2012-2 PTPE Newsletter
Message from the Regional Chair
It is always a pleasure to be in touch with you!
Differently from the other years we are not getting ready to meet for the European Conference and I must say that I miss it. However we all know that it is only delayed to be held in conjunction with the Worldwide Conference (WWC) that will be held in Tallinn, Estonia August 29-September 2.
I hope all of you have saved the date and will be looking forward to meeting longtime friends and, as always happens, making new friends. Any time we meet we make new friends and certainly this is the spirit of our organization: connecting people. I want again to underline that Tallinn will be a special occasion for all of us Europeans as we will not have any chance of having a WWC in our part of the world for the next 8-10 years. This should spur as many as possible to take part. I am sure it will be another successful event that the participants will remember for a long time. PTPI's European Council has contributed to the "Welcome Reception" in order to keep prices at a certain level and that has been a big effort on our side. Unfortunately the bad global financial situation is affecting our organization, too, and it is not easy to face all requests and satisfy everybody. We are always trying to do our best.
We also are waiting to receive suggestions and offers from all of you to choose the country where we will have our annual European Conference in 2013. So, please, those chapters that would be interested should contact Lars Poignant at PTPI's European Office and let us know. We would also be pleased to receive your suggestions as to the program if you think you would wish something different from what was proposed in the past. All together we can make things better!
I would like to thank all the chapters that participated in the Team Peace Challenge 2010-2011! I was incredibly proud when I was at the last Board Meeting in Kansas City to hear that so many European chapters had been involved and that so many were awarded! We had eight Gold Student Chapters Winners, three Silver Medal Winners, and three Bronze Medal Winners. Congratulations to all of them and thank you!
I am also extremely happy to announce that we have two new chapters that joined our large family: Podgorica (Montenegro) and Yerevan (Armenia). Welcome to them and welcome to their presidents Edina Hasanaga Cobaj and Tamara Torosyan!
My best regards,
Valeria Magistrelli, Regional Chair
Homestay at its best! Bulgaria meets Berlin – Youth meets Experience
Last year at the European conference in Katowice I met Simeon Kostov from Varna, Bulgaria; a very interested young member. We had very interesting talks. I told him about my successful experiences with homestays all over the world and that we regard our homestay-guests like relatives: like uncles, aunts, or cousins. Before the conference was over I invited a group from his chapter to Berlin. At the end, two of them could come.
The April week together in Berlin was very interesting for everybody. We had time to talk about the happiness and the sadness in our lives. Both sides (the Berliners and the Bulgarians) learned from each other. For this you only have time when you stay together in a "PTPI-family." In addition to the sightseeing and shopping, we had contacts with other young people in Berlin and with the guests from all over the world. I remember a meeting with a couple from California on the river cruise. There were open discussions and at the end all of us could think over our own opinion. This week in homestay taught all of us that the best way for understanding is when people meet and talk and learn.
Take part in this experience! You are welcome for a homestay with our Berlin chapter.
Hans-Dieter Robel, PTPI Trustee
In April, two of us were given the opportunity to thoroughly enjoy the hospitality of a homestay with the exceptional Hans-Dieter Robel.
During our stay in Berlin, we visited the Dome of the Reichstag building, the East-Side Gallery, the Wall Museum, we climbed the Victory Column, and we took a bicycle ride to the King's Castle and through the endless parks of Berlin. We also visited the European office of People to People where we met people from Italy and Hungary.
Each day we had the chance to taste the delicious German cuisine – every morning we had a traditional Ger-man breakfast and a rich meal for lunch, dinner or both, which was also prepared by the caring Hans-Dieter. One evening we were kindly invited to a truly International dinner at the eastern part of town, where there were people from Germany, Spain, and Bulgaria all sitting at the same table.
Our host knows a lot about Berlin and its history as he presented the sights of the city in incredible detail. The feeling of looking back on a divided world from the eyes of the one who really saw it was extraordinary.
In conclusion, I would say that it came as no surprise to me that the PTPI homestay visit was a really pleasant and memorable experience. During our stay, we managed to get in contact with people from all around the world. I have no hesitation in recommending a visit to the well experienced and always supportive Berlin chapter to everyone and especially to the youth chapters in Eastern Europe, as I believe that there are a lot of things to be taught and learned in Germany.
Simeon Kostov, PTPI's Varna, Bulgaria (the Dolphins) Chapter
For details and contact information, please visit www.ptpe.org/events
- Monthly, first Friday Berlin, Germany: monthly roundtable Hannelore Büchler; www.ptpberlin.de
- Monthly, second Wednesday Bern, Switzerland: English conversation group Linda Rickli
- Every Wednesday Brussels, Belgium: networking event. Chalks Coriette, www.ptpi.be
- Every Thursday Brussels, Belgium: informal PTPI coffee morning and its “Single’s Thursday After Work” event. Chalks Coriette, www.ptpi.be
- June 9 Sternberk, Czech Republic: “The Venice of Hana”; Litovel cultural event and riding boats on the canal under the main square. Eliska Vranova, www.ptpisternberk.org
- June 23 Berlin, Germany: Summer Party and Excursion to Fäming. Hannelore Büchler; www.ptpberlin.de
- June 28 Chester, England: Lunchtime Concert In St.Mary's, Nantwich Heather Exell
- June 30 Chester, England: Lunchtime Concert In Wesley Center, St. John St. Heather Exell
- July 3 Chester, England: Evening Recital Heather Exell
- July 8-12 Bern, Switzerland: First Homestay with Student Ambassadors from USA Linda Rickli
- July 20-27 PTPI European Office, Germany: European Youth Exchange www.ptpe.org/eye2012
- July 21 Berlin, Germany: hiking tour Hannelore Büchler; www.ptpberlin.de
- August 18 Annual Swiss Chapter Meeting and summer party in Bern. Simon Krebs
- August 29 – September 2 Worldwide Conference in Tallinn, Estonia www.ptpi.org
- September 3-8 Post Worldwide Conference Baltic Tour www.ptpi.org
- October Berlin, Germany: Visit to PTPI’s Tudela, Spain Chapter with a stop-over in Barcelona. Hannelore Büchler; www.ptpberlin.de
PTPI in Budapest
PTPI's Budapest, Hungary Chapter has been restarted. The new president is Katalin Judit Tóth-Pjeczka, who some of you may know from the leadership seminar 2009. The members have organized an English language intercultural club. You will find additional details in the "chapter reports" section.
World Fair at Worldwide Conference
PTPI members and friends are encouraged to attend the 20th Worldwide Conference: Medieval to Modern Times ~ A Journey Towards Peace. The conference will be held in Tallinn, Estonia August 29 – September 2. Highlights include:
Board of Trustees Meeting | European Council Meeting | Welcome Reception at the Horsemill | PTPI World Fair | Awards Ceremony and Reception | Humanitarian Day | Reception ~ Preview of 2014 | Gala Dinner
It is possible to register for the whole conference or for individual components. PTP Europe is supporting the Opening Reception. For the World Fair, chapters are welcome to bring regional and national material.
European Council Meeting 2012
The European Council meeting will be held in Tallinn August 29. Chapter presidents and members are welcome to attend the meeting, where we will determine the members of the Executive Committee and a time and venue for the 2013 European Conference.
Election; Can be reelected
Election; Can be reelected
Election; Can be reelected
European Conference 2013 – Host Chapter
PTPI seeks a host chapter for the 2013 European Conference. This important event last four days during the summer and provides an excellent opportunity for showcasing your chapter and your region. Please contact PTPI's European Office for more information. A decision on the date and location will be made at the European Council meeting on August 29.
Homestay in Montenegro
PTPI's Podgorica, Montenegro Chapter was charted in February this year. Chapter President Edina Hasanaga Cobaj and the members
welcome PTPI members for homestay in Montenegro.
There are currently 26 of 66 chapters (39%) that offer homestays. Chapters are invited to introduce them-selves on the ptpe.org website.
For a detailed list of chapters offering homestays, please visit www.ptpe.org/chapters.
Scholarships Available: PTPI Global Youth Forum
PTPI's Global Youth Forum (GYF) will be held in Chicago, Illinois, United States, November 7 – 11. At the GYF, delegates ages 13-18 from around the globe increase their knowledge of the world. PTPI offers full tuition scholarship for three individuals ages 16-18. Scholarship recipients will receive full tuition including lodging, food, travel-costs, and activities. For more information, please visit: www.ptpe.org/grant-gyf. The deadline is June 17.
On March 7, our chapter held its annual meeting. The new location for the event was a great success, and a new treasurer was elected: Ilona Schmidt. In March, Andrei Corduneanu from PTPI's Roman, Romania Chapter came to visit us and he was hosted by Hans-Dieter Robel, PTPI Trustee.
On April 1, most of our members and some friends took part in a day trip to Wittenberg, which is known for Martin Luther, who founded the protestant religion. We organized the visit of Luther's house and a guided tour through the little town. All participants enjoyed the sunny but cold day and we went back to Berlin very satisfied.
During the beginning of April, our chapter was glad to host two young men from Bulgaria: Simeon Kostow and Michael Markow, both members of PTPI's Varna Bulgaria (the Dolphins) Chapter.
Also in April, members enjoyed a short trip to the beautiful cities of Naumburg and Fryeburg. We had the chance to visit the dome in Naumburg and its ancient statues from the 13th Century. We also took an exciting boat tour on the river Unstrut. In Freiburg we were shown the most important sights of this small village, well known also for its wine production. We visited the wine cellar and tasted a glass of delicious white sparkling wine. The excursion was organized by Dagmar Schönbeck, PTPI Trustee
In June, we will have a walk combined with a barbecue and in July we are expecting the traditional "Weinfest." In addition, we are glad to announce that we found two schools to host our initiative "Murals on Tour." On June 1-15, the first presentation will take place, while the second is expected on June 16 in a gardening school. A big garden party for the event it is planned. Special thanks go to Judith Schömbs for her efforts.
Hannelore Büchler, President and Trustee
On April 23, the Bern Chapter held its yearly meeting in Hinterkappelen. The highlights for 2012 include plans for three homestay groups from the United States in July; our all- Swiss Chapter Meeting with the motto "Emmental Day," and our annual Summer Party for homestay host families will both take place on Saturday, August 18. Some of our members have already booked flights and hotel rooms for the Worldwide Conference in Tallinn; and, last but not least, our English conversation dinner group will continue to meet regularly, as a rule the second Wednesday of each month throughout the year, except in July.
Linda Rickli, board member
On March 16, our chapter held the "Serve the City" pub quiz. The setting was the Irish pub De Valera's, in a trendy area of Brussels named Flagey. Quizmaster Richard Cross delivered a range of questions to a lively 70 participants divided in 16 teams. We congratulate the top three teams: Jack Tipper, Under 40 Interpreters, and No Brainers. The event raised 410 euros and we round this up to 500 euros. The total raised will be donated to the Malawi Well project. Fresh water is taken for granted in our advanced economy and yet over a billion people continue to fight for this basic need. The team from Serve the City aims to donate 1,000 euros to a community in the suburbs of Malawi for a shallow well, which will save them going 4-5 km to find water. Access to clean water is very important because it helps to prevent diseases and it´s a first little step to get out of the poverty cycle.
On March 4, a group of twelve members of our chapter enjoyed a walk in the rain around the Brussels Marolles area. During this two hour walk we visited a number of historical sites for which the architectural meaning was explained by the tour guide. The interesting walk ended near the Annessens tower, an ancient vestige of the city wall, close to the Sablon, where we stopped to drink a cup of delicious Belgian chocolate.
Chalks Coriette, President
During the beginning of May, our chapter started to organize an intercultural English language club; "The Melting Pot." Members meet monthly and we address topics related to Budapest through creative and playful activities, quizzes, round-table discussions, and cultural events. We welcome everybody to this open community, regardless of age, gender, profession, or citizenship.
We have two specific goals: To give foreigners coming to Budapest the opportunity to meet Hungarians in person, so they can build a deeper, long-lasting relationship with the city and its inhabitants, and to give people the chance to practice the English language, so those who would not otherwise meet different nationalities will have the opportunity to do so. Most of our events are free.
On January 26, we had discussion in small groups about the future of Budapest and our group. The 28 participants made a time capsule with messages and pieces of advice for the future.
On February 18, we organized a Karaoke Night for more than 20 participants. During the March meeting, we watched two speeches from www.ted.com, after which we had a discussion about the role of English as a common language and creativity and education. The 14 participants had interesting conversations in two groups.
Katalin Judit Tóth-Pjeczka, President
Burgas, Bulgaria Student Chapter
A French Cinema Evening at School!
It all happened on February 2, after St. Valentine's Day. All the Vectors took part in the preparation of the movie night. We were divided into different teams, some of us made posters and tickets; others prepared the food or the decoration. There was also a team for the technical part.
After the end of the classes on Wednesday about 80 students went to the gym where the first cinema at school took place. We chose the French movie LOL (Laughing out loud) as its plot was akin to teenagers' life and in the same time represented the French culture and lifestyle. Apart from the movie students enjoyed specially selected French food, popcorn, and drinks. The event proved a good fundraiser. We were selling tickets for 1 BGN (0,50 EUR) and also asked for some money for the food. In total, we ended up with a profit of more than 160 BGN (80 EUR).
Unexpectedly, from March 19-25, our school was visited by a group of UK students who participated in a project called "Have your say" with the help of "Ivolo." The Vectors faced great challenge as it was our responsibility to show them our school, city, and even Bulgarian traditions. On the first day of the UK team's visit we made presentations in the form of a quiz about our hometown and Bulgaria. We also presented our chapter and PTPI to them. The second day was dedicated to Bulgarian culture: we dressed in a proper way, demonstrated some typical dances, and cooked Bulgarian dishes. After that we played some games together and watched a presentation where we had to guess different English accents. It was great fun. The other days we were hanging around together and even celebrated the birthday of one of the boys in a local club. At the end of the week, we exchanged gifts and with teary eyes said goodbye, hoping to see one another soon. In only a couple of days we made friends for life. It is funny how you meet someone for quite a short time but this can change you forever!
The Day of the Book
Did you know that on April 23 "The Day of the Book" is celebrated? That day in the library of our school an exhibition of old books in different lan-guages was held. Thirty members of The Vectors came before school to help our librarian:we wiped shelves, straightened the reading materials, and cleaned windows. We had a great time while doing something really useful.
During the last six months at school, The Vectors made a presentation and brochures related to PTPI and worked on the promotion of our group on Facebook. We were positively surprised when one week ago we found an article about us and one of our projects on the internet.
Diana Dimitrova, President
Cherkasy, Ukraine Student Chapter
On January 13, our chapter had a meeting with Vic Jacobson, the ex-president of the International Christian Charity Community "Hope Now."
Our members prepared a special food fair on February 19. Children dressed up in bright costumes of animals and sold food, which was prepared by them and their parents. The collected money was donated to the local animal shelter.
On March 15, students from grades 8 to 10 joined the meeting of the English Club devoted to the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens. Members also organized an open holiday devoted to the PTPI chapter for the same day, to which all the students were invited. In the warm and pleasant atmosphere, our PTPI chapter members informed the participants about the chapter and made a short presentation.
On March 25, 12 students prepared presentations about different countries and cultures in foreign languages for the other students as part of a special project day.
In celebration of Global Youth Service Day on April 20, chapter members collected waste paper, cleaned the school territory, and planted new trees. The proceeds from the recycling were donated to support our retired teachers.
In the second edition of the newspaper "Unique Gymnasist" in 2012, a report written by Veronica Melikova and Natasha Valejeva was published about the activities of our chapter.
Veronika Melikova, President
Tour to India (February 3-21) – In the footprints of Gandhi
India is a country in rapid development. A year ago, people were sleeping on the street until morning, cows and dogs were walking on the street and eating what they could find, e.g. paper or other waste, and cows were grazing. That has changed. Delhi now is a beautiful city; and the litter and cows have been removed. It makes me happy to know that still some cows are to be found in Old Delhi, which is very charming, where people are friendly and obliging. It is, however, also the part of city where you find the poorest people. Children are begging almost since they can walk and this remains a serious problem. We visited the place where Gandhi was shot and the surrounding area. This was the third time I went to see the shooting place and I still find it very fascinating.
Our group of eleven people had an intensive program. Among other things, we made a one-day visit to the women's association "Seva," which is based on volunteer work. ["Seva" means "the idea of selfless service" and it is a very important concept in most Indian religions.] We learned how the locals grow crops and sell them in the market, and how they teach young girls about sewing so that someday they can take care of themselves.
In Ahamedabad we visited a group of nuns who provide many jobs for young girls. We also had the chance to visit Diu, a small isthmus where we re-laxed. I met a lady who is responsible for adop-tions and arranged a visit to the orphanage, which was very deep and touching. The whole travel was an incredible life experience and we hope to visit India again soon. The next trip is scheduled for Nepal in 2013.
Thea Lauridsen, Tour Leader and President
On March 9, we held our Annual Meeting. Every year we organize an interesting activity for all members just before the meeting. This year's fun was "Line Dancing," which turned out to be a big success.
Our meeting went well. We had a few big changes in our board. After four years of service as presi-dent, Thomas Ammann stepped down. Our new president is Daniel Rüegsegger. Homestay coordi-nators are Judith Schwitter and Ernest Wälti, who also will manage public relations. Charlotte Scheller is vice president and treasurer. Isabel Hänni continues as secretary.
At the moment we are very busy organizing homestays for our 43 students coming from Tennessee, United Sates. The group arrives in mid-June. As we do with every group, we also have a special activity planned on the last day. The kids will have a lesson and demonstration of the Swiss National Sport "Schwingen."
Ernest Wälti, PR Officer
Katowice, Poland Student Chapter
In May, the chapter president and adult advisor of the student chapter organized workshops for the younger chapter members about how to organize an international youth camp.
Wojciech Galas, President
Khmelnitsky, Ukraine Student Chapter
One of the most active members of our Khmelnit-sky Student Chapter, Maxim Mukutun, who graduated from school last fall, was diagnosed with leukemia. We have tried to help him in various ways. We gathered donations at school and Maxim's friends have created a group in Facebook. We also organized a "street theatre" at our school on December 6. Talented pupils of our school were singing, playing musical instruments, and dancing during the breaks. They collected donations and gave the proceeds to Maxim.
On December 1, the students from 7th grade presented their self-made puppets in a special puppet show with the title "Let's be tolerant" for the younger students of the school in Khmelnitsky. For the older students, an information campaign with the title "Danger: AIDS" was organized for December 6.
Each month from January to April, we held seminars and workshops on a variety of different topics: "international cooperation" and "social cohesion" (January 16); "organization of children's associations" (February 9); "historical memory" (March 12); "water" (March 21); "development of leadership skills through educational work" and presentation of the activities of PTPI's Khmelnitsky Student Chapter (March 29); "informal education" (April 10).
Congratulations to chapter members and team captains Maxim Dubohraya, Victoria Koshelnyk, and Constantine Gurman for winning the fourth prize in the All Ukrainian competition "Europe Nostra," co-organized by the Donetsk Youth Debate Center, the Ukrainian Network of European clubs, and the International Fund "Renaissance" from March 15-17. View www.europanostra.info for more information about "Europe Nostra."
For Global Youth Service Day on April 20, we presented dolls and painted eggs for children in kindergarten as a special Easter holiday gift.
On April 25, we organized and conducted the event "European cinema through the eyes of Ukrainian youth." We watched the Estonian film "The Class" and discussed it with a psychologist.
The work on the project "The rainbow shines even if you are blind" is continuing. Training was held, sketch books developed, and the dialogue with the Serbian partners is ongoing in an effort to teach them, how to create special tactile books for blind children.
Ulia Ershova, President and Svetlana Shengilevich, Adult Advisor
Kiev, Ukraine Student Chapter
The State newspaper of Ukraine "Urjadovyi Kurjer" published in the December 2 issue a review of the festival "Dialog of cultures: Latin America," which we hosted in our school on November 25.
In March we organized the festival of Ukrainian Ethno Culture. We also participated in the action "The Day of the Saved Tree." For this project, we collected waste paper to raise money for buying and planting trees in the local park.
Chapter members also participate in two regular service activities. We organize charity actions in the boarding house for orphans and we help to clean the cages and grounds of the center for homeless animals.
Katerina Ptashka, President
Klina, Kosovo Student Chapter
Since receiving the chapter charter in November, members have explored some of the needs of the Klina community. Our first humanitarian activity consisted of collecting clothes and money from the local stores to give them to people in need. Because of the high rate of poor people in our area, we also decided to organize a variety of free-of-charge workshops for motivated young students, giving them extra lessons in math, physics, chemistry, and technology.
For Global Youth Service Day, nine members of our student chapter organized the essay writing competition "The Voice of the Youth" at one of Klina's primary schools.We collected numerous and diverse ideas from young students about environmental issues. The winners were given certificates and the best essays were published on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Klina-Youth-Chapter/217155781691569
Edonis Raci, President
Konotop, Ukraine Student Chapter
On January 13, our chapter celebrated Epiphany Eve. Members wore traditional clothes and sang Christmas songs. They also visited offices which are sponsors of our Gymnasia.
On February 4, the chapter held a special meeting with school graduates, current and former PTPI members. They shared their experiences with us, told interesting stories of their life, and gave useful advice.
February 10-17, members and teachers prepared presentations on ecological topics and showed them to the guests from other schools. A lot of attention was paid to the problems of energy efficiency and protecting nature. PTPI members organized ecological games for the pupils and the teachers gave lessons called "The world of wild nature."
Students from four different schools of Konotop came to our gymnasia on February 15 in order to practice their English, especially speaking skills. The topic of our discussion was "The philosophy of money." A lot of interesting and important questions were raised and everyone enjoyed the meeting. Some meetings were also held in other schools, where PTPI members were especially active in discussing the topics "Human trafficking" and "Law and order."
The entire school took part in a project about the question "How will Ukraine look through foreigner's eyes during the European Football Championship Euro-2012" on February 17. Students prepared presentations and performanc-es, which explained their attitude to Euro-2012 and their expectations.
On February 22, chapter members visited a boarding school for children with eyesight problems. We enjoyed a variety of activities with the students in an effort to increase their interest in the English language. We also collected much-needed items for them, such as clothing and stationery. In return, the students painted beautiful pictures for our members. Everyone was pleased, happy, and deeply moved. PTPI members Sasha Bespala and Yaroslava Volvach work at the youth television studio "Contact." They created a TV program about GYSD and our activities at the boarding school.
On April 19, the members of our chapter visited Moscow and took part in the international film festival "Consolidate our Knowledge," where they showed their own short films addressing the urgent problems of our society. Film titles include: "Stray dogs: decisions," "Corruption as a global problem," and "Believe in yourself," The latter made the third place in the competition.
Anna Fil, President
Kurchatov, Russia Student Chapter
Since September, 20 chapter members have participated in PTPI's School and Classroom Program. This year we are discovering Canada, as partnerships have been established with Garibaldi Elementary School in Vancouver. Our students sent a package with letters and gifts on Christmas, and are now anticipating replies.
From December to April, five chapter members regularly helped our elderly veteran of labor, Galina Tikhonova. Chapter members and our adult advisor Elena Tarlovskaya were twice featured in a local newspaper; in January there was an article about our December Christmas party and in April there was an article about our adult advisor participating in an international EFL Forum in Moscow.
In March, all chapter members took an active part in the environmental project "Re-charging." The aim of the project was to collect as many waste batteries as possible for clever recycling. A special bin was put in the hall of our gymnasium, so that everyone could contribute. The results exceeded all expectations: more than five kilos of waste bat-teries were collected! We go green!
On April 15, 15 members and our adult advisor volunteered on the school premises for five hours. Students raked leaves and branches and collected trash to make our school yard clean and beautiful.
April 23-25, our chapter and local community hosted an international educator: Senior English Language Fellow in Moscow, Tony Hull. The cultural program included a guided tour of Kurchatov, organized by five chapter members, a welcome concert "US-Russia: a Meeting Point," a roundtable discussion on various aspects of American and Russian cultures, a trip to Kursk Root Hermitage, and much more. All chapter members took an active part in these events and had a wonderful opportunity to practice English. On April 25, our intercultural experience with Mr. Hull was featured in the local news program on TV.
On April 24, 13 chapter members took part in the interactive workshop "Mind your human rights" aimed at bringing this vital question of civic educa-tion into the focus of students' attention. On the following day, chapter members Marina Sergienko and Darya Zvyagintseva led an interactive workshop on the topic "How to fight stereotypes" for more than 30 students.
April 23-28, chapter advisor Elena organized and ran an officer-in-training program for new chapter officers, using PTPI manuals and on-line resources. The six newly elected officers participated. April 25, six chapter members organized a membership drive for more than 30 middle and high students to increase our chapter membership. At the drive, graduating students Vlad, Eugenia, Marina, Elena, and Tatyana were given their certificates of participation and small badges as gifts. Students spoke about the role of PTPI in promoting peace and building friendly relations with other countries.
Alina Vazhenina, President
In April and May, our chapter was engaged with the second Language Learning Homestay Program that we have been developing through these years. This coming summer a group of 15 students will have homestays in the United States and will spend a couple of weeks with families enjoying great personal, human, and cultural experiences living day by day in touch with American families. The host chapters are Scottsdale, Arizona; Sheboygan, Wisconsin; and Central Valley Stockton, California. We believe this is the best way for young people to be in touch and promote peace and reciprocal understanding through cultural experiences. In May, our friend Hans-Dieter Robel from Berlin will pay us a very quick visit but we hope he will remember this experience for a long time. We have also received a request for homestays next year from a chapter in Malaysia. Their members visited us three years ago and now they are planning to come back.
Valeria Magistrelli, President and Trustee
Oroslavje (The Eagles), Croatia Student Chapter
The Eagles were happy to host the first samba instructor in our region at Oroslavje High school. There were 16 Eagles who danced for more than an hour against bullying and alcohol on November 11.
As a joint humanitarian action of our student chapter and the religious and communication sections of our school, Christmas cards, bookmarks, and Christmas cakes were made and sold. The proceeds of 200 Euros were donated to seven needy families in Oroslavje, helping to make their Christmas a reason to celebrate.
In addition, the chapter members and their advisor brought books from home and sold them to the teaching staff to raise money for Christmas charity. The Eagles and members of the religious section, Little School of Democracy, traditionally visited the disabled children and adults in Pustodol for Christmas. They prepared a short school play and sang carols in order to make their hosts feel the Christmas spirit and love and care. They were also given small Christmas presents with sweets and chocolates. It was very touching for the Pustodol residents, their physiotherapists, the students, and their teachers.
For International Women's Day, the Eagles prepared a presentation on extraordinary women in the world of literature, music, film, fashion, science, humanitarianism and education. They beautifully performed songs by Adele, U2, Žak Houdek, and Ivana Kindl and shared positive quotations about women with their teachers. The teaching and the administrative staff together with around 100 students had a great time and enjoyed the work of these imaginative and hardworking students.
On March 15, the Eagles, the Zagorska League against Cancer, and our school friends joined their efforts to promote health issues and help raise money for new medical equipment in our hospitals. Together we managed to sell 150 bunches of daffodils for 3.000 HRK (400 EUR).
The Eagles invited all the classes to join the eco action "Hey man, where is your mobile,"initially organized by the Zagreb ZOO, to collect and recycle as many old mobiles as possible and to protect the habitat of the African monkeys. Altogether we collected 274 mobile phone devices (8.46 kg). The two classes who collected the most devices earned themselves pizza, Coke, and sweets - prizes provided by the Eagles. Altogether 74 Croatian primary and secondary schools joined the action and our school made the 14th place among all participating schools. On a weekly basis we also collect plastic bottles in our school to ensure they are recycled properly.
Maja Vdovic, President
Plovdiv, Bulgaria Student Chapter
The Humanitarian Committee of our chapter continues its work with the organization Big Brother Big Sister and visits the orphanage in Plovdiv on a regular basis. We are happy to report that we organized 19 visits from October to April and prepared numerous different activities and games for the children.
Our chapter organized several different fundraising activities to support Natalia, a 5-year old girl with cerebral palsy, who needs to receive special treatment not available in Bulgaria. On November 2, we held a charity Halloween party, which was attended by about 600 young people and raised more than 500 Euros. Our humanitarian com-mittee made more than 100 cards in special workshops on December 13 and 14 for the Christmas Charity Bazaar. This bazaar took place at the mall on December 19 and 20, where we sold our Christmas cards in order to collect money for the campaign "Donate hope to Natalia." We managed to collect about 1000 Euros.
Our chapter's Community Services Committee, together with our humanitarian committee, organized a special charity concert at a local dance club for Natalia on February 3. More than 10 popular Bulgarian pop and hip-hop singers performed at audience concert for approximately 1000 people. With their help, we managed to collect about 5000 Euros for the campaig. Articles about the event were published in several newspapers and websites in Bulgaria. Here is one example: http://help-natalia.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_29.html .
On January 15, our Educational Committee held an open discussion about World Religions, which 30 people attended.
In order to surprise the people at the mall for Valentine's Day, the members of the Community Services Committee organized a flash mob on February 14. Fourteen members danced to the song "Ai Se Eu Te Pego" by Michel Telo in front of an audience of more than 30 people – all of them taken by surprise.
For International Women's Day on March 8, members of our Community Service Committee organized a workshop at the mall, where kids together with our members were able to create cards for the holiday. All the materials for the workshop were provided by our organization. We were happy to help many children surprise their mothers on their special day. We also organized an auction of boys as a competition. In the first part of the competition the girls took part in a quiz to show their knowledge about the holiday. For each right answer they received fake money. With this money, the ladies were supposed to 'buy' a guy during the second part of the auction. By organizing this event we wanted to show that young people can broaden their knowledge while having fun.
In order to help the people who have lost their property and homes in the flooded area of Biser, members organized a charity concert in a dance club in Plovdiv on March 24. Nine nationally popular pop and hip-hop singers were performing, and helped us gather more than 2000 Euros for the residents of Biser. Articles about the event were published in several newspapers and websites in Bulgaria. You can also watch the video of an interview with the organizers from our student chapter and some of the singers: . The event was followed by another charity bazaar at school on March 30 where we sold bracelets, cards with spring themes, photos and lucky charms, all made by our members. This effort raised 200 Euros.
On March 31, our chapter's ecology group, with the permission and help of the local government, encouraged the community to turn off all lights in the central area of the town as a sign of our mission to save energy. The seven organizers and about 25 other participants lit some candles in the shape of the number 60 symbolizing the 60 minutes in which everyone who wanted to support the cost turned off their lights.
To celebrate the International Day of Humour, members organized a fundraising activity on the main street in Plovdiv, which involved selling lucky charms and funny 'challenges' connected to the holiday on April 1. We managed to collect 30 Euros for our chapter. An article about the event was published at a local news website.
Chapter members organized a workshop on April 20, where they made cards and bracelets, which were going to be sold at our charity bazaar for Global Youth Service Day, for the campaign of father Ivan to build a poorhouse near vlg. Novi han.
Throughout the school year, our photography team did an excellent job of documenting chapter activities. They also organized workshops on photography and software for editing pictures, such as Photoshop, and even recorded videos on different topics.
The Sports Committee in our chapter has also organized an impressive number of activities, including table tennis tutoring, soccer games as teambuilding, paintball games, a seminar on health and diet, and a marathon day.
Eliana Vanekova, President
Pravets, Bulgaria Student Chapter
On April 19, our chapter realized its long-planned activity: planting trees in the House for Kids with Special Needs near Pravets. Together with a volunteer from the Peace Corps, Phillip, we planted twelve different kinds of trees and the kids helped us. The weather was very nice and the kids were very happy during the whole day – it is wonderful to see their shiny eyes!
After we were done with our job for the day, all the children in the House for Special Needs congratulated us with songs and dances, and surprised us with gifts – hand-made postcards and posters! They told us about their holiday in Turkey for a Music Festival with their teacher Mrs. Trayanova. We danced together with the kids and that was a very nice experience for both us and the kids!
You can see photos of the event on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pages/Klina-Youth-Chapter/217155781691569#!/pages/PTPI-Bulgaria-Pravets-Student-Chapter/253942991287885
Borislava Georgieva, Secretary
On April 3, our chapter organized a funny competition in the local primary school. With the help of some teachers, the competition was great success and included games like "Limbo" and "Trust Me." The "Different School Week" brought a different olympics where we wanted to give to "Roman Voda" students the chance to show that they are good not only in school competitions. It was a new and interesting experience for everyone. Our competitors had a lot of fun and they received different prizes at the end - funny diplomas and chocolate.
In April, our chapter organized a school competition "Romanvodistii Got Talent." We needed a few reliable PTPI members and some money from the people that really care about culture in our town. In three days everybody knew about the show and we found some talented students. We had 18 participants; each of them was very well prepared. Cristian Prajescu, a ninth grader, managed to amaze us with a gorgeous song composed by him. It's not a surprise that he won the first place, given the fact that besides his ability to compose songs, he also has a great voice. The second and the third places were occupied by Sebastian Tudor, also a ninth grader, and Stoleru Daria a little girl who melt our hearts with her voice. The jury's decision was very difficult and they had to offer two more special prizes for originality to Leonte George and Sandache Iulian, who sang "Englishman in New York." I'm happy to say that everybody encouraged us to organize a second edition maybe at even a larger scale. "Romanvodistii Got Talent" for sure!
Simona-Ioana Antoniu and Diana Lapusnean, members
Skopje, Macedonia Student Chapter
December 5-12, we organized a volunteer week with a number of different activities, including a presentation of the European Voluntary Service Programme of the EU and a conference at the EU Information Center about being active in civil society in cooperation with creACTive and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. The conference was a discussion platform for sharing opinions about the possibilities for cooperation between local government and civil associations in Macedonia, particularly in support of youth work and volunteering. The program included a "volunteering café" to share experiences with voluntary work, an unplugged music event, an art exhibition, and a video presentation. During the conference, our chapter promoted the opportunities for volunteers offered by creACTive and PTPI's Skopje Student Chapter.
On February 18, we organized a training session on non-violent communication and conflict resolution, in which 15 people participated.
On February 25, our student chapter organized the "Tea & Pie Fundraising Party" at Kashmir Kafe, Skopje in order to raise funds for our activities.
For International Women's Day on March 8, we organized a humanitarian project in the old people's home "Meri Terzieva." The aim of this project was to surprise the residents with some self-made gifts. The five members had a lot of help from the EVS volunteers Kristel from Estonia and Thibault from France with the folding of origami flowers, the creation of handmade postcards, as well as the "martinki" on March 7. The following day, we brought our products to the people in the home and they were very happy that someone remembered them. They had a conversation with us and wished us the best in our lives. We received presents from them too. And that's how March 8 ended quite differently than in the previous years. This project was a way to prove that we as volunteers didn't invest money in this project but we got a fortune of happiness. We invested efforts and as a result we got motivation for working on other projects like this one!
On April 7, we held a picnic on the Vodno Mountain. The main aim of this event was to bring all members and their friends and family, who are not necessarily PTPI members, together, so they can learn more about PTPI and promoting Peace through Understanding in a non-formal and fun way.
On April 11, the four members who will attend PTPI's European Youth Exchange in Berlin organized another fundraising event with the help of the other chapter members: a theater and gig for charity at the MKC-Club Restaurant. This event was presented on the local TV channels. Twenty members also volunteered in the zoo on April 8, 22, and 29.
We invite you to view the pictures of our various events at http://www.facebook.com/media/albums/?id=176725839035608. We have a facebook and twitter account that are updated continuously. Here is our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/media/albums/?id=176725839035608#!/pages/PTPI-Skopje-creACTive-Student-Chapter/176725839035608
Ena Peeva, President
Sofia, Bulgaria Student Chapter
In January, we started a project called "Winter is coming." Every student from our school was able to apply for this competition by submitting photographs, drawings, videos, poetry, short stories, essays, and multimedia. The works were evaluated by members and teachers and in the beginning of April we awarded the winners. We organized a Gala Award Night under the name of "Winter is coming" – inspired by the very popular book "Game of Thrones." The awarded students were presented with books and certificates from our PTPI chapter. After that we held a charity refreshment party in our school where people from different schools could come and see the pieces of art of our students. Both the ceremony and the party were held on April 6.
Our officer-in-training program started in March. Every officer is training 4-5 students who are candidates for the officer's places. Our elections will be held in the beginning of May.
In March, we held a spring sale of handmade Martenitsas – a Bulgarian traditional decoration made of red and white thread, a token of fertility and health. PTPI members displayed an array of beautiful Martenitsas handmade by our members. There were plenty of home cooked dainties on sale as well. The proceeds went for the cancer treatment of Danny, an 18 year-old boy whose family could not raise the money for his medical treatment and was on the verge of despair. A second sale was organized to raise funds for a young man of 21 who lives in a secluded village of Bulgaria. This man impressed our members with his selfless deeds during the bitter winter when he came to the rescue of villages that had been cut off by the snow. He had only his horse and cart and it is not an exaggeration to say that at the risk of his life, he managed to deliver bread to the despairing villages inhabited by a handful of elderly people. We decided to support this young man who himself is in financial need at the moment.
On April 15, a group of students initiated the cleaning up of one of the oldest parks in Sofia, the Gardens of Tsar Boris, which coincided with Earth Day. April 19, we participated in the Open Door Day of our school. Our chapter showed the presentation video about PTPI – its history, its aims, and the possibilities the organization opens up to youths who wish to come together, interact, and break the boundaries of all the misconceptions of difference. Students from various schools, and those who intend to have the Official Entrance Exams in June in the hope of becoming students of our school, attended the presentation and were quite taken aback by the openness and the diver-sity of opportunities that PTPI offers.
Yavor Ivanov, President
Šternberk, Czech Republic
On March 1, we welcomed Megan Cooper from the United Kingdom and Anna Chub from Ukraine. They will stay for nine months as part of the European Voluntary Service (EVS); "Growing up in Europe."
On March 17, our members and 15 children from the Plejády Club went on a 33 km hike from Huzová to Jiříkov. As usual we were welcoming spring with snow and ice around. This time we all dressed up in green for celebration on St. Patrick's Day, as well.
On April 1, we celebrated April Fool´s Weekend by visiting old friends and PTPI members, the Kestřánek family, who live in beautiful mountains Orlické Hory. We all enjoyed some team building exercises and we also could admire nature in full bloom.
On April 28, we enjoyed rafting on the Morava river rom Lukavice to Nové Zámky. It was harder than ever for the group of 18 members and friends, as someof us got wet andsome got sunburned, but it was so much fun we can't wait for another great waterfall.
Eliška Vránová, President
August 29 - 2 September, the 20th PTPI Worldwide Conference will be held in Tallinn. We welcome all our PTPI friends to Estonia!
This is an important year for our chapter.During the last months the following projects have successfully been concluded:
- "E-youth day" and "EuropeAid" an enhancing project of policy coherence
- Nordplus project "Re-Create: Recycling of creative ideas, experiences and cultures with the climate in focus"
- "Leonardo da Vinci Cultural treasure hunt" project with six partner organizations.
In the beginning of May our chapter also hosted 20 students and teachers from Sweden, Finland, and Latvia. Other great projects are expected for the coming year, such as "Creative reading and writing-access for youth to global media," which has recently been approved. Thirty -five young people from seven different countries will meet for one week in Estonia in the beginning of July. Some members of our chapter will participate at Youth in Action projects and they will travel to Turkey and Italy.
Ruta Pels, President and Trustee
Thessaloniki, Greece Student Chapter
In November, I took part in a two-day homestay program after attending the Global Youth Forum in Kansas City. On December 3, we organized a movie night where we brought friends and watched the movie "Die Welle" ("The Wave") at our English school. For Global Youth Service Day, six of our chapter members participated in an effort to clean the forest near our municipality. Our meeting point was the city's zoo and the activity lasted for four hours.
John Goulas, President
Tirana, Albania Student Chapter
On April 12, six of us started preparations for our Global Youth Service Day project at the "Zyber Allulli" orphanage. On April 23, the actual project took place. We spent time with the children in the orphanage, gave them books and candies, and made them happy. We also organized a second project with the title "Kindergarten Memories." We handed out coloring and children's books and spent some time reading with the children at the Kindergarten.
This year we created a Facebook page for our chapter and a group, which enabled the communication between members. You can find us here: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Tirana-student-chapter/168225829889011
Bergi Xhango, President
March 3-11, our chapter took part in the exchange "Promotion of healthy lifestyles among young people." It was held in Trbovlje Youth Center.
This was a bilateral exchange between Slovenian and Finnish groups, with 26 participants and four youth leaders. These kinds of projects are based on non-formal learning so we planned activities through different kinds of workshops and sports activities. The participants were divided into four different groups and they were involved in different workshops, focusing on photos, dance, theater, and media. Together with their mentors they prepared an exhibition, dance show, theater play, and video on the topic. The final product was presented on the last day of the exchange in Trbovlje Youth center.
Nastja Bevc, President
Varna, Bulgaria Student Chapter
Every week since the start of this project in October 2010, a couple of PTPI members visit two local orphanages and to a hospital. We stay there for 2-3 hours, entertaining the children – playing games, telling stories, drawing, etc. We've shared a great bond with the children since the first time we went there. These visits definitely cheer us up and we can't wait to go and play with the kids again.
Every year the local municipal department that deals with all youth activities and volunteers throws a big party. All volunteers are invited and the Dolphins also took part in the event on December 5. The department also names the most active volunteers and awards them with a special diploma. This year, one of the Dolphins was named as the "Volunteer of the Year" for having completed more than 200 hours of volunteer service in different institutions and organizations. Throughout the party we met up with many people like us and exchanged experiences and ideas. It was a great night of fun.
Since January, our members have taken Polish language lessons before our Saturday chapter meeting. The chapter members and the Polish volunteers who have come to Bulgaria for half a year through the European Voluntary Service Program have a very strong connection. As we were helping them to learn Bulgarian, in their busy schedules they of-fered to teach us some Polish.
On January 6, the monument of Vasil Aprilov was stolen from the biggest park in Varna. We could not stay indifferent, so we decided to make a sculpture of Vasil Aprilov with materials like glass bottles, plastic, and fabric and put it where the monument was. In a special workshop, we created the sculpture as well as several signs saying: "Who is next?" When we installed the sculpture on January 7, our action was covered by local media and had a great response on the internet: http://news.varna24.bg/320531.html; http://www.moreto.net/novini.php?n=159664
One of the Dolphins was invited to an interview for Bulgarian national radio on January 15. She talked about PTPI, our most recent Christmas campaign and its enormous success, and our future projects. She also explained how every member has given 100% in their work and how satisfied, proud, and also responsible we feel about raising so much money.
Our chapter was also invited for an interview by the most watched TV channel in Bulgaria. Three of our members represented the Dolphins by talking to the hostess about the massively successful Christmas campaign. They also spoke about some of our other activities, showed many pictures and talked about PTPI and our plans for the rest of the year. Because of that interview many people are now acquainted with what the Dolphins do and are willing to help us in every way. Watch the video (in Bulgarian) here: http://www.btv.bg/shows/predi-obed/videos/video/176650374-Urok_po_dobrota.html
For Valentine's Day, we created and sold handmade origami hearts to raise money for the further education of a local orphan talent in an art school in Sofia. We managed to raise over 1300 euro for this cause. On February 25, our chapter celebrated the success of our St. Valentine's Day campaign with a special party. Radio Focus presented our chapter and its activities on February 18. February 19, three members of the chapter were invited for an interview at one of the biggest radio stations in the area - Radio Varna. There, they talked about our most recent campaign – the one for St. Valentine's Day. The Dolphins also shared some future project ideas and explained how volunteering changed their lives for the better. Because of this interview we are now more recognizable in the community.
On February 16, we gathered at Vista Center to watch the documentary "The Universe of Keith Haring." We chose this day to honor this amazing artist who unfortunately died of AIDS-related problems on the same date.
On March 1, in celebration of the Bulgarian tradition of "Baba Marta," we made many martenitsa pieces out of white and red thread with people on the street. Our aim was to spread the tradition and to unite people for this unique Bulgarian festivity. The Martenitsa is a symbol of health and the coming spring.
On March 11 and 18, we organized two movie nights at the Vista laguage school to raise money for a member of PTPI's Khmelnitsky, Ukraine Student Chapter, who is diagnosed with leukemia. We decided ourselves to organize this campaign after we had been informed about his present condition. The two films concerned social problems like drug addiction and neo Nazism. We held our chapter officer election on March 31.
In honour of World Forest Week, our chapter planted a sour cherry sapling. On the Saturday before Easter, PTPI members went to the "Nadezhda" orphanage for a festive egg-dying activity. We boiled the eggs on the spot and prepared the paints using traditional methods and different techniques.
On April 27, chapter members officially opened the hospital room that we remodelled and refurnished with the money collected from our Christmas campaign. The room is in the children's ward in Varna's biggest hospital and is especially for kids with the rare and deadly disease Cystic Fibrosis, also known as Mucoviscidosis. This is the only room in Bulgaria designed to be used by children with this illness. The event was covered by the media as well as several internet news pages. Links to the articles: http://petel.bg/article.php?aid=15341 and http://dariknews.bg/view_article.php?article_id=892846
Also check out our chapter's website http://www.ptpi-dolphins.org/ and our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/#!/PTPI.The.Dolphins.Varna!
Tsvetiana Zaharieva, President
Vaslui, Romania Student Chapter
In the beginning of December, we sent a package to the 15 members of our sister chapter in Parkersburg, West Virginia, USA. The package was full of traditional Romanian things and souvenirs.
On December 12, five of our members organized a big show at the Cultural House in Vaslui in order to fundraise for a disabled child who needed a wheel chair.
On December 25, 20 of our members celebrated Christmas at a kindergarten and a social centre for old people in a village near Vaslui. They gave pre-sents, spent time with the kids, and assisted the old people in their afternoon activities. A national newspaper published an article about our activity one day later.
Six students were selling home-made cakes as a fundraising initiative on February 14. March 8, nine members went to a hospital in town to give flowers and a gift to 25 women with mental diseases.
April 2-6, we had a week with extracurricular activities and on April 5, our chapter presented its work to the students from our high school. There were 60 students in attendance who appreciated our activities and who said they'll become members next year.
Gianina Tudorache, President
On April 1, our chapter-members met with Verena Denk, PTPI´s Director of European Youth Program, in Yerevan. During the meeting Verena delivered a speech about "What makes our PTPI chapters successful." Besides the workshop, our members discussed different topics with her.
April 3-13, we participated in Global Youth Service Day in the frame of a "We are the world, we are the children" program. The aim of the program was to assist in communication and interaction of vulnerable groups' children. Most of the programs focus on their education. The work of Karine Stepanyan and students of Yerevan State Pedagogical University was a big help in the implementation of the program and we are very thankful to them for helping us. The beneficiaries were 100 parentless refugees and street children from our community. At the end of the program the children acquired communication skills and new friends.
In May, we organized the "Online Olympiad." The aim of the project was to help youth and teenagers from different regions of Armenia in raising journalistic research skills in the sphere of education and culture by using information technology in Armenia. Three hundred people participated to the project. The three best works received awards and all of the participants significantly developed their research skills.
Susanna Grigoryan, Vice President and Trustee
Yerevan, Armenia University Chapter
On March 1, our chapter was charted and we already took two meetings. On April 2, we met Verena Denk, European Youth Program Director, who introduced us PTPI´s structure, activities and programs. On May 8, we had our monthly meeting at which our president Tamara Torosyan gave the accessories that we received from the PTPI World Headquarters.
On May 20, we organized a flash mob and we will also build up a candlelight dedicated to the memory of people died of AIDS. The event will take place in the center of Yerevan and everyone can participate. We are also planning to organize a two month sewing course and to make an exposition with the final products.
Tamara Torosyan, President
Zalishchyky, Ukraine Student Chapter
On December 16, twenty students attended a special meeting of our chapter. During this PTPI session we discussed the All-Ukrainian PTPI Meeting in Kiev, which four chapter members had attended. Those four students shared their experience and impressions from this event in the form of a PowerPoint Presentation with interesting facts and photos.
On February 10, Mr Kelly, who is a Peace Corps volunteer, gathered the students from grade 9-11 in the school hall to talk about volunteerism and international organizations.
All through March, the students of Zalishchyky State Gymnasia were gathering waste paper. They made a so called "Green Box" where all the volunteers could put waste paper for recycling. During a morning assembly, the biology teacher explained the importance of paper recycling. At the end of the month, 2.130 kg of waste paper had been gathered and was transported to a recycling center.
On March 5, 10 students from grade 7 created self-made bird houses. The staff of Zalishchyky State Gymnasia helped them to put their masterpieces on the trees.
On March 15, five students created a special video about our PTPI student chapter. Hurska Sofia, who played the role of journalist, asked Chapter President Halyna Mykytiuk some interesting questions. You can view the video at: http://www.savetubevideo.com/?v=1pXL0I4wvYY&feature=player_embedded
On April 12, 30 students organized a special Easter Fair as a fundraising event, which attracted 150 people. Students prepared Easter baskets with amazing colourful Easter eggs, which were decorated with beads or painted with wax, Easter greeting cards, and embroidered towels.
Halyna Mykytiuk, President
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