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The Grundtvig Project Meeting in Vienna

On May 19th the group of members of our University in Slupsk arrived to Vienna in order to take part in the first general meeting of participants to the Grundtvig Project "Tell me about your commitment". Since November of last year our University, in joint effort with five other countries; Austria, Germany, Spain, Slovenia and England works on the Project.

The main goals of the Project is to:

Promote Volunteering, promote volunteers and facilitate their sharing ideas and experiences
To advance the forms of interpersonal communication, especially in the form of employing IT techniques and being used for the purpose of exchange of information in between volunteers of different countries.
To create the common web platform; now functioning.

The Programme we are working on includes as well the direct meeting with volunteers and moderators from the participating countries and the first of such meeting took place in Vienna. The University group, representing Poland, consisted of 11 persons:

Wyrwa Urszula
Czupajło Nelly
Renata Majerowicz
Danuta Wabia
Wanda Drozd
Eleonora Sztajnke
Krystyna Ratajska
Janina Siek
Jerzy Berendt
Natalia Kurhalyuk
Anna Prusiecka

The two day event, in which of around 55 persons took a part, have been organized in the form of workshops, during which the participants had an opportunity to express their ideas and to share their views on the variety of volunteering activities in each of the countries represented.
We were introduced to the form of volunteering among immigrants from African countries in Spain, the World Café idea which helps elderly in four different locations in Glasgow, the support and help centre in Berlin which is busy working among immigrants from Turkey, Poland and South- East European countries, the work of Miscarriage Association in Glasgow. Among them of course as well the volunteers from Slupsk working with handicapped children and working on the planning number of activities for its members.

The meeting in Vienna was fully sponsored by the Grundtvig Project Fund and all the spendings are to be in conform with a strict internal regulation.

With art we bring along a delight

The Wikipedia offers: an explanation of the term "Theater", and so we can read: A theater is about an actor or a group of actors who in a form of "a live" performance interacts with an audience which at that moment fills up seats of a theater hall.

This is as well a place of wanders and miracles where emotions of delight encircle us all. Thanks to the our Slupsk University's theater company and volunteers as well, two performances of the famous theater play "The Green Goose" by Konstanty Galczynski under the direction of prof. Daniel Kalinowski were staged. The performances were dedicated to boys and girls under the charge of the Daily Stay Home and to the handicapped boys and girls attending the Occupational Therapy Workshop in Slupsk. We have already the close contacts with the both institution dating back for some years.

The performances took place respectively on 28th of January and on 2nd of February. Our theater troupe has met young boys and girls on these days giving them once more moments of joy and delight.

Moulding polish dumplings in company

On 15th of February 2011, three of our lady members; Nelly Czupajło, Renata Majerowicz and Danuta Wabia went onto teaching the youth under the care of the Workshop for Occupational Therapy how to prepare and how to serve the famous polish dish: "pierogi", which are the kind of stuffed dumplings.
The filling for the dumplings could be various, however the white cottage cheese, meat and mushrooms are preferred.
On all the stages of preparation instruction to the young chefs were given and special attention was necessary in the process of sealing the dumplings which is crucial to the whole preparation.
The satisfaction among the consumers was high as the fresh boiled dumplings landed on the plates so was the taste for the dumplings.

The gifts for the poor

For a couple of days leading to the Christmas, two of ours wolunteers from SUTW - Mrss Wanda Drozd and Stanislawa Orlowska were very busy helping less fortunate members of our society to collect the food stuff for their Christmas festivities. The activity included the assistance to the "gift box" at the commercial centre in Slupsk. Thanks to this action the "gift box" was filled with foodstuff like; flour, sugar, cereal, dried sausages, sweets and many more.

All the gifts collected were then, through the section of Caritas active at the Maksymilian Kolbe parish, redistributed to the families and individual persons in need.

Gala - Regional Voluntary Centre

The 10th of December 2010 saw the festive Gala organized by the Regional Voluntary Centre in Slupsk. The occasion was to express the warm Thanks for the willingness to act, create and change for better the social surrounding we live in.

The diploma of acknowledgement has been presented to the team of volunteers representing Slupsk's University of Third Age and individually to the member of our University - Mrs Eleonora Sztainke.

The Christmas carols concerts

There is a polish tradition that over the period of time between Christmas and the catholic festivities of Saint Mary of the Candle the Christmas Carols are sang either in churches during mass services or at the private meeting.

35 of volunteers of Slupsk University of Third Age decided to prepare themselves for the choir performance "at three voices" in some of the Slupsk Churches.

On 6th of January the choir was heard at the Church of The Saint Family and on the some day at the Saint Mary Church. The latter performed together with four of the other competing Slupsk choirs.
On 2nd of February the performance was heard at the Saint Josef Church.

Voluntary action for children from Belorussia

On fifth of January volunteers from Slupsk University of Third Age received the group of children from Belorussia. Our meeting with them has taken place in the Slupsk Culture Centre in Braci Gierymskich str 1, while their overnights they spend in the comfortable conditions in the parish home at the Church in Duninowo, not far from Slupsk.

The children from Belorussia have presented the artistic programme consisting of folk dances, choir songs and recitations.

Well before the arrival of the group from Belorusssia volunteers were getting ready for the meeting collecting gifts like

full wool head covers hand made-knitted by the members of our volunteers group

handshoes for 42 persons, donated by members of our University.

Packets of sweets of various kinds, among the others 42 blocks of chocolate donated by one of the member of our University as a form of "a repayment in token of gratitude" for the piece of chocolate handed to him some 60 year back at the end of WWII. "The flavor of that chocolate is still with me"- as the donator described.
The affection and delight filled the meeting hall.

The literary section of SUTW commemoration of Fryderyk Chopin year

All trough the year 2010 we have been celebrating and commemorating the 200 years anniversary of the birth of great polish composer and pianist; FRYDERYK CHOPIN.

The 12 member team of our volunteers from the Literary Section of our University got onto the project to prepare the verbal-musical performance which would relate to the life and musical compositions of FRYDERYK CHOPIN.

The show included as a leading theme the extracts from the biography of our composer which then were interweaved with the pieces of His musical compositions, the poems and literary texts of famous poets and writers who described the depth and greatness of the FRYDERYK CHOPIN works.

The show have been presented to the audience of 7 different counties neighbouring Słupsk. The last time performance took place on 6th of December.

During the act of performance we could not hear the one word from the audience as all the viewers were deeply submerged in the words about and pieces of FRYDERYK CHOPIN.

We may judge that the play got the hearts of our guests from those smaller communities with the moving  artistic experience.

The second meeting with volunteers from Berlin

On 12th of February 2011 took place the second "video-SKYPE" meeting between volunteers from Berlin and a group of volunteers from Slupsk University of Third Age. On the side of volunteers from Berlin some 14 persons were present to the conference, while on the Slupsk side 8 persons were participating, and among them the following.
Berendt Jerzy
Czupajło Nelly
Kurowska Hanna
Orłowkska Stanisława
Ratajska Krystyna
Siek Janina
Wyrwa Urszula
Ziemiec Bożena

The technical support to the video SKYPE transmission was provided by young staff of the Centre for Citizens Initiatives in Slupsk and it has been done perfectly indeed.

The video conference begun with the mutual presentation of all persons participating with the presentation of volunteers in particular.

After the short, formal but warm welcome speech by Mr Herbert of Berlin and Jerzy Berendt of Slupsk, the actual presentation of Slupsk's volunteers was provided in fluent German by Mrs Nelly Czupajlo of Slupsk.
In continuation, Mrs Nelly Czupajlo on behalf of four of Slupsk's volunteers presented the scope of work performed by them.

The first to be presented was Mrs Janina Siek achievements in the field of helping the young physically and mentally disabled persons and children from Machowinko Centre nearby Slupsk. She described in her own words (then translated into German for a convenience of the listeners and viewers in Berlin). She, on her own time and effort, used to do and still does the kind of excursions with those children along the shore of Baltic sea. On other occasion she turns to hand crafting and any kind of exercises which stimulate the creativity of the young. On summarizing her experience of the work with those persons, she says that the such work gives her the feeling of satisfaction and submissiveness.

The second story comes from Mrs Danuta Wabia who became a volunteer by chance when on one occasion a she friend of her asked her to give her a hand in her job at a school day room where especially students of primary classes did their school home work. Mrs Danuta Wabia met at that school day room children obsessed by their family pathological behavior and on the other side looking wherever possible for thru love, warmth and social support. Danuta has given them her time, motherly hug and after all the advice on their school work.

The story of Stanislawa Orlowska, who by profession is a specialist of foodstuff and who for quite a time worked as the CEO at the Sanitary and Epidemiology Station. She, after the day of her retirement decided to use her experience for the benefit of those in need. She is fond of having the chance to organize traditional and must to be-at least in Poland- Christmas Eve Suppers especially for elderly and lonely persons among them children as well. She takes a chance while preparing the events to teach young people all about cooking related preparation secrecies and then the art of setting the table and becoming the lady and gentleman to it.

The story of Krystyna Ratajska is somewhat different as she is fond of her gift for taking the camera pictures wherever she goes or turns her eyes to. She spends lot of time in the field with her digital camera aiming at the people young and old at the natural life around us. Quite often she uses her talent to look at life of children, documenting the moment of joy or distress, their happiness and despair. By doing so, she believes in the power of reflection of those who see her photos for she presents them willingly. Some of her photos are presented in the Grundtvig Photo Album at the -please go there...!

Mr Philip Sonntag, the volunteer from Germany told us about his experience as an volunteer. His work concentrate on leading the small theater group and directing the theater plays in cooperation with his troupe.
Philip got much of interest in the activities of Slupsk U3W theater group, which in recent three years has given a number of performances. Both groups have expressed their wish to get into closer contact laying the plan for exchange of visits.

Isa Holme, from Berlin described her interest in writing the recollection from her past and publishing them in quarterly magazine. She expressed the idea of publishing the remembrances of polish volunteers in this quarterly magazine as well.

Claudio Cassetti summarized the meeting pointing to the active role of participants on both sides of the screen. His wish is to see the other parties to the Grundtvig Project to take the same active role in exchange of ideas through skype-window.

The note on the Internet meeting with the partners in Berlin

On 11th of December 2010 a video conference took place between a group of volunteers from Voluntary Centrum in Berlin and a group of volunteers from Słupski Universytet Trzeciego Wieku.

There were 17 volunteers from Berlin and 8 volunteers in Słupsk's group. The names of the volunteers are listed below:

Bączkiewicz Irena
Berendt Jerzy
Czupajło Nelly
Majerowicz Renata
Orłowkska Stanisława
Ratajska Krystyna
Sztainke Eleonora
Wyrwa Urszula

The meeting was conducted via SKYPE. The SKYPE programme was installed for the purpose of the meeting and then used in both its video and audio mode.

The participants of the conference on both sides of the screen presented themselves and then the collective and individual plans achieving the aims of the GRUNDTVIG PROJECT were discussed. The German group presented its broad range of activities. These included working with the immigrant population from various countries living in Berlin, activities including children and adolescents in relation to their school subjects as well as getting involved elderly people in the process of Third Age Learning.

The Słupsk partners produced a list of tasks for the GRUNDTVIG PROJECT, which included encouraging older adults to remain active citizens after retirement from professional work and the need to adapt to the new routines of daily life.

The meeting was spoken mainly in German. However English and Italian were also spoken and listened to very eagerly due to the presence of native language speakers. Polish was also used as some of the volunteers from Berlin were originally from Poland.

During the exchange of ideas and best practice examples, both sides agreed to extend their range of cooperation by providing the space for presentation of artistic achievements like theater plays, fine arts and songs. The exact programme of these activities is still to be defined.

The participation in the GRUNDTVIG PROGRAMME allows for such events as Internet Meeting on international scale by providing funding for these events. It stimulates better foreign language skills and as a result facilitates contact with other participants of the PROJECT.

It was agreed by the Berlin and Słupsk volunteers that the Internet Conference was mutually useful and plays important role in bringing the Europeans closer, allowing for exchange of ideas and experiences. Therefore, future meetings of this kind should be planned.

The Participants to the Grundtvig Project meeting
in Barcelona

The participants to the GRUNDTVIG PROJECT met in Barcelona on 27th to 29th of November at the site of Barcelona Service Civil International (Salvat Papaseit str 1,

The following organizations and their representatives from around Europe have taken active part in the meeting;
Gabriela Kórting - Ulm
Paula Schweinberger - Ulm
Lynda Scott - Glasgow
Melanie Trechard - Glasgow
Monika Reif - Wiedeń
Magdalena Braumuller - Wiedeń
Viktorja Drnoysek - Ljubljana
Karmen Golob - Ljubljana
Herbert Spindler - Berlin
Claudio Cassetti - Berlin
Giani Orsini - Barcelona
Jerzy Berendt - Słupsk

During three working sessions, which lasted between midmorning and late afternoon hours the representatives discussed and agreed on the number of essential activities which should fulfill the frames of the GRUNDTVIG PROJECT in each of the country represented as well as the activities which will involved not single party to the PROJECT but several of them at a time. The timetable for all the planned activities was also agreed at.

The common activities which will involve two or three organizations at a time will be these gathering voluntareers working with children, adolescent and older people as well as families in need of social support e.i. families of immigrants. The important target groups are older people, already after their retirement and now looking for an alternatives to fulfill their extra free time with interest in cultural, sport, social, artistic and care giving activities.

The Project named TELL ME ABOUT YOUR COMMITMENT in its core sense is about gathering volunteers from participating countries in order to facilitate the exchange of experiences and to bring about higher level the motivation for the individual volunteer. Two such general meetings of volunteers as a platform for exchange of ideas and better understanding and are scheduled. The first, in month May 2011 in Vienna and second one sometime in Spring 2012. In meantime - October 2011 - will host the group of coordinators from participating countries.

As the GRUNDTVIG PROJECT includes several counties, the important role in its progress will play the inter-personal communication on all levels of possible exchange of information. The special attention will be paid to the electronic media, which in fact became basic for the whole PROGRAMME. The electronic media in the form of the properly programmed computers e.i technology for direct video and audio contact, presentations in pps format, texting in the format doc and excel are to be the main tools for the project description and documenting. The PROJECT provide as well for the active exchange of cultural, artistic, fine arts or literary achievements.

The University of Third Age in Slupsk will commence its activity on 11th of December with via SKYPE video and audio internet conference with partners from Sozial Label in Berlin.

The pictures shown underneath illustrate the warm tone of the meeting as well as brief moments of city sightseeing.

The Grundtvig Programme

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained there

The GRUNDTVIG PROGRAMME is one of several programmes which are managed by NATIONAL AGENCIES of EU member countries on behalf of European Union Commission. The GRUNDTVIG PROGRAMME is specifically designated for youth, academic and older generation like those "50 +", aiming at broader social engagement through continuous education, cultural activity and over the border exchange of ideas and best practices examples.
The name of the PROGRAMME follows the name of the Danish pastor and writer; NIKOLI FREDERIK SEVERIN GRUNDTVIG (1783-1872) who advocated the idea of broad accessibility to education and knowledge for all citizens independently of age and a social status.

The GRUNDTVIG PROGRAMME consist of long list of particular themes closely related to the leading THEME articulated for each year by EU Commission, which are then undertaken and conducted by various organizations either public or private mainly, as a rule, in the form of multiparty partner PROJECTS.

Our Project under the title:


went under way in mid November 2010 as the multinational PARTNER PROJECT in which the following countries participate


The main goal of the PROJECT is to facilitate exchange of knowledge, experiences and best practices examples in the area of voluntary activity within community we live and work, with an emphasis on enhancing of quality of life of third age persons through their integration, education and active participation in society.