games and competitions, theater and everyone with a red mood. A funny theater troup from Poland, which we knew as a result of a member's European Voluntary Service in Poland, came to perform. They were great, and even though they used Polish language, the children loved it. During the evening, everybody enjoyed movies inside or a fire and singing with guitars outside. We had a lot of fun, and we had a chance to meet a lot of interesting people. We also earned some money for our international activities and projects.

Helca Metelkova, President

Tallinn, Estonia Chapter

May 22-June 4, Claudia von Ellerts of PTPI's Zürich, Switzerland Chapter visited Tallinn and other places such as Haapsalu, Kuremae Monastery, Peipsi Lake and Saaremaa Island. She also went to Riga and Jurmala in Latvia with Alex Smulski and Leonid. The fourth visit within the Grundtvig project "Europe needs active seniors" took place June 6-13 in Tallinn. The chapter prepared a learning and cultural program according to the project proposal. It addressed the following topics: the life of seniors in Estonia, national minorities/social partners of the project, EU elections and the cultural and historical heritage of Estonia. Fifteen members from local and international partner organizations, members of Eesti PTPI and local adult learners participated.

The first working session about national minorities was held in the afternoon. We visited the New Synagogue with PTPI member Julia Samogina to learn about the history of Jews in Estonia, the Holocaust and Jewish community life in Estonia today. PTPI members Marianna Drozdova and Kirill Tripolski took the group to hidden places in the Old Town. Our international partners had the chance to experience medieval sports near Kik-in-de-Kek tower and saw hand made chocolate in the Meistri Hoov. Dinner was in the Kuldse Notsu Kõrts, which serves authentic Estonian meals.Visit from Zürich, Switzerland

June 9, we held a working session about Estonian history and culture, and we visited the Kadriorg Park and KUMU Art Museum. We learned about Danish, Swedish, German, Russian and Estonian periods in Estonian history and their influence on Estonian art. In the afternoon the second working session, which was about national minorities and cultural diversity in Estonia, was held. It included a visit to the Ukrainian church on Laboratooriumi Street. There, we met our adult learner monk Anatoliy Lutjuk, who told us about the Red Book for plants, animals and birds. He also took us to the medieval workshops and Grusbecke Tower. The partners then visited the international flower festival to learn about medieval and modern gardens. The day finished at the festival "Summer Night Stars" and the Estonian National Opera,," which performed Swan Lake.

June 11, our partners visited the City Council and met with vice mayor, Merike Martinson. She explained active work with seniors in the social centers in Tallinn. They discussed different approaches to working with seniors in different European countries. In the afternoon, a working session about the history of St. John's midsummer celebration was given by a professional guide at the Estonian Open Air Museum. We learned old Estonian traditions, visited old farmers' and fishermen's houses and windmills, and then we had lunch in the museum's Kolu Kõrts, which served traditional Estonian meals. Mercedes Vilaplana from Spain and PTPI member Ruta Pels had a chance to visit the Association of Estonian Belarusians and meet with its leader Nina Savinova. Sarah and Teresa Ruggeri from Italy explored night life in Tallinn with PTPI member Aleksei Smulski. They visited the Prive night club, Mulley's Melons Irish Pub and the Estonian bar Levist väljas. In the afternoon, the fourth and fifth working sessions about national minorities were held. We visited the Association of Estonian Belarusians (a project social partner), where we met with Nina Savinova. Later, there was the Midsummer's Day Party Ligo in the Latvian community (another of the project's social partners), where we met local adult learners/seniors and listened to Midsummer's songs and music. We also learned how to weave chaplets for men from oak and chaplets for women from flowers and magical herbs.

Ruta Pels, President

Tirana, Albania Student Chapter

May 7-29, PTPI's Tirana, Albania Student Chapter hosted Veronica Kobel from PTPI's Bern, Switzerland Chapter as part of the Language Ambassador Program. Veronica taught English to the students of the Language Schools in Albania (LSIA). In return, she was hosted by PTPI members and friends in Tirana, Gramsh and Gjirokaster. During her stay in Tirana, she also supported the students in creating handmade cards and photos for fundraising efforts. Please also read Veronica's detailed description of her experience in this issue under "PTPI Experiences." PTPI's Tirana, Albania Student Chapter has published photos of its activities on the Web site of the PTPI Tirana, Albania Chapter at A new Web site specifically for the student chapter is currently in preparation. Soon students will be able to communicate with one another and post photos and comments about their activities there.

Blerina Gjonaj, Adult Advisor

Tirana, Albania Chapter

May 30, 60 members and friends of PTPI's Tirana, Albania Chapter celebrated the chapter's 10th anniversary at the Tirana International Hotel. Special guests were PTPI's President and CEO, Mary Jean Eisenhower and Chairman of PTPI's Board of Directors, Joseph Patterson, as well as honored guests from the Albanian government and ministries.

Blerina Gjonaj, Member

Varna, Bulgaria (The Dolphins) Student Chapter

Our members told their friends about PTPI and the fact that there is a chapter in Varna. Some of them became interested in our activities. As a team, we attended different social oriented presentations and introduced ourselves and our work. People also became interested in us through many of the activities we were engaged in. March 1, we celebrated Grandmother March Day. We made and then gave out traditional "Martenitsas" to pedestrians. March 8, on International Women's Day, we did a survey among women to see whether they feel loved at other times and not only on this day.

German Guest SpeakersApril 22, we celebrated World Earth Day. We decided to save energy by undertaking our weekly meeting without electric light. We used candles instead. May 2, we held an educational meeting with two guest speakers from Germany who had visited orphanages and medical centers in Varna. During March and April, our members were interviewed by the local radio. (Our member Andriana Tsoneva works there).

In April, we promoted initiatives with the supermarket "Pikadilli" again. They have become our partners. This time, they invited us to join their spring activity. During it, we made and sold more than 600 paper cranes. We gave the money we raised to the "Nadezhda" Orphanage. We also visit the orphanage regularly and teach English to the adults. Some of them have become chapter members.

In May, we contacted the staff of a center for mentally disabled people. The manager of the center, who already knows us, said we can work in collaboration with the center in the future. We also helped translate for international students who were visiting it. Our Web site is already online. It won 1st place in a local informatics-olympiad. Now we're waiting for the evaluation at the national level.

At the end of May, we heard a presentation by a girl who had spent two years in Peru. We organized a Peruvian dinner to help her collect money to publish a book. She also wants to send money to Peruvian children as a donation.

Yoanna Lyubenova, Treasurer

Vaslui, Romania Student Chapter

We elected our new board and made a presentation about PTPI programs to students from several high schools in Vaslui. As a result, ten new members joined our chapter. Several members went to a kindergarten in Vaslui to plant trees and flowers in the courtyard. We had a sponsor who gave us the trees and the flowers. We invited the press and local TV station. An article was published in the local newspaper.

Earth Day Clean-UpI recently mentored a new PTPI chapter in Buzau. When I was in Berlin, I met a colleague from Buzau who was attending the same course. I told her about our activities and convinced her to start a chapter in her city. She contacted her students and chose ten of them to form the chapter.

We celebrated Children's Day on June 1. Nine members went to a kindergarten in the industrial district (where parents are often unemployed) with sweets and colored chalk. We drew pictures with the theme "Happy Childhood" on the pavement.

June 5, we celebrated Earth Day. With the manager and employees from the Environment Agency, twenty-five members and I went south of a forest near Vaslui to collect plastic PET bottles. Then we went to the city park to fix six bird houses made by PTPI members.

Liliana Harhas, Adult Advisor

Yerevan, Armenia Chapter

April 10, we organized an event for members and non-members to share information about PTPI's programs and the Yerevan, Armenia chapter's activities and work. This event involved 12 new members of the chapter. During the evening, nominations for PTPI's Board of Trustees and Board of Directors were presented by Silva Vardanyan, the president of PTPI's Yerevan, Armenia Chapter. Some of the new members were interested to call for nominations.

April 24, chapter members visited Tsitsernakaberd, a memorial dedicated to the victims of the 1915 Armenian Genocide. This year commemorates the Armenian Genocide's 94th anniversary.

Silva Vardanyan, President