Katowice 2011 - Report
European Conference 2011
After fourteen years, the European Conference was again held in the Silesia region in Poland. This time, PTPI’s Katowice, Poland Student Chapter organized the program. One hundred nineteen participants came from thirteen countries. The conference was held for the first time in June in order to allow more student members to attend. It was also the first time that the event was hosted by a student chapter. The average age of the participants who attended was the lowest ever.
Chapter president Daria Klima and PR officer Wojciech Galas were perfect hosts during the evening meals. Other members showed the visitors the city centre during the Friday city walk.
On Thursday afternoon, a humanitarian program was offered to the early arriving participants. Two humanitarian homes in Katowice were visited: "House of Guardian Angels" for street children and Cordis Hospice. The children and patients, along with their staff, were well prepared and offered interactive programs. At the "House of Guardian Angels" games and picnic were arranged. At Cordis the participants met with the patients and painted part of the house – PTPI’s visit will be a permanent sign.
For the first time during a European Conference, a “PTPI World Café” was held. The Café is a workshop in a café atmosphere. The venue was Kawiarnia Artystyczna (Art Café), in which 50 coffee thirsty guests discussed different cultural encounters with high PTPI relevance. Each ten minutes there was a new topic and more coffee and homemade cakes. All ideas and comments were recorded by the table host. At the end of the PTPI World Café, all experiences and ideas were displayed on the PTPI washing line.
For the Opening Dinner, 15 of PTPI’s Global Youth Murals were displayed. They offer a excellent chance for local artistic programs and fundraising. From now on, they are available for a European Tour. The first initiative was to raise funds for the two places visited on Thursday.
The Saturday Council Meeting was held in “Prywatne Liceum Ogólnokształcące” the school of PTPI’s Katowice Chapter members. Regional Chair Valeria Magistrelli led the meeting.
- Rolf Dahlberg, Sweden was re-elected as Secretary
- Hannelore Büchler, Germany was re-elected as Treasurer
- Antoaneta Pophlebarova, Bulgaria was elected as new Youth Coordinator
- Chapter reports were made by: Andrei Corduneanu (Roman), Karina Tatarova (Plovdiv), Anne Marie Bohsen (Denmark)
- Mary Eisenhower reported on news from People to People International
- Lars Poignant reported on new programs in Europe
- The next European Conference will be held in conjunction with the Worldwide Conference in Tallinn in August/September 2012.
At the end of the Council Meeting an Open Space workshop was held. Verena Denk led the one hour meetings, which included separate groups for:
- International conferences in Europe
- Youth Programs
- Public Relations
- Artistic Program in Kiev
The Conference Gala Dinner took place in Restaurant in Lesniczówka in the middle of the large Katowice Park. Before the big barbecue-style dinner started, the folklore group Mały Śląsk performed Silesian dances and songs, which was one highlight of the conference weekend.
During the dinner, representatives of the House of Guardian Angels and Cordis were present to receive the spontaneous collected support. Conference participants and PTPI’s Friendship Fund gave the two Houses 450 euro each.
Before leaving Katowice, participants visited Tarnowskie Gory, a former mining district, which is a good example Silesia’s industrial tradition. The ten minute boat-ride in the mine was a unique experience.
Special thanks and recognitions go to:
- Seventeen conference participants who sponsored the conference and individuals. PTPI’s Berlin Chapter supported with 300 euro,
- Twelve homestay families who hosted international students members during the conference,
- PTPI’s Warsaw Chapter members, who within minutes, offered support and homestay to four student members from Valsui, Romania as their transportation connection to Katowice was cancelled,
- Sorina Danciu, for her four years and Youth Coordinator. Valeria Magistrelli emphasized her support as member of the EEC and for youth programs in Europe,
- The Katowice Organising Committee members for organzing the event: Daria Klima, Wojciech Galas and Janusz Wozniak.
See you in Tallinn in 2012!