European Voluntary Service

This is Pekarna's blog for EVS volunteers. Pekarna is a sending and hosting/receiving organisation for EVS volunteers and their volunteers (send and hosted ones) will keep you up to date about their work.

Evropska prostovoljska služba

Pekarna Magdalenske mreže Maribor te vabi, da se tudi ti pridružiš množici prostovljcev/-k Evropske prostovoljne službe (EVS) in odpotuješ v organizacijo po svoji izbiri v drugo državo EU. Smo pošiljajoča in gostiteljska organizacija EVS, ki mladim od 17. in do 30. leta za obdobje največ enega leta uredi vse podrobnosti za brezskrbno in povsem brezplačno delovanje v tujini.
Evropska prostovoljna služba je del programa ERASMUS + Mladi v akciji.

Za bolj podrobne informacije nas lahko kontaktiraš na:

Monday, 25 July 2016

Posnetek kreativne delavnice “Puppet show” 2015

Cécile Bondon je v naši ogranizaciji opravljala 11 mesecev Evropsko prostovoljno službo v okviru projekta (R)evolucioniraj se! / Do the (r)evolution! Projekt je bil zasnovan tako, da s pomočjo neformalnega in priložnostnega učenja prispeva k razvoju kakovostnih aktivnosti mladih na področju umetnosti, ustvarjalnosti in družbene angažiranosti.

V času prostovoljskega dela je Cécile pripravila in izvedla mnogo kreativnih ter poučnih delavnic s področja ilustracij in umetnosti. Ena izmed teh delavnic je bila kreativna delavnica Puppet show. Delavnica je bila namenjena otrokom, njihovim staršem in vsem, ki so se želeli preizkusiti v kreativnosti. Na delavnici so mladi udeleženci spoznali različne tehnike izdelave lutk s pomočjo recikliranih materialov. Rezultat delavnice niso bile samo papirnate lutke, ampak video posnetek dogajanja, ki si ga lahko ogledate tukaj.

"This was my second workshop for children in my life. This experience was great, first I tried to make everything okay and easy to make, before the workshop I prepared patterns to make the children cut out the puppets if they didn't know how to draw the shapes. I tried to learn since the last experience in art kamp, few months ago and to improve it, so I bought more materials, I did the patterns, I improved the little cardboard theatre to make it prettier. But even now I still have some improvements, the way they had to fix the thread was too difficult. So it was great to try and to know how to do better next time. And I think and hope the children appreciated it! I like the way they personalized their puppets, and played with the little theatre. And hopefully I got a lot of help to translate the instructions and make the puppets. Full Dobro.:)"

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Mid-way reflections

This month I have entered the second half of my EVS at Pekarna Magdalenske Mreze and of my staying here, in Maribor. I believe this is a good time for some looking back and some introspection. I’m a pretty self-reflective person, so naturally I’ve been analyzing my reactions, my feelings and my growth along the way. I am 30, and as I was saying, quite introspective, so I know myself quite a bit by now. However, one of the best things about my stay here is that I got to observe myself in some new situations, and got to learn a bit more about who I am, what I can, what I can’t and how I react to certain things that I was less exposed to in the past. I am pretty familiar now with Maribor, it somehow feels like home and sometimes I forget to appreciate the novelty and the chance I have in front of me. But at times I walk on the streets and I remember that I am in this new place, far from what I know and what I am deeply comfortable with, far from my coziness, my great group of friends and network of support, far from my secure job and projects, and far from the ever-changing, yet so familiar lovely city.

Photo by Alina Sileanu
This starting-all-over experience was one of the reasons I wanted to do an EVS. For a teenager or a twenty-something person, a (good) EVS can bring possibilities to travel low-cost, loads of fun, the excitement of meeting new cultures, making new friends etc. These matter to me as well, but much less. I wanted to see myself doing the sort of work that I like as a main ‘job’. I wanted the possibility of hands-on practice in theater. I wanted to break the pattern of home coziness. I wanted a change. And I wanted to see myself building a good living situation for myself again. And in part, I’ve managed to do that.
Photo by Nataša Usar
The novelty of a place and of people and everything that comes with it fades away after a while, and you are left with the normal, daily life. My organization is very well connected, it has a lot of ‘friend-organisations’ and a network of followers and friends, so I got to meet quite a lot of people here. I was also interested in some activities and people outside of this network, so I expended my acquaintances a bit more. Some of these people I really like and love to have around me, some I don’t particularly care for. Just like everywhere else. In the 2nd and maybe 3rd month though, it became a bit alienating – I would have people around that I could work and hang out with, but it was just that – hanging out. Talking about the same things and keeping the conversation to the shallow level of ‘visitors to a new country’. I missed not as much my friends, as having friends, having a deeper connection and a meaningful, soul-warming conversation. I care a lot about having friends and sharing my life with them. And as much as I enjoyed the new people here – and I did, a lot of them are exactly my type of people – I felt alone at a certain point. And this was a good chance for reflection. What constitutes a connection? How come the time by myself is very important and refreshing when I know I can always call someone and ask them out, and so grim when I know I probably can’t? How important and deep does failing seem when you know you’re living just a ‘temporary life’? How much can you really prove yourself to yourself when you still have a net of safety of someone ready to take care of you? Would things really be different without the language barrier? These are not compulsive ideas that just ran through my mind, but voluntary, directed questions meant to make me understand my existence better.

Photo by Alina Sileanu
I realized I can live without my friends. I realized it is hard to live without friends. I realized, once more, that the public speaking fright is lessening more and more with each voluntary exposure, but it will never completely go away. I realized that that’s completely fine. I realized that work and everything around you becomes much better when you have friends and someone you like to share things with. I realized, once more, the big difference between people who lived their lives independently and took care of themselves from an early age, and people who always have someone to look after them. I realized I can enjoy working with kids. I realized I can work and spend time with teenagers and take them and their view point seriously. I realized that art and creation do not require a genius invention, but they’re always going to be a new form of the old. I realized that it’s your choice to present your creation as something completely special or as a wanna-be product, and that people take your word for it. And I realized other things that I won’t mention here.

Photo by Michal Čerňanský
I’ve made friends and have tightened connections meanwhile, and it makes sense that everything takes time. I have written, acted, participated at festivals, worked with kids, worked with teenagers, had great conversations, had boring conversations. There wasn’t a moment when I was really unhappy here, because I realized that my ups-and –downs were completely normal, and that it takes time to set the ground for a new day-to-day. But yes, it can be hard for a while. And definitely, you need to do things for yourself. And unfortunately I’ve heard quite a number of stories about shitty EVS experiences at shitty organizations. I think it’s pretty important to really research the place and especially the organization that you want to join. And if possible, to contact one of their ex-EVSs and ask about their experience.
I’ve seen today that my organization has launched the open call for the new EVSs that will come starting February. I thought it was quite a good match with my reflecting time. For anyone reading this, I truly recommend trying to become a part of my organization. They are nice, fair, respectful and trustful. You can join activist, artistic, social, political, child-related, creative projects of all sorts. You can suggest your own, and you’re encouraged to do so. The city is pretty small and not a lot of events are in English, but the people speak English and you can make things happen if you want to. And I’m open for questions :).


Thursday, 7 July 2016

Warmer and warmer

Wow, these two months started and ended in a very busy way for me, but each from a different end. Let me explain.

After the performances of Martina Kartelo, a Guestroom Maribor artist in residence during the end of April, we had to start preparing for Festival prostovoljstva happening in Slovenia, so also in Maribor. In the end, I felt pretty satisfied with how well the graphic materials turned out together with the video I made. I also managed to quickly jump to Ljubljana in the meantime to be a human library together with a handful of other EVS volunteers and met some new wonderful people who I hope to see again someday. Me, Ioana and Nataša also prepared a short game afternoon on topics of diversity, solidarity and prejudice that we did with a class of gifted children – it was so much fun! Those children made me feel a bit old. I was also invited by the Stopinje mesta group to photograph places in and around Maribor for their website to help travelers and tourists find interesting and new places to see, eat and experience – it’s a bigger project which will take some time, but I’m excited for it.

June started with me attending a trip to Sežana, a village close to the Italian border, organized by an animal rights group named simply Za živali! (For animals!) It was a chance to hang out in nature a little bit, see just how influenced by Italy the architecture is at the border, and also visit the house of a Slovenian poet Srečko Kosovel, who was concerned with animal rights and died very young.

After a few days of break, we started preparing the final pre-vacation picnic for all Infopeka volunteers – we wrapped books, added handmade badges and diplomas and had a lovely afternoon outside serving fruit and snacks and playing games. During the next week I managed to quickly jump to Italy to visit a friend – because of problems with transportation I could only stay for a day, but it was completely worth it, despite the crazy heat, mosquito bites and tiredness. I couldn’t have wished for a better first bigger trip while in Slovenia.

And of course, at the end of the month, the biggest festival in Maribor, Lent festival, happened! I’m personally not a concert or festival person, but I enjoyed walking around and seeing the buzz of everything – and, since I live right across Lent and Drava, I had free music to listen to during most evenings. We did a workshop for children in the city park using the sensory theatre technique (which Ioana told us about) and created a fairytale about children losing their eyesight (basically being blindfolded) through a curse and taking a journey to get it back using Nataša’s brilliant storytelling, different sounds and smells and guiding the children around and solving simple puzzles. It was hard to attract the first few, but after that, everybody was curious and wanted to try it. It was exhausting, but a lot of fun and even the next day I’ve heard people telling us that the children told them about how great it was.

So, summer is here, and so is vacation. And just like everybody, I’m shouting „this summer is going to be the best!“


Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Živa in Zagreb

Outward Bound Croatia je neprofitna izobraževalna organizacija, ki je članica svetovno znanih šol Outward Bound International.  Na kratko,  gre za izkustvena učenja skozi pustolovske aktivnosti v naravi. Gre za avanturo, ki se ukvarja z neznanim, se sooča z izzivi, ki se raztezajo čez meje posameznika, prilagodljivost, celovitost, sočutje, integracijo, sposobnost in dobro delovanje z drugimi.  Ponuja učenje, ki vključuje srce, um in telo na način, ki traja vse življenje. Vse to po najbolj spektakularnih področjih na Hrvaškem – gozdovi, gore, reke, jezera in morje. Ciljne skupine so organizirani srednje - šolski razredi, študenti, odrasli skupine in ostali zainteresirani posamezniki . Programi vključujejo treking, orientacijo v divjini, plezanje, abseiling (spuščanje po vrvi), večdnevne pohode, jamarstvo, kajaking, potapljanje, gradnja zavetja in spanje na prostem, gradnja splava, gorsko kolesarjenje, timske iniciative, timsko reševanje problemov, itd.
Organizacija je zelo aktivna tudi na področju pridobivanja Erasmus Plus programov, ki vključujejo Youth Exchanges, Training Courses in EVS program. V aprilu sem bila udeležena »Back to the roots« prvega Youth Exchang - a , kjer je bila glavna tematika spoznavanje rastlin in začimb v prelepem okolišu Žužemberg in športna aktivnost. Pri teh izmenjavah je še več priložnosti, da v prihodnje sodelujem pri pridobivanju, pisanju, organiziranju in izpeljavi teh projektov na internacionalnem nivoju. Letos jih bo še posebej veliko izvedeno v jesenskem času.  Delo EVS prostovoljcev zajema 50 % v pisarni v Zagrebu in 50% v naravi, kot pomoč inštruktorjem na programih.

Po natanko treh mesecih EVS izkušnje, sem že dobila priložnost prestopiti mejo svojih sposobnosti in se uspešno soočiti z novimi osebnimi izzivi. Izzivi so predstavljali predvsem tiste manjše življenjske korake, ki ob koncu dneva pomenijo veliko. Strah se nadomesti z radovednostjo in napravljene napake se spreobrnejo v dragocene izkušnje. Hkrati spoznaš, kako lepo je deliti svoje pomanjkljivosti z drugimi, ki ti pomagajo na tvoji poti in s pomočjo katerih tudi osebnostno zrasteš. Če se vse to odvija v naravnem okolju, je toliko lepše.