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Newsletter 2013-2

Message from the Regional Chair | PTPI Experiences | Coming Events | PTPI Updates | Chapter Reports | www.ptpi.org | Download as PDF

Message from the Regional Chair


Dear Friends,

Just a few words to tell you how thrilled I am that the date for our European Conference is approaching and I am really looking forward to seeing all of you and spending some time with all and each of you!

Antoaneta Pophlebarova with the Organizing Committee and all the members of the Varna Chapter have been working very hard to set up a great conference so I am sure that we will experience something special and enjoy our time together.Valeria Magistrelli

We will start with the Leadership Seminar and proceed with a great program that will give us the possibility of discussing and confronting our points of view and ideas to develop our organization and keep it as lively as possible. We will also have time to have fun in each other's company and visit the country and get to know their culture. The four-day post conference tour will be a good addition for those who have never visited Bulgaria before to go back home with a good idea of this beautiful part of Europe. And of course, which is always very important, we will have our yearly chance to meet longtime friends and make new ones.

During the council meeting, there will be elections for secretary and treasurer. Both Rolf Dahlberg and Hannelore Büchler have offered to stand for reelection.

Please do not forget that we must also choose a venue for next year's European Conference. So we expect to have candidates! Do not disappoint us! We are looking forward to being in touch with all our chapters so we would love to have applications from those countries that have never hosted a European Conference before.

I am looking forward to meeting you in Varna and in the meantime I give you all my best regards,

Valeria Magistrelli

PTPI Experiences

PTPI Denmark goes to Nepal

From March 7 - 21 People to People Denmark, Chapter Syd, had a trip to Nepal for the first time. It was a fantastic experience with breathtaking nature and great hospitality.

We were a group of 16 participants between 15 and 70 years, which is a good size of a party! When we arrived in the airport of Kathmandu we were welcomed by about seven PTPI members and received a yellow silk scarf. During our stay we had two homestays in Kathmandu. It was a great experience to get so close to the Nepalese and learn about their daily life. For example they have a small pot next to the entrance door where you put a coin, to wish "good luck" to the family. The host families were all high caste of the Bramine's caste.

We went to Sabitri to visit a children's home that was founded seven years ago for street children. Many in Denmark are supporting the home by sending money every month.

Among the many attractions of Nepal were the Himalaya Mountains, which we saw from the airplane. It was indescribably impressive. PTPI in Nepal did a wonderful job for us and made our visit unforgettable. The last night we were invited to a big farewell party.In two years we will visit Nepal again.

Thea Lauridsen, Treasurer and Tour Leader

Assumption: Homestay is a strenuously gainful education, but it is fun!!!
Proof: Our visit to PTP Denmark

In the beginning of April, a group of our chapter members from Berlin, Germany visited three chapters for homestays in Denmark. Hans-Dieter Robel, PTPI Trustee, initiated the visit and led the group.

Our hosts related to us many details of Danish history and culture and we had the opportunity to see many of the described details. On Friday we visited Copenhagen. At noon we were able to observe the ceremony of the changing of the guards at Amalienborg Castle.

There some of us learned the difference between a Danish and Swedish sandwich (Smoerrebrod). Whereas one can eat three German or Swedish sandwiches, one can eat only one Danish sandwich. Such a sandwich is loaded high with vegetables and either with seafood or meat. But it tastes very good. After that we took a one-hour harbor cruise and ventured for a stroll through old Copenhagen. In the evening we visited with our hosts an Italian restaurant. We want to thank our hosts for this invitation! On Saturday each host family undertook some outside activity with its homestay guest(s). We took a trip to the east coast of Sjaelland with its "Stevns Klint," the chalk cliff. There we could also view military remnants of the Cold War. Before we departed on Sunday to Vojens in Sydjylland, we had the opportunity to take a look at some estates and castles to the South of Copenhagen.

Breakfast in Denmark

We then travelled by train over the huge "Storebaelt" bridge between Korsoer and Nyborg and continued our trip via the Island of Fyn with Odense and Middelfart to Kolding and Vojens. Our hosts picked us up at the train station and we were taken to their homes. The next day we visited the historic town of Haderslev. We learned a lot of the Danish/German history in this area. From 1864 to 1920 this part of "North-Schleswig" was under German administration. The German minority here, as well as the Danish minority in (South) Schleswig, have special rights to further their respective cultures. There exist no problems between both nationalities. We were invited by our hosts to attend a concert for seniors offered by the military "Slesvigske Musikorps." In the evening Leif and Annamarie Bohsen invited us to a dinner of Smoerrebrods. It was a very enjoyable evening.

The next day, our hosts drove us first of all to Tondern where we took an inside look of the city hall, to the island of Roeme and to one of the oldest cities of Denmark: Ribe. We want to express our great thanks for the excellent organization of our homestays by PTP Denmark and the effort to acquaint us better with the country and its people.

Coming Events

Date Chapter/Location Event
Weekly, Wednesday Brussels, Belgium Wednesday networking
Weekly, Thursday Brussels, Belgium Thursday Coffee Morning
Monthly, every second Wednesday Bern, Switzerland Conversation evenings
Monthly, every first Friday Berlin, Germany Stammtisch
June 15 Berlin, Germany Summer Party 2013
June 19-22 Interlaken, Switzerland     American's student visit
June 20 Zurich, Switzerland Homestay USA Student Ambassadors
June 23-28 Tallinn, Estonia Homestay in Berlin
June 27 Chester, England Lakewood exchange and Lunch time Concert in St. Mary's, Nantwich
July1-4 Bern, Switzerland Homestay USA Student Ambassadors
July 27 – August 4 Berlin, Germany European Youth Forum
August 16 Berlin, Germany Excursion to Gotha
August 17 Bern, Switzerland Summer Party
August 19-29 Iasi, Romania Road trip to Rarau Mountains
August 24 Interlaken, Switzerland Swiss PTPI meeting
August 28 New Orleans, USA Board of Trustees Meeting
September 1-28 Iasi, Romania International Festival and Competition "George Enescu"
August 24 Denmark "Women-cultural Trip" to Tallinn, Estonia
October 17 Iasi, Romania "HappILLY ever after
October 26 Denmark Travel Café
November 6-10 Washington, USA Global Youth Forum
November 16 Interlaken, Switzerland Altjahrshöck and "The Singing Revolution" 2014
September 17-20 Tainan, Taiwan Worldwide Conference

Find more under: www.ptpe.org/events

PTPI Updates

Chapters

A new chapter has been chartered: PTPI's Alexandria, Romania (The Explorers) Student Chapter. The chapter president is Ana-Maria Raicu. Two chapters have been closed: PTPI's Montpellier, France and Kiev, Ukraine University.

PTPI's Sofia (The Doves), Bulgaria Student Chapter has a new website: http://ptpidoves.wordpress.com.

European Conference – May 30 – June 2

The European Conference will be hosted by PTPI's Varna, Bulgaria (The Dolphins) Student Chapter. We expect some 100 participants from Europe and overseas. Prior to the conference, PTPI's Roman, Romania Chapter offers a Romanian Tour. In Varna, there will be a two-day leadership seminar. Starting on Monday after the conference, the hosting chapter offers a Bulgarian Tour, which makes stops in four cities on its way to the capital Sofia.

Elections

During the council meeting, two officers are up for election: secretary and treasurer. Both Rolf Dahlberg (Sweden) and Hannelore Büchler (Germany) have agreed to serve for another term of two years. Additional nominations are welcome.

Conference 2014

Chapters who would like to organize the 2014 European Conference should please contact the European Office. So far, PTPI's Tirana, Albania Chapter has offered to host the event. A decision will be made on June 1.

Student Programs

2013 Global Youth Forum in Washington D.C., USA – Scholarships

PTPI's Global Youth Forum will take place in Washington D.C, USA, from November 6-10, 2013. The focus will be on "Global Education – Providing a Vision for the Future." PTPI offers two different types of scholarships to international PTPI members ages 16 to 18. Both scholarships include roundtrip airfare, accommodations, and participation in the Global Youth Forum.

The Global Leadership Scholarship is awarded to members who demonstrate exemplary leadership skills and community involvement. For details and the application form go to www.ptpe.org/gyf2013-leadership. Please note that applications should be submitted directly to PTPI's World Headquarters.

The International Presenter Scholarship (IPS) is for students who want to present their culture, feel comfortable speaking in front of large groups, and have especially good English language skills. For details and the application form go to www.ptpe.org/gyf2013-ips. Please note that applications should be submitted to PTPI's European Office.

We have introduced a new online reporting form in the Team Peace Challenge for student chapters worldwide. An impressive number of 20 student chapters submitted the form already. Thank you so much! We especially appreciate your efforts, as we know it is a challenge to work with new forms. The Team Peace Challenge reports are due on a biannual basis: May 1 and November 1. Once we have received the second report for this school year in November, we will determine the 30 most active student chapters worldwide who will earn awards and money for their chapter treasury.

In addition, 10 student chapters sent us detailed reports, which were especially created for the European Newsletter. We are impressed by the quantity and quality of projects and activities organized by our student chapters. Keep up the great work!

Global Service Day (GYSD)

April 26-28 chapters around the world were invited to participate in the Global Youth Service Day. Twenty of twenty-five European student chapters participated. Individual reports can be found in the respective chapter update.

European Youth Forum 2013 – Youth Training

PTPI's European Office has secured financing for the 2013 European Youth Forum from the EU. The forum will be held as a Youth Training: "Film for Inclusion – Film as Universal Language". It will be held in Berlin, Germany July 27 – August 4. Participants from ten countries will take part. Partners have already been selected as part of the EU application. Thus there will be no call for participation from the PTPI office.

Chapter Reports

Berlin, Germany

On April 13, more than 30 of our members participated in the Berlin sightseeing trip by tram. We travelled from one end to the other end of the M6 streetcar line, the longest line of its kind in the German capital city. Once we arrived at the streetcar terminus Hellersdorf, the group took a look at the last large housing development project of East Germany consisting of buildings of pre-fabricated concrete slabs. There were six non-members in the group, who consider joining the chapter.

Hans-Dieter Robel, Trustee

Bern, Switzerland

At our April executive board meeting, we were pleased to be able to greet new board member Andrea Sommer, who was elected in February during our yearly meeting. Andrea has already begun to take charge of the homestays for the Student Ambassadors who will be arriving in Bern this coming July. Her vibrant personality, enthusiasm, and large circle of friends should be a great asset in finding guest families willing to host our visitors from abroad. Andrea steps in where Ulrich Krebs contributed so much to the Homestay program in and around Bern for so many years. Welcome, Andrea!

And we have more news: Ernst Honegger, our chapter president the years since Otto Burri's death, has now assumed the job of secretary, and Simon Krebs was unanimously elected president at our yearly meeting. Ulrich Krebs will continue his wonderful graphic work in publishing our chapter's newsletter, and Michael Schlatter remains our treasurer.

Several members are planning to attend the European Conference in Varna, some even extending their stay in Bulgaria for private excursions. As usual, there will be a Swiss "souvenir" stand at the conference for all those interested in what Switzerland has to offer. Don't miss it!

Our summer grill party will be held on Saturday evening, August 17. Special invitations will go out to all homestay guest families, but all members are welcome, as are members from other chapters. Do let us know if you'd like to come! ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ). A special play corner is being planned for young children.

Once again, we want to mention our English conversation evenings: we usually meet on the second Wednesday of the month, although the May date was changed to May 15 because of the Ascension holiday weekend. Contact me if you want to be sure of the place and time. Don't be shy! Come and join us!

Linda Rickli, Board member

Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria University Chapter

March 17-23, our chapter took part in and was instrumental in organizing the 2013 "Earth Week." The events during the week involved educational and awareness activities and direct service in the form of tree planting on campus, which were all very well executed and attended.

In addition, the chapter members planned and implemented an electronic survey in which a large percentage of the campus participated. The survey was aimed at gaining understanding of the current recycling practices on the AUBG campus and will help plan initiatives for next year.

Radosveta Miltcheva, Campus Advisor

Botevgrad, Bulgaria

The chapter has declared every first week of the month as the "Week of Open Hearts". The aim of the initiative is to encourage the acceptance of diversity by just approaching different kinds of people in the streets, in the schools or wherever, telling them a story, a fairy tale, or the mission of PTPI, the only important thing is the positive attitude towards others. Moreover, each photo with a short story sent to the chapter will be exhibited in schools, public libraries, and museums in Botevgrad and Pravets. The best stories will also be rewarded and featured in the PTPI publications.

Radosveta Miltcheva, Campus Advisor

Burgas, Bulgaria (The Vectors) Student Chapter

On March 29, our chapter organized a disco party in a nightclub in the center of the city. More than 100 students from different local high schools attended the event. We were really pleased with the result because everybody had a lot of fun and enjoyed all the latest tracks from modern house and dance music. Our idea was to promote the activity of the club and show other students that we have a lot of fun planning our projects. We also raised approximately $450 for the chapter's treasury and our next projects.

On April 20, as a GYSD project, we took part in a great national campaign for cleaning up the country in a day. With the help of the municipality and our parents, we spotted and cleaned a really polluted area situated in the biggest neighborhood in Burgas. We really enjoyed the hours we spent cleaning because we all had the feeling we are helping our community, and this is exactly what PTPI is about! Our participation in the initiative was noticed by the biggest national television and some online newspapers.

Our next project is renovating the school's benches and will take place from May 7 to May 15. After we repair them and place new wooden material where it is missing, we will paint them in light, fresh colors and decorate them with bright, neon paintings with positive meanings. We are really excited and looking forward to a successful end of the school year.

Elena Marinova, President

Elista, Russia Student Chapter

From October 2012 to March 2013, the Culture Lessons took place at the Sunday School. Every Sunday the 15 members gathered with 30 kids to enjoy exploring culture together. On February 9, the chapter members helped needy families by organizing a charity dinner at the Elista Entertainment Center.

On April 28, the members organized the town marathon.

Olga Magneeva, President

Gjirokastra, Albania Chapter

On March 25, day of the Greek Independence, our chapter celebrated together with the locals of one of the villages of the Greek minority in Albania. We had a nice time. The streets were filled with parades and celebrations. The villages held a school parade during which school children marched wearing traditional Greek costumes and carrying Greek flags beside the Albanian ones. The aim of PTPI there was to make people celebrate together as one big family. We connect people of all countries, minorities, cultures, languages, traditions, because we believe that understanding, respecting and celebrating with each other is the best way to spread peace. We are people of one nation and we want to promote tolerance and respect among people throughout the world.

The second event is about our School and Classroom Program. We have linked a fifth grade class of "Pandeli Sotiri" School with a class from Rye, New York. The pupils are very happy to have the first letters of their new pen friends. They find this experience very interesting and think that communicating with another student who is thousands of kilometers away and to learn more about each other's lives is just wonderful. Our pupils want to thank PTPI for this great experience.

Evana Simo, President

Kharkiv, Ukraine

We have started cooperation with a German volunteer organization SES (Senior Expert Service) and in February we invited Leo Hoffmann, an expert in education. During his stay we had several projects. He took part in lessons and communicated with PTPI students. He also took part in a Kharkiv Region TV program about Future Education.

During March school holidays, PTPI students and teachers enjoyed a European tour to Poland, Germany, Italy, and Western Ukraine.

In April, Gerhard Buttner, the next SES expert arrived – for sports. He shared his experiences in organizing sports activities.. We also carried out a sports competition. Moreover, we started preparations for Euro Basket 2014.

In the beginning of May, Kharkiv was the city host for European Days in Kharkiv. Our community chapter was given the opportunity to present itself and the PTPI organization as a whole.

Lyudmila Romanova, President and Dmitriy Muratov, Vice President

Khmelnytskyi, Ukraine (Young Leaders) Student Chapter

On February 28, the chapter members organized and held a concert for younger students. They showed the old Ukrainian tradition of meeting the spring.
For of the project "Save the birds," organized by the chapter members, the students created and hung some feeders. The same day, a literature party "With love in your heart" was held by the senior members and their classmates. Songs of famous people from different countries were presented in 6 different languages.

On March 2, the chapter members had a web-meeting with their friends from Novosibirsk. They discussed issues faced by young people and learned about the traditional Russian "Maslyana" celebration.

On April 15, about ten members took part in an international painting contest "Friends around the world."

On April 23, the chapter started the project "Ukraine embroidered," When almost all pupils of the school wore embroidered shirts.

Fourteen members took part in the GYSD and supported the project "Happiness in your hands." The aim of project was to show young people that their happiness depends on themselves. Members purchased special materials and organized workshops, one of which was held in the school, and another one with orphans and poor children. At the workshop they made the "doll of fortune" and talked about peace, understanding, and tolerance. At the end of the workshop children were able to understand that they could make the "doll of fortune" by themselves and build and organize their lives.

On April 29 and 30, the chapter held the project "From heart to heart," to raise funds for children suffering from diabetes. Moreover, every month the chapter has organized a gathering of waste paper to fundraise for the lunches for school children in need.

Iryna Besaga, Adult Advisor

Klina, Kosovo Student Chapter

For GYSD our chapter organized several activities. On April 20, we set up football teams for students ages 9 to 11 and organized a football tournament. The purpose was to gather funds to buy flowers to plant in honor of the Earth Day, and it worked!

On April 28, 30 children were involved in painting activities. They created amazing artwork on the ecological issue related with the GYSD. Our aim was to promote respect for nature and the awareness that some changes in our behavior have to be done both by all ages in order to live in a clean and healthy environment.
Almost all of our members participated in the GYSD.

Erestina Krasniqi, President

Konotop, Ukraine (Unity) Student Chapter

On January 28, chapter members took part in the competition of the British Council "Britain is Great." Their video "Culture is Great," presenting the best aspects of British culture, received the first prize.

In March, the chapter celebrated the Day of National Ukrainian Embroidery and an International Day of the Native Language to commemorate the importance of their traditions and customs.

On April 26-27, for the GYSD, the members organized some ecological activities to help animals and birds, which are kept at the City Station of young naturalists. The students collected food for animals, and cleaned the cages and the territory around the station. They made a presentation about regional endangered plants and animals and watched a video about environmental problems of Ukraine.

Volvach Yaroslava, President

Kurchatov, Russia (Friends Meeting Friends) Student Chapter

On February 23, four members met to thank and congratulate a WWII veteran.. More recently, members participated in the GYSD with a clean-up action in the local community. Our target this year is a monument of a WWII- tank. We collected trash on the site, raked old leaves and branches, washed the plate on the monument and refreshed the yard around it. Let the citizens of our town enjoy the green cozy site as well as cherish our historic memory.

On March 22, seven members took part in the intellectual game: "What do you know about London and the USA" in Kursk State University and the chapter team got the first prize.

On April 25¸ the chapter hosted Jacque Serker, a friend from France, and held a conference during which 35 members could ask him many questions about different matters.

Alina Yazhenina, President

Novosibirsk, Russia Student Chapter

In February, the members wrote a script of theater performance "Pink bow." The play was performed on February 18 by the young students at school. The profits made from the shows were given to children with eyesight problems of the Boarding School № 39. The chapter members, enthusiastic about this theatre experience, also took part in international theater performance competition "Thread connecting Times."

From March 11 to 17, the students celebrated the "Shrovetide," a traditional Russian holiday. Traditionally people say goodbye to winter and give a warm welcome to spring. Our members made pancakes, played games, organized competitions, and burned a man of straw.

Veronika Karpova, President and Svetlana Shengilevich, Adult Advisor

Oroslavje, Croatia, (The Eagles) Student Chapter

In honor of the International Women's Day on March 8, The Eagles have congratulated and surprised their teachers with short messages and carnations.

On March 14 and 15, in collaboration with Zagorska League Against Cancer, the chapter students helped raise money for new medical equipment in local hospitals. This year, they sold 150 bunches of daffodils for 400 euros.

On March 27, Sandra, Tea, Kristina and Iva, the former Eagles, visited the current members of the school chapter and honored them with their experiences and impressions gained during their four-year-active involvement with our chapter.

On April 10, The Eagles joined a global ecological project: "Lets do it! World clean up. They came to school on foot or by bike to promote the protection of the environment and the reduction of harmful emissions.

The engagement of the Eagles in the ecological issue continued on April 20, for GYSD, they cleaned the side of a local lake. Moreover, during the last six months the Eagles have exchanged recipes and songs with their sister chapter in Varna, Bulgaria (The Dolphins). They also had two video conferences and exchanged Christmas and Easter cards.

On May 4, the Eagles organized a wonderful singing and dancing show. Some former chapter students from the Oroslavje High School gave their contribution. A lot of people attended the event.

Maja Vdovic, President

 

Plovdiv, Bulgaria (The Smiles) Student Chapter

For Valentine's Day, on February 14, our volunteers walked around the city and hugged people. A lot of free hugs were spread in the city streets. On the same day, some members also went to the "Vikentyi Veliki" Elderly Care Home as they do monthly and created cards with residents, who expressed their joy to have the students' company by singing and dancing for them.

On February 16, a group of chapter volunteers in collaboration with the Big Brother Big Sister organization went to the city orphanage. They played games with the children and everyone had a lot of fun.

On February 26, the members set up a workshop with traditional Bulgarian accessories.

For the Baba Marta, a Bulgarian holiday lasting all the month of March, the members made special Martenichki and gave them to every student.

Karina Tatarova, Past President and Trustee

Pravets, Bulgaria Student Chapter

Together with the Volleyball Club and School "Teteven Volley" our chapter held a youth project named "Volleyball English Short Term Course ," financed by the European Program Fund of PTPI. We believe we can help youngsters in our region to improve their English in order to be able in the future to promote Peace through Understanding, the belief of PTPI, and to support culture and diversity all over the world. As we wish our local volunteers' work will be continued by youngsters we decided to support our partner. Our wish is to make our work more recognizable in our region and to encourage language knowledge and higher education.

Five chapter members and a volunteer from the Peace Corps located in Pravets organized five short language courses with students between the ages of 8 to 18 years. As our members are mostly from a foreign language school they were very helpful. We organized role plays and interactive language games during all the courses.

It was also very interesting for the children and the chapter members to meet Mrs. Trayanova of PTPI's Botevgrad Chapter, who is working in the Vidrare House for children without families. In the next months, toys and clothes will be collected and given to the Vidrare House.

Now, thanks to these activities, the students know more than ever how important foreign languages are. Everybody who contributed or participated in these five courses consider this project a total success.

Desislava Vasileva, Adult Advisor

Podgorica, Montenegro

On 23 March, in Vasove vode our chapter was one of several non-governmental organizations that participated in an event about the harmful effects of wrong policies concerning the field of waste management, which inflicted not only environmental but also great economic damage to our society.Given all that is going on in recent years by postponing the start of implementation of the Law on Waste Management, through the adoption of various regulations that tried to draw stories from the essence of things, and finally to the unwillingness of decision makers at the highest level to go to the specific activities to solve this problem, we as citizens of Montenegro have recognized an obligation and a responsibility to try to help improve the current disastrous situation, and we intend to operate continuously using all the available institutional mechanisms that we can use and the services they provide.

We adopted a civic declaration, which was sent to all relevant national and international institutions, by which we clearly sent the message that the citizens of Montenegro were ready to adopt a culture like the separation of waste in the household and thus live a life worthy of the degree of civilization and of 21st century.

On April 11, we organized a panel discussion together with NVO Mogul from Ulcinj for keeping Valdanos one of the most beautiful bays in Montenegro.

Sandra Djonovic, member

Roman, Romania

From February 7 to 14, three members of our chapter took part in a training program about PR and new media addressed to the non-governmental organizations in Bakuriani, Georgia.
The project was financed by the European Union through the "Youth in Action" Program and had more than 30 young participants from eight countries: Armenia, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Slovakia, Great Britain, Romania, and Poland. The main theme was about the best ways to promote a NGO, and how to maintain the relationships with the media, the sponsors, and the fans. We organized intercultural nights and discussed ideas for future projects as well as where we might meet again. Since Bakuriani is a resort at an elevation of 1,700 meters, many of us spent our free time skiing and snowboarding, while others chose to go sightseeing.

On April 4, chapter members organized the second edition of the competition "Romanvodistii au talent" (Roman Voda's students got talent) in the festivity room of the City Hall in Roman. More than 20 participants tried to amaze the jury with their talent. The contestants captivated the audience either by singing famous songs of international artists such as Celine Dion, Pixie Lott, Adele, and Thalia or by dancing, acting, and painting.

The winner was an 11th grade student with special talent in painting. During the show, she drew a beautiful portrait even though the time was short. The second place was taken by another student who entertained the audience with an innovative act of beat box. A 12 year old boy brought the magic into the room, he had a different talent: card tricks.

On April 12, two representatives of Roman's City Hall and 20 volunteers of PTPI planted 750 trees near Roman. Their gesture offers a chance for this entertainment area and, in the long term, it will create a screen of trees between a dam and our public swimming pools.

Andrei Corduneanu, President

Rome, Italy Student Chapter

On March 8, in honor of Women's Day, all the girls and the boys of our chapter gathered to discuss violence against women, a problem that unfortunately is still affecting our society. We pointed out a very important aspect: who beats a woman does not love. The women should not be afraid to struggle to get out of a violent context and should never take the blame; those are important things that we should make it clear to women. We also commented about research that asserts that violence against women happens in the most of the cases in the family, this is very alarming.

The debate was very interesting and each of us had the possibility to contribute and express his or her point of view. After the meeting, we distributed mimosas and greeting cards to every woman met in the street.

On March 23, the XXI Giornata FAI Di Primavera (21st Spring Day celebrated by the Italian Environmental Fund), the chapter actively participated as part of the Rome FAI delegation. The members had the unique opportunity to visit an extraordinary building the "Caserma Del Quirinale," the seat of the guards of honor for the President of the Italian Republic.

On April 1, the second day of Easter all the chapter members went for trip in the countryside and organized a delicious picnic. We discussed the newly elected Pope Francesco, who has won the hearts and the sympathy of people of all ages.

On April 26, for the GYSD we helped to clean up the playground of the "Montezemolo" school in the Eur district in Rome. The park needed care after the winter and all the families who were present that day thanked us for making it cleaner and more livable.

The day after, we went to Ostia and cleaned the beach which was very dirty. At the end of the day we had collected more than 10 bags of waste. We were really satisfied with our great work so afterwards we relaxed and enjoyed beach games such as ball flight and Frisbee.

On April 28, our ecological engagement continued and we cleaned a green area where people go jogging or walking with the dogs. We picked up a lot of sacks of dry branches, plastic bottles, cans, and scrap paper. Also on this occasion, people congratulated us on this wonderful initiative.

Alex Andrei, President

Skopje, Macedonia Student Chapter

Our chapter has been working tirelessly for the past two months. On Women's Day, we organized an origami workshop and the creations were given to the women across the city of Skopje.

Throughout March and April, we continued our collaboration with the SOS children's village. Our members visited the children almost every week with interesting educational projects. We worked on several projects such as English language workshops and children's rights workshops to teach the children something new and valuable for their future. Afterwards, with the help of our EVS volunteers, we organized the gardening workshop aiming to raise the ecological awareness of the children and to teach them the basic concepts of gardening. One of the last projects we did with the children from the SOS children's village was a visit to the Skopje Zoo. The children, accompanied by our volunteers, spent the day learning about new animals and where they come from. After the stroll around the park, the children made drawings of their favorite animals and played interesting games in the educational center at the zoo.With the help of the American Corner Skopje our chapter organized a group watching of the documentary movie Facebook Follies and a debate on the good and bad aspects of the usage of Facebook. The organizational team had also some useful advice for all the Facebook users and the guests shared their own experiences.

The beginning of April meant the beginning of preparations for the GYSD. For this year's event we decided to organize a Career Day at the EU Info Center. We invited local universities to show their programs and people from different professions to share their working experiences. The event also consisted of presentations of different organizations, which we found important for high school students. Our EVS volunteers presented the European Volunteering Service (EVS) and shared their experiences in Macedonia. Chapter members held a presentation about PTPI and more specifically on our chapter. At our GYSD event we announced the winners of the competition for the three most creative essays with the topic: "The Hero of my generation." Finally we said thank you to all PTPI members who are graduating this year and they received their Certificates of Recognition from PTPI Headquarters in Kansas City. We are extremely happy about the success of our event and the fact that it was inspired and organized only by youth high school students.

Ilina Dimovska, Public Relations Officer

Sofia, Bulgaria (The Doves) Student Chapter

Our GYSD project was connected with the celebration of the 55th Anniversary of our school – First English Language School, on April 27. A spectacular concert was organized in which the most gifted students and a few famous singers participated. As our school is proud of the great variety of extracurricular activities, all the clubs received the splendid opportunity to present themselves and their ideas.

Our chapter did not miss the chance to promote its beliefs among the guests of the celebration. We handed out awesome flyers, containing information about PTPI and The Doves Chapter, and beautiful origami-flowers; we have created an entertaining presentation with photos and more details about our projects. The visitors could take a look at the previous editions of our magazine for art and literature "Dedoodle" and acquaint themselves with the activities of the other PTPI chapters, reading the newsletters. They could also share what "Peace is" according to them, ending the sentence on the whiteboard we have prepared.

Iliyana Dadarova, Secretary

Tirana, Albania (Horizon) Student Chapter

On April 28, we finished our project for GYSD! The work of several months was finalized with a beautiful stall. It consisted of a big poster, a bin, a table, a tree at the artificial lake of Tirana where we positioned ourselves, chairs, the PTPI flag and of course, our members, who were there to explain the idea behind the GYSD. In the center of the poster there was the recycling sign made of recycled paper. Around the sign seven different reasons were written why people should recycle and a very interesting quote: "Each recycled beer can can save enough electricity to run a television for three hours". Furthermore, we made a bin out of recycled paper, water and flour which was so dear to all of us. In addition to that, some of our chapter members handed out leaflets with information about the project. The interest of people grew by the minute and those who supported our idea and mission left their signature. The weather also helped us because it was a sunny Sunday and lots of people were enjoying it at the lake. I personally had a very good time and every member that was present also did. It was so fulfilling to see ourselves implement our idea in such a rewarding way. We want to do something again, and as soon as we finish the project with our Sister Chapter, Sadat City Peacekeepers in Egypt, we will be beginning a new life-changing, humanitarian project.

Bergi Xhango, Reporter/Historian and Sister Chapter Coordinator

Varna, Bulgaria (The Dolphins) Student Chapter

On February 26, ten members of our chapter organized the "Career day" campaign at the Knygainya Nadezhda orphanage. Members of "The Dolphins" Chapter visited the orphanage and presented information about different professions to the children in order to help them with their career choice in the near future.

On March 7, we organized a "Book Day" campaign in the school for the visually impaired, Dr Ivan Shishmanov, in Asparuhovo, Varna.

Between March 18 and 24, the chapter organized the volunteering at Greenpeace for their campaign against mass fishing in Black Sea.

For Easter, the chapter held a workshop during which we made Easter cards for a campaign of our sister chapter in Oroslavje, Croatia.

On March 27, "The Dolphins" made an interview for a local radio station regarding their participation in the Greenpeace initiative. The interviews of our ex-president, Tsvetiana Zaharieva, and vice presidents, Katerina Dimitrova were also featured on the website of PTPI's Skopje, Macedonia Student Chapter.

As a GYSD project, on April 27, "The Dolphins" organized a Geography Day at the local orphanage Knyaginya Nadezhda in our hometown. The aims for this event were to provide basic geography knowledge to the children, help their personal development and promote intercultural understanding.

Tsvetiana Zaharieva, Past President

Vaslui, Romania (Mihail Kogalniceanu) Student Chapter

On April 26, we celebrated GYSD by going to a kindergarten in the countryside. A team of seven members went to Balteni, 15 km from Vaslui, bringing books and sweets. We collected the books from the students of our high school and donated them to the school library. We bought the sweets with the money from another fundraiser in March, when we could get a percentage out of selling the cinema tickets at a film in our mall. The children expected our members in the village hall because the librarian had an activity with them there and they were extremely happy to get the gifts from us. It was very rewarding to see that we made some children happy just by offering the things they like so much.

The librarian and the mayor himself congratulated the PTPI members for their idea.

Liliana Harhas-Ciobanu, Adult Advisor

Yerevan, Armenia University Chapter

On December 1, our chapter and Generations' Solidarity Youth NGO created an electronic journal of life stories of people living with HIV called "My experience," with the purpose to create awareness particularly among young people. The motto of the journal is "Getting to know People through their Life Stories." This phrase implies that no matter what kind of information you hold, or what you know about a person, you can never draw an appropriate conclusion about someone, as we actually don't know what the person had to go through in his/her life. The goal is to educate people, who may be prejudiced against people living with HIV, and give them a chance to rethink their beliefs on this matter and to make them more accurate and authentic.

Tamara Torosyan, President

Zalischchyky, Ukraine Student Chapter

Students during the English lesson in ZalishchykyOn February 21, the students celebrated the "Day of the Native Language" in the Zalishchyky State Gymnasia. They exhibited portraits of Ukrainian writers and poets and recited poems of the prominent Ukrainian writer Taras Schevchenko. On March 15, the chapter organized a conference during which the students and their advisors gathered to talk about the culture of the English-speaking countries and about their famous personalities.

On April 1, the Ecology month started. During this time, the pupils of Zalishchyky State Gymnasia got a lot of interesting information about ecological education. They took part in different competitions, advertisements, All-Ukrainian actions, and out-of-school activities. They organized a walking tour as well as excursions and promoted ecological education among the inhabitants of our region. On April 2, the Ecological team of Zalishchyky State Gymnasia "Young ecologists"» also performed successfully in the regional center of tourism and ecology.

On April 18, the pupils of the Gymnasia cleaned up the local park. They actively contributed to save our planet and gave other people the opportunity to walk along clean avenues and breathe fresh air. For Easter, many of them also created Easter greeting cards and Easter eggs with organic materials. During the whole month, all the pupils of the school gathered paper. They created "Green Boxes" where all the volunteers could put waste-paper for recycling. They also made progress in preparing aquariums in the hall of the school and some of them created birdhouses.

At the end of the month, all the pupils who participated in the preparation were rewarded by charters of honor.

Galina Mykytiuk, President