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Newsletter 2014-1

Message from the Regional ChairComing Events | PTPI Updates | Chapter Reports Download as PDF

Message from the Regional Chair

Dear Friends,

Valeria MagistrelliI am always very happy to announce that new chapters have been added to our European family! This time it is Baku, our first chapter in Azerbaijan, for which our friend Ambassador Genci Mucaj gets the credit – we thank him for finding the contacts. Welcome to our new friends and I hope to meet them as soon as possible at one of our events, possibly the next European Conference.

The next European Conference will be held in Tirana, Albania, June 5-8. The cost of the package, which was our main concern, is extremely reasonable so we expect a lot of friends there. I am sure it will be a memorable event! We were in Tirana for the 2005 European Conference and all the friends who were there remember the warmth and enthusiasm with which we all were welcomed. We still keep great memories of that event in our hearts and are sure it will be even more memorable this time!

Last year we organized our first Post Conference tour and it was a real hit! We had the possibility of spending four days touring around the country with our friends, and apart from the beautiful and interesting things we saw, we shared many hours together. In the end we got to know people from a different perspective and made a lot of close friends. The success of that tour has encouraged us to repeat the experience this year. That being said, during June 9 -13, there will be another Post Conference Tour in Albania exploring various interesting locations.

Please save the dates for the conference and the tour. We expect to see a lot of people and we can assure you that you will not be disappointed!

I am also very pleased to see that there have been considerable activities going on in different chapters: community, university, and student chapters. The student chapters, above all, always surprise us with their great strength and desire to get involved with the community. We are always happy to listen to their requests with great attention and pleasure – they are a source of inspiration for all of us.

When we meet in Tirana I will have served my two two-year-terms as Regional Chair. It has been an unforgettable adventure and I want to thank all of you who nominated me twice and have always supported and encouraged me. I have served with loyalty and have tried to do my best keeping in touch with as many chapters as possible and being present whenever I was needed or invited. I feel as all of you were my family and am always so happy to meet you! I apologize if any of you may think sometimes I have not met your expectations. Think about new nominees!

My great thanks to Lars Poignant and Verena Denk for their supportive work during the years I have served on the European Executive Committee.

I would like to remind all chapters that the European Program Fund is always available to support new projects. I am looking forward to seeing all of you in Tirana this June!!

Your friend,

Valeria Magistrelli, Regional Chair

Coming Events

Date Chapter/Location Event
Weekly, every Friday Brussels, Belgium Coffee Morning and Job Club
Monthly, second Wednesday Bern, Switzerland English Höck
Monthly, first Friday Berlin, Germany  Stammtisch 
March 10 Berlin, Germany Grips Theater "The last commune“
March 14 Interlaken, Switzerland General Meeting
March 19 Berlin, Germany Annual Meeting
March 23 Berlin, Germany Märchenhütte im Theater 
April 3-8 Bern, Switzerland "The Doplhins" Homestay
April 11-13 Around the world Global Youth Service Day
April 25-27 Berlin, Germany Bus tour
May 9 Kharkiv, Ukraine Children of War – historical view
May 11 Berlin, Germany Caputh - Schwielowsee Trip
May 24 Sternberk, Czech Republic Cylindr - Children's Day Celebration
June 5-8 Tirana, Albania PTPI European Conference
June 26-29 Interlaken, Switzerland Exchange with the United States 
July 3-6 Bern, Switzerland Homestay
July 7-13 Interlaken, Switzerland Travel to Romania
July 15-20 Berlin, Germany Trip to Switzerland
July 18 - August 5 Denmark Trip to Canada
July 25-31 Berlin, Germany Visit to Sweden
August 16 Interlaken, Switzerland Chapter meeting
September 17-20 Tainan, Taiwan PTPI Worldwide Conference
October 3-5 Berlin, Germany Main River tour
November 5-9 Kansas City, United States Global Youth Forum
December 12-16 Berlin, Germany Trip to Erfurt

Find more under: www.ptpe.org/events

Global Youth Forum: Mark Your Calendars!

For more than a decade now, delegates from around the world, ages 13-18, attend the Global Youth Forum where they are exposed to culturally diverse people and ideas. Through educational workshops, volunteer work, cultural opportunities, and fun social activities, the GYF not only inspires students, but also provides them with the tools necessary to promote peace, tolerance, and understanding globally. This year the GYF will take place November 5-9 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Students enrolled in school between the ages of 13 and 18 during the dates of the program will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Registration will open in the spring of 2014.

European Youth Training Course: “Our Margin for Theater”

For August 17-24, PTPI invites youth workers and youth leaders ages 18 and older to Berlin to the Training Course “Our Margin for Theater – creating theater productions by and for young people to combat marginalization and poverty”. The training course is held in the framework of the Youth in Action Program and sponsored by the European Commission. Participants are selected by the ten partner organizations in Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Israel, Kosovo, Macedonia, Morocco, Romania, Serbia, and Spain. For more information, please visit www.ptpe.org/eyf2014.

Global Youth Service Day: Get ready to get out there

GYSD

Every year across the globe, thousands of students in more than one hundred countries take part in Global Youth Service Day to serve their communities. People to People International encourages chapters and individuals of all ages to join the others in making the world a better place this April.

In 2013, PTPI members in 17 countries led 52 projects worldwide. This year, with your help, we hope to reach 100 projects! From cleaning up your neighborhood to holding a food drive, the service project opportunities are endless! For more ideas and to register your project, visit the following website: www.ptpi.org/students/gysd.aspx.

Again, GYSD is for all ages. Make a difference in your community and sign up today!

PTPI Updates

New Chapter – Baku, Azerbaijan!

We are pleased to announce the founding of PTPI’s first chapter in Azerbaijan! President Aysaba Mirzayeva is eager to fulfill the chapter’s plans for the upcoming year. Read more about Azerbaijan and the founding of the Baku Chapter under “Chapter Report.”

Welcome, Baku!

Closing Chapter – Trbovlje, Slovenia and Riga, Latvia

Our community chapters in Trbovlje, Slovenia and Riga, Latvia have been closed.

Community Chapter Updates

PTPI community chapters have until March 1 to report membership, activities, and pay their annual dues. For questions about membership, please visit www.ptpi.org/Login.aspx or contact the European Office.

New Chief Executive Officer – Clark Plexico

Clark Plexico with members in Switzerland

People to People International warmly welcomes Clark Plexico, newly appointed Chief Executive Officer. Having experience in building democratic institutions and instilling democratic principles in post-Soviet states, he is looking forward to working with PTPI and imparting on the world the principles upon which PTPI is based. 

In December, Clark visited Europe to formally meet PTPI's European Office members, Verena Denk and Lars Poignant. He took advantage of his time in Europe and traveled to both Albania and Switzerland. In Switzerland, he met with the Swiss PTPI Chapter Presidents from Bern, Interlaken, and Zürich. Valeria Magistrelli and Stuart Exell, from Milan, Italy and Chester, England, joined the meetings as well. There they enjoyed a hike through the Bernese Mountains, a pleasant day in Zürich, and of course, traditional Swiss raclette and fondue.

Challenges and Changes for PTPI

Lars Poignant

PTPI faces major challenges the coming months. One reason is the financial situation. PTPI staff and board members work on developing new programs and membership concepts. Members have also been asked to share their opinions.The aim is to have a new PTPI with new approaches on how to enrich our global experiences.

Lars Poignant will leave PTPI during the next months. He has worked for PTPI since 1997, been a member since 1986, and served on numerous committees and boards. In 1999 he moved the European office from Stockholm to Berlin, where it has been based since.

It has been a great journey and lots of cultural and personal encounters during the years. I plan to stay in touch with PTPI and our members, and I welcome anyone to contact me at any time. I hope to see as many of you as possible in Tirana. For the current and coming challenges I wish all of us much success.

Chapter Leader Awards Nominations

Don’t forget to nominate your chapter leaders this spring! The award categories are numerous and include:

  • James T. Doty Memorial Award for Unique and Innovative Programming
  • Chapter Leadership Award
  • Chapter Newsletter Award
  • Chapter Website Award
  • Outstanding Adult/Campus Advisor Award
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • International Visitors Program Award

Some awards even include a monetary prize - $250-$500 - to be added to your chapter treasury.

The nomination deadline is April 1. www.ptpe.org/awards

Chapter Reports

Baku, Azerbaijan

My name is Ayseba Mirzayeva and I am the founder and president of the new Baku, Azerbaijan Community Chapter. Not much is known about Azerbaijan, which is located at the crossroads of Western ACommunity Chapter Officerssia and Eastern Europe.

Azerbaijan was the first independent republic in the Eastern and Muslim world built on principles of western-style democracy where all citizens had equal rights. Women were even allowed to vote at a time when females in other countries were still fighting for that right!

It was later incorporated into the Soviet Union (1918-1920) and finally regained its independence in 1991. Nowadays, Azerbaijan, nicknamed “Land of Fire,” is famous for its oil. However, our country is also well known for the ancient carpets our citizens produced, as well as our Karabakh horses, caviar from the Caspian Sea, and our delicious wines!

Because I’m interested in history and global issues, I studied International Politics and Human rights at City University London, from which I recently graduated. Since my youth I have been involved in making a difference in my community, and because of my affinity to social causes, I attended the Young Diplomats Forum in Turkey. It was there that I met the ambassador of Albania, Genci Mucaj, who told me about PTPI. What I learned about PTPI inspired me to start a chapter because I value the principles upon which this organization is founded. As President Eisenhower said, “Together, we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose,” and added, “This world of ours... must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.”

Because we want to follow Eisenhower’s ideas of peace and understanding, our chapter, with its 12 members, initially plans to:

  • Organize country introduction days; dedicated to their independence, cultural, historical, educational and other days.  
  • Increase the number of members in our chapter.
  • Open new chapters in different universities.
  • Organize a PTPI general meeting in Azerbaijan, and bring all PTPI family to our country. 
  • Organize many events such as: competitions, festivals, and forums.

Ayseba Mirzayeva, President

Berlin, Germany Community Chapter

In January, the chapter organized together with the PTPI European office a cultural evening: "Israeli Evening: 3000 years of history behind every stone - Israel: A country full of contradictions.” It was attended by more than 20 people and featured a presentation by Adela Litschel. She shared with participants her personal experiences and focused on Israeli culture and habits, as well as prejudices and knowledge gaps.

Hannelore Büchler, President and Trustee

Berlin, Germany Student Chapter

With the aim of promoting our chapter and gaining recognition, we created flyers describing what we and PTPI do. It was a really great idea, especially because now we can hand them out whenever we have a project. By doing so, we can make our chapter well-known throughout Berlin.

Being in a festive spirit, our chapter organized a Christmas bake sale on December 11. We sold muffins, brownies, and a lot of cookies as well. As we did not want to raise money but rather spread Christmas joy, we kept the prices low. We had a lot of fun while doing something nice.

On December 21, our chapter had an amazing Christmas party where everyone brought traditional Christmas food. We had a chance to meet again and to get to know one another even better. We started by discussing projects for the upcoming year. Afterwards we watched the movies made by our members who had attended the European Youth Forum and were really impressed! After the presentations, we played some games that brought us together. It was a really exciting afternoon.

For Valentine’s Day, we gave out roses, ordered by the students, around school. Furthermore, we are arranging our summer vacation. After lots of discussion and planning, we finally decided on going to Luzern, Switzerland, because our adult advisor has been there many times. He is very impressed by the landscape and now we just cannot wait for the trip!

Kieu Anh Dang, President

Bern, Switzerland Chapter

Our chapter has decided to join PTPI’s Milan, Italy Chapter in their efforts to financially support the education of 23 Mombassan girls. We made a first donation of USD 1.050 to the cause. In addition, Bern and Mombasa chapters have agreed on becoming sister chapters.

Simon Krebs, President and Trustee

Brussels, Belgium Chapter

On January 16, the Brussels, Belgium Chapter held its Annual General Meeting at the Aloft Hotel. We summarized last year and made plans for the future. In 2013 we hosted close to 130 events, workshops and meetings, and participated in the European Conference in Varna, Bulgaria. We also received an award for outstanding leadership and continued sponsorship with the Europe-Brussels Liaison Office. Relationships with the Scouting community and Junior Chamber International have further developed, and lots support was given to Serve the City. We have been continuously improving social media, blogs, and our website. We ended 2013 with 21 paid members and an expanded community of 6.100, and developed the PTPI Hub concept for 2014.

Richard Chalks Corriette, President and Trustee

Burgas, Bulgaria (The Vectors) Student Chapter

"The Vectors" Student Chapter Members at Cartoon Network InitiativeOn December 15, we took part in the Cartoon Network initiative in one of city’s shopping centers. The purpose of this year’s national charity campaign was to make happy all those children who are deprived of parental care. The members of the club willingly gathered and gave out around 80 toys, hoping to bring back the Christmas spirit to those children. The motto was "the most precious present is not to receive but to give.” We held our cultural project about Italy and Armenia, with the help of our European volunteers, Hripsime and Pietro, on December 18. At school we held a presentation, danced traditional dances, and prepared lots of traditional Armenian and Italian food. Students enjoyed it very much.

At the start of the year, our chapter started a new project with a retirement home, which by February we had already visited three times. We had a workshop in which we, together with the elderly, made martenitsas. The retirement home has had an ongoing charity project where they sell their handmade products not for their own profit but for charity. This year we are helping them out with this project and will donate the proceeds to the Bulgarian Red Cross. Although our visits to the retirement home are always special, our Valentine’s Day visit was extra special: We read love stories and came up with posters and quotations talking about love in all its forms, not only between men and women.

Michaela Ivanova, President

Denmark Community Chapter

In January and February, 21 fellow Danes and I visited south India and learned much about the culture and lives of middle and lower class Indians.

We sojourned in Chennai, the capital city of the Indian state Tamil, and stayed at the YWCA, Young Women’s Christian Association. The immediate surroundings included many facilities designed to help orphans and single parent families. In the slums of Chennai, we visited a social organization whose goals included: offering schooling to street children until they turned 18 and teaching women their rights so that they may stand up against domestic violence and alcohol abuse. Through this education, women had succeeded in getting at least 100 men signed up for alcohol rehabilitation programs. It was wonderful to see the success that these causes had experienced, especially because it was made possible through a community spirit of helping one another. We wanted to contribute to these social engagements, and thus Denmark’s “Seniors without Borders” happily donated money to these causes.

We also spent our time as tourists sightseeing and familiarizing ourselves with the Indian culture. At the end of our journey, we realized that being a tourist can and should be very fulfilling – having a wonderful vacation while both experiencing the land and supporting local humanitarian projects.

Thea Lauridsen, Treasurer and Duna Tejmers

Interlaken, Switzerland Community Chapter

On November 16, our chapter members met for dinner and a movie. Thomas Roth summarized the past year spent helping Haitian children while Charlotte and Gabi treated us to some “Gschwellt und Chäs,” a Swiss meal consisting of boiled potatoes and cheese, and homemade sweets. What a wonderful evening.

A little more than a month later, on December 17th, we carried off our CEO, Clark Plexico, together with Valeria Magistrelli and Ernst Honegger, to Saxeten to eat dinner at the “Hexenhaus” (witch’s house). We are honored that Clark paid a visit to us on his first month and look forward to assisting him in implementing and putting forward his ideas.

Daniel Rüegsegger, President

Klina, Kosovo Student Chapter

This December, as we do every year, nine members organized a humanitarian activity to support poor children and families. Having different ideas, we were divided into two groups and ran two projects at the same time. One group visited all private businesses in our town and collected money while the second one decided to make cakes for Christmas and sold them. The money we collected was spent on buying food, but also clothes and toys. We distributed everything to three poor families on December 30, and ended the year with much happiness.

On February 17, Kosovo celebrated its Independence Day, and the Klina Youth Chapter decided to organize a quiz about Kosovo’s history. The participants were between the ages of 14 and 16, and were students of Klina’s primary and high schools. The quiz had 40 questions compiled by us. The aim of this activity was to learn something more about our country and to involve more people in our activities.

Teuta Berisha, President

Lugoj, Romania Chapter

Our chapter is a young one: only a year old! We started out with fifteen members, but due to the very attractive Language Ambassador program, our chapter gained twenty more members. Even though attracting new members was initially a goal, it actually happened naturally.

There are at least two experiences which were great for us during this year. The first was a month spent with an American Language Ambassador. It was the most intense and active period for our chapter because we were all involved in the program and wanted to offer at least as much as our children received. We tried to leave a strong impression as a country, a city, and a community, as well as learning as much as possible from our volunteer, Lucas Thomas.

The other great experience was called “A book, a coat, and a toy.” We established it in December to help the children from the poorest neighborhoods in Lugoj. We gathered many things for the children (such as clothes, toys, and books), and later had them delivered to children in need by a nun who runs the Saint Johanna Antida Center. We were all so excited! And the best part was: our good deed was just in time for Saint Nicholas day!

This year we are eager to continue our involvement in the community’s problems, helping kids in poor conditions, visiting retirement homes, and identifying other issues in our city that need helping.

Mihaela Hategan, President

Plovdiv, Bulgaria (Smiles) Student Chapter

Plovdiv Student Chapter Celebrating its Fourth BirthdayOur chapter started its fourth year in Plovdiv with an online conference with our sister chapter in Iowa, United States. We had 10 topics about the media, culture, society, education, and nature of the other country and every one of us presented one to our Iowa friends. We had a discussion after each topic where many questions were raised, and many similarities and differences in our daily lives were found.

A few weeks later came time to celebrate our fourth birthday. The chapter has continued to develop since its establishment on December 9, 2009. Turning the party into a workshop, we all laughed and had a lot of fun together. Eating cake and taking part in different games, we turned four together.

For Christmas we organized a couple of events. One of them was “Be Santa Claus – give happiness to a child.” Almost 80 people under our guidance gave presents to children from the orphanage “Olga Skobeleva” in the wake of the holy celebration. Every one of us prepared a gift. The children were so grateful for our visit and the gifts.

Additionally, together with the school’s parliament, we organized a charity bazaar similar to the German ones in the city centre. All students, chapter members and not, made cards in two workshops, which we sold together. The proceeds were given to a foundation helping homeless and unemployed mothers.

Our first event in 2014 was a visit to the club of veterans from World War II. For a couple of hours they shared with us some of their most precious and personal stories, kept for a long time secret in their hearts. We were so touched that we arranged future meetings.

Our next projects are charity bazaar for Valentine’s Day to support a children’s hospital in our town and a cultural gift exchange with our sister chapter.

Magdalena Nankinova, President, Paolina Mancheva, Sister Chapter Coordinator

Rome, Italy Student Chapter

Starting in November, our chapter has been busy with several activities. We not only attended numerous events regarding the food bank but we also sent money monthly to support a Romanian child. On the day of the Epiphany, we went to a nursing home and spent the whole afternoon making postcards and eating chocolates. The company of the elderly people brought a lot of joy and happiness to us.

On February 9, our chapter participated in "Giornata Nazionale del Banco Farmaceutico," which took place in a big pharmacy in the Eur district. We helped other volunteers to increase donations of first aid medicines to the Caritas of Rome. It was very rewarding to see that our help contributed to raising 120 packs of medicines for a total value of 960€. At the end of the day, despite being tired, we felt very happy because we had worked hard to help people in need and saw that what we did was important.

Alex Andrei, President

Skopje, Macedonia Chapter

Our chapter in Skopje hasn’t been open very long. After six months of hard work, we accomplished many successful initiatives. We continued running our project, Bridges Connecting Cultures, funded by the PTPE European Program Fund. Our chapter is moving to the rhythm of dedication and positive efforts!

As a part of the project, we launched an educational program for high school students called Ambassadors of Peace. During December and January, our chapter members were constantly working with an amazing group of 17 high school students. In December we had three interactive workshops on three different topics: team-building, leadership, and using new media for online activism. It was a challenge to build both a harmonious and productive team mainly because we have chosen students representing different nationalities in Macedonia. However, the results of their work as a team even exceeded our expectations.

During the first team-building training, our Ambassadors of Peace brainstormed a humanitarian initiative for our friends, the members at the Counseling Center for Children and Parents in the SOS Children Village. They succeeded in organizing a humanitarian party to gather funds for the Youth Club in the Municipality Gazi Baba. Proceeds from our Christmas card, handmade jewelry, and entrance ticket sales allowed them to buy new equipment. This deed exemplified perfectly what we learned during the team-building and leadership workshops. It was very noticeable that PTPI Skopje created an extraordinary team and individuals who are role-models for their generation.

In the third workshop, held in late December, we highlighted the importance of using social media as a tool for sharing peace. In January, the Ambassadors of Peace were sending us creative works on the topic of Peace and Understanding. We received many essays, interviews, and videos that were a true inspiration. We shared peace in Macedonia and all across the globe. Some of the results of the Ambassadors of Peace were used for the celebration of PTPI Pride Day on January 14. You can learn more on our website.

We happily ended the program, Ambassadors of Peace, with an award ceremony in February. We used this occasion to watch the Films for Inclusion made during the Training Course “Film for Inclusion; Film as Universal Language” in Berlin, Germany. Compilations of photos, articles and personal experiences about our events are available at www.ptpiskopje.org/events.

Thank you for supporting Bridges Connecting Cultures. Now, it is time for a new round of inspirational deeds.

Angel Dimitrievski, President

Sternberk, Czech Republic Chapter

On December 7, Czech Railways sent out a steam locomotive for a ride around the Olomouc region. Families could purchase a ticket for a round trip from Olomouc to Zábřeh, Šumberk and back through Uničov and our home town, Šternberk. PTPI members dressed up as St. Nicholas, devils, and angels and went around the train asking children if they had been good the whole year. Good Czech children also recited poems and sang songs to St. Nicolas and got some candy as a reward.

On December 14, we held our annual Christmas party in a brand new tea-pee (a Native American-style teepee where tea is served). The tea master, Yury, prepared for us a lot of tea, including specialties like the Japanese matcha tea and South American beverage maté. We ate some gingerbread cookies by beautiful Swedish candle logs which Blaza made himself. What a magical Christmassy night!

For the Table Tennis Tournament we met again on the same day as last year to shed some holiday weight. We had the same winner in the adult category – Radovan Svoboda, but our youth category grew a lot. The winner among younger children was Vojta Stranel, and the winner among the older kids was Tomas Svoboda. Every participant got a nice prize and the winner went home with a gorgeous cake.

Because we have only one month old PTPI member, on February 7 we met in her home for the annual meeting. Her name is Amalka and she is the daughter of Helca and Blaza who have been involved with PTPI from the start. So we sat around a table to plan what we want to do next year and drank to her health.

Eliska Vranova, President

Vaslui, Romania (Mihail Kogalniceanu) Student Chapter

PTPI's Vaslui Student Chapter making a donation

On November 21, the Vaslui and the School Centre for Inclusive Education partnered up to help children in need. Our members had gathered clothes, toys, and books from our high school students the week before. Our members and teachers not only donated these gifts to the children from the Centre, but also read stories to them, played games with them , and took pictures all together. Listening to the children tell their sad tales made our students realize the difficulties that many children face. The children were very happy and invited their guests to come again to decorate the Christmas tree, learn carols, and prepare the Christmas show together. Finally, our members took a tour of the school, where they admired origami and painting exhibitions, and the children's awards won in many sport competitions.

On November 30, our chapter organized a fundraising activity: a bake sale. We sold our homemade sweets in the mall and also put on a mini-show with pop and folk music singers from our high school. The event was very successful, and we also managed to raise 200 euros, which we donated to a village family in need.

The beginning of the year was also very active for our members. Some of us went to the kindergarten and primary school near Vaslui and donated clothes, toys, and sweets. The children were extremely happy and sang us carols and recited poems as thanks.

This event was featured in a national newspaper, entitled "The Volunteers from PTP Vaslui changed into Santa Claus". It is available online.           

Liliana Harhas-Ciobanu, Adult Advisor

Vilkaviskis, Lithuania Student Chapter

On December 22, the members of our chapter, students of Graziskiu gymnasium, invited the community of Graziskiai to a Christmas event called “Paradise on Earth.” Before the event took place, president, Greta Griskaityte - with organisers Dovile Mielaikaite, Reda Brazaityte, Migle Lukoseviciute and Rugile Simanaviciute - visited the elderly people of the community and handed out to them sweets and invitations. They filmed some of this and it was really touching to watch the warm interactions between chapter members and elderly people.

During the event, five Snow Whites danced and spoke very meaningful words. The participants wrote the things that they associate with Christmas on nice hand-made paper apples. Later we created hand-made Christmas tree decorations and followed by decorating the tree together. The girls treated the guests with cakes, baked by themselves, and tea. The guests enjoyed it all while listening to students performing a song with a guitar, reed, and a Lithuanian folk instrument called kankles. In addition to that, a cheery Santa Claus dropped by and we all played a merry game together.

This event contained the “real Christmas spirit,” because we were reminded that Christmas is not only presents, but also doing good deeds. The films that were shown during the event proved that life actually consists not of some big events, but of everyday minor things, such as helping someone out or simply smiling. We don’t have to be politically powerful or rich people to change the world: each and every one of us is capable of that on our own. A change to a happier life depends primarily on us – we will get back as many good things as we give ourselves. Thus don‘t wait until someone will make us happy, but let‘s gift small joys to others, at the same time becoming spiritually richer. The people who came here found out many new things and thanked the members for a wonderful afternoon. They also wished them to receive as much joy as they gave to other people. 

Through the benevolence of every one who helped out, we realized that paradise on Earth is reality! 

Zalishchyky, Ukraine Student Chapter

In December, the members of our chapter, together with the pupils of the State Gymnasium and the students from other educational institutions, conducted a meeting devoted to the events happening at Euro Maiden.

They also performed various activities showing their support for the signing of the agreement with European Union. They danced, recited Ukrainian poems, and sang national songs. These activities took place in the Zalishchyky central square.

Marta Jumaha, President

Zürich, Switzerland Community Chapter

Quite surprisingly, our club’s year ended with a major highlight. After only one month in office, Clark Plexico, PTPI’s new CEO and successor to Mary Jean Eisenhower, took a trip to Europe in order to get to know his co-workers, Lars and Verena, in PTPI’s European Office.  
rom Chester, Great Britain. 

Klaus Mazenauer, Treasurer