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JULY 2012 NOVI SAD www.volontiraj.rs

Sami sebe zaplićemo, sami sebe rasplićemo

Petnica Neformalno obrazivanje EVS experience A day in a life of a camp participant An American guy’s story


EDITORIAL

This month ПИГЕОН‘s authors are discussing the following question – what is the purpose of education in our lives? Learning is not just restricted to the time spent in school. It begins from birth and continues throughout your life. Nowadays we feel more and more that the traditional way of learning, in which we start educating ourselves at the beginning of our lives, then work in one field until retirement, is changing. There are other ways to get education besides schools…and in this issue we are developing a new attitude towards learning…that of learning undertaken throughout life. Lifelong learning is becoming a part of the modern life or maybe it is just starting to get a name recognized in the society. My dear Wikipedia says that non-formal education became a part of international discourse in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Dear Wikipedia, I think you made a mistake - some people never went to school but they have professions, they are educated but in a different way; just now non-formal education gains a value in the society…Developing yourself as a professional, as a person in daily life, it’s becoming a necessary and obligatory everyday occurrence. You can’t escape from this. Learning is a part of your life. Yours, Aurelija Rimkutė

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CONTENT

4..........Sami sebe zaplićemo, sami rasplićemo

sebe

6..........Neformalno obrazivanje 7..........Petnica 8..........Predeparture training 9..........A day in a life of a camp participant 11.........No Peace for WAR 12..........EVS experience 15..........An American guy’s story

ПИГЕОН team Editor and coordinator

Proofreading

Contact

Aurelija Rimkutė

Jovana Srdic Stefan Janjić

Volonterski centar Vojvodine Njegoševa 3, 21000 Novi Sad tel/fax: +381 21 528644, mob. tel. +381 63 11 828 04 pigeon@volontiraj.rs The office’s working hours are 10 - 14 h ПИГЕОН

Authors Sonja Bratić Buck DeFore Stefan Janjić Daniela Pajić Jovana Srdic Valerie Weidinger

Design Jovana Amidžić Cover Sebastian Gobeur

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Sami sebe zaplićemo, sami sebe rasplićemo! - aktivno učešće mladih u donošenju odluka Svakog dana život sprema sto nevolja i problema, i pitanja sreću svuda: zašto, kako, gde i koga. Zato kad se problem stvori, piši, reši, odgovori. Mućni malo, dobro pazi, glavom kroz zid ne prolazi! Traži otvor, traži vrata, sve ne može ni tvoj tata! Sve ne može čak ni mama, traži sam i traži sama. Odgovora sam se seti sam razreši, sam raspleti.

Nekada davno, kada sam bila devojčica, pratila sam dečiju emisiju pod nazivom „Kolariću-paniću“, i danas sam (više sile blagoslovile Internet!) uspela da nađem tekst pesme sa najavne špice, koji mi se u delovima ukazivao dok sam sedela i smišljala šta da napišem o aktivnom učešću mladih, a da ne bude dosada i demagogija (ili bar ne samo to). Našla sam ja štošta, ima, ima Gugla, ima Vikipedije, ima sve, ima knjiga, učila sam škole i to što već sve ide, ali sam ipak najveću mudrost izrečenu na temu o kojoj pišem, pronašla u pesmici iznad. Danas, rekla bih, postoji bezbroj mistifikovanih pojmova, koji bi, što je najveći apsurd, trebalo, ako i kada se prevedu u delanje, da doprinesu boljoj slici sveta oko nas. Moguće je da i aktivno učešće mladih spada u taj koš (u smislu da mojoj babi definitivo ne bi bilo jasno šta je sad pa to), naročito kad se svede na „mrtvo slovo na papiru“ u raznim zakonima. Ako krenemo da, po principu „kolarićupaniću“ raspletemo sami to čudo koje se zove aktivno učešće mladih, iscrpnom i dubokom analizom ćemo doći do zaključka da tu neko u nečemu aktivno učestvuje i 4 ПИГЕОН July 2012

da je taj neko mlad, ili je ta neka mlada (ne ona mladoženjina). U čemu to uopšte mladi ljudi mogu i treba da učestvuju? U izlascima? U sportovima? U školskim/fakultetskim aktivnostima? U kućnim poslovima? U politici? U apolitici? U hijerarhiji? Ili možda u anarhiji? Odgovor je: u svemu! Mladi ljudi su bića koja ravnopravno i smelo koračaju ovom planetom, čije će staze da utabavaju još dugo i da je čine boljom i lepšom za neke mlade koji će da dođu na red posle njih i da urade nešto još bolje (mene je majka Revolucija (samo ne znam koja) vaspitavala da izgovaram ovako velike i bitne reči). E, svako to mlado biće u svakom trenutku treba da bude svesno da, ako želi da učestvuje u donošenju odluka koja se tiču društva u kom živi, niko ne sme da mu uskrati pravo da to i učini. Još ako ima i podršku drugih mladih (a, bogami nekad i nešto starijih), tu su onda dobri izgledi i za pravo aktiviranje i brzinsko zajedničko organizovanje, pa pravac do cilja! Mladi ljudi nisu neko ko ĆE samo nešto BITI, mladi ljudi JESU – sada i ovde! Takvo gledište stvara startnu poziciju za njihovo aktivno učešće u svetu koji nas okružuje i u kom svi imamo svoje potrebe, pa i mlad svet (vid’ ti njih!).


Da ne bi postalo predosadno i predugačko, ja ću sada da vam oktrijem i napišem ovde jedan VRH recept, koji datira od jednog drevnog naroda, karakterističnog po tome što su njegovi/e pripadnici/e dospevale/i najkasnije do tridesete godine života i nakon toga nisu starili/e. Nažalost, sustiglo ih je prokletstvo kada su se ulenjili/e i prestali/e da primenjuju taj recept, tako da su nakon nekog vremena izumrli/e. JUF PARCIPEJŠN Sastojci: - nekoliko mladih ljudi (ili malo ili mnogo više od nekoliko) - neko stariji (ili više njih) - neko društvo - neki problem - želja za promenom

uličnu akciju, otputujte negde i naučite nešto novo, tražite rešenja i pišite ih na papir, crtajte ih, držite radionice o tome, širite svoj glas... Možda nećete baš odmah rešiti problem siromaštva i ratova u svetu, ali ćete dati do znanja da ne želite da živite okruženi time i rasplešćete par zamršenih niti od kojih ćete moći da napravite malo klupko, pa će ono da postaje sve veće, i veće, i veće... Jer, vi ste glavni sastojak JUF PARCIPEJŠN recepta! By: Sonja Bratić

Način pripreme: Nekoliko (ili više) mladih ljudi započnu razgovor o društvu u kom žive. Shvate da im se ne sviđa baš sve (a može biti i da im se ne sviđa baš ništa). Sednu svi zajedno i nabroje šta je tačno to što im se ne sviđa. Iseckaju oštrim kuhinjskim nožem to na komadiće i raspodele u različite posude. Dolaze oni nešto stariji i svi zajedno dodaju začine i melju te sastojke, da bi ih na kraju pretvorili u nešto sasvim novo i apsolutno jestivo. Napomena: Recept u nekim slučajevima može biti manje ili više uspešan, u zavisnosti od toga koliko dobro su identifikovani problemi, u kakvom je stanju u tom trenutku društvo i koliko su onih nekoliko starijih spremni da učestvuju. Ipak, ono što je najbitnije da se zapamti, jeste da od njega nikada ne treba odustajati, jer će jednom sigurno da uspe, a onda će da ide sve bolje! Ako si stigao ili stigla do ovih redova, to znači da u ovom trenutku sediš ispred nekog čuda tehnike i s pažnjom čitaš najnoviji broj PIGEONA. Ako se pitaš kako sad baš ti da nekako uzmeš stvar u svoje ruke, pozovi svoje prijatelje i razgovarajte o tome šta vas muči, javite se da napišete nešto o tome, idite u neku organizaciju koja radi sa mladima (na primer u VCV ), smislite July 2012 ПИГЕОН 5


Neformalno obrazovanje među srednjoškolcima Osnovno školovanje u Srbiji je obavezno, dok srednju školu biramo da li hoćemo da završimo. Možemo da upišemo gimnaziju, opštu, jezičku, matematičku ili društvenu, ili pak da se već nakon srednje skole odlučimo za neku specijanu školu, shodno našim zanimanjima i interesovanjima... Škole sve nas spremaju za buduće fakultete i poslove koje ćemo raditi i hiljade đaka uspešno ili manje uspešno završavaju te škole... S obzirom na to da živimo u svetu stalnog napretka i tehnologije, sa sve većim standardima, neophodno je stalno učenje novih saznanja i svakako je neophodna jedinstvanost, posebnost u svetu mnogobrojnih obrazovanih ljudi. Ta nova saznanja i individualnost svakako nam pruža neformalno učenje. Različiti kursevi, treninzi, radionice, seminari, vanškolske aktivnosti... sve to spada u neformalno učenje. Međutim, nažalost, među srednjoškolcima neformalno obrazovanje u Srbiji i nije baš popularno, a o tome svedoči i činjenica da veliki broj njih ne zna ni šta je to i šta u njega spada. U srednjim školama imamo najčešće radionice-sekcije koje podstiču talentovanu decu- dramska sekcija i hor. Takođe, ukoliko srednje škole imaju i svoj magazin, postoji novinarska sekcija. Što se tiče sporta kao jednog vida neformalnog obrazovanja, možemo reći da su za njega mladi najviše zainteresovani i da se u dosta škola obrazuju fudbalski, odbojkaški i košarkaški timovi. Velika je šteta što se u školama vrlo retko održavaju radionice i to opet najčešće one obrazovanog tipa - preventivne, protiv droge, alkohola, polno prenosivih bolesti... Mladima sa željom da nauče nešto novo jedino ostaje prilika da sami istraže lokalne centre i klubove u gradu i saznaju šta oni nude. Reči o kursevima, obukama i volontiranju najviše se mogu naći na specijalizovanim sajtovima napravljenim za tačno određene grupe ljudi. U ovom slučaju to je portal za srednjoškolce koji sve njih iz čitave Srbije obaveštava o događajima, radionicama, 6 ПИГЕОН July 2012

kursevima, pozivima za volontiranje, kampove, a nalazi se na adresi www. mingl.rs Upravo sam preko ovog sajta saznala i za Volonterski centar Vojvodine, ali i pronašla zanimljiva mesta za volontiranje, kao na primer u Svratištu za decu ulice, ili pak seminare u Kuturnom centru Novog Sada i CK13. Preko ovog sajta možete saznati za različita udruženja i asocijacije mladih kao na primer JAZAS, AISEC, AYUSA... Svi ovi kursevi su besplatni i potrebno je samo malo volje i vremena i možete učiniti nešto dobro za sebe, za druge, upoznati nove ljude, steći prijatelje, otputovati negde... Što se tiče kurseva koji se plaćaju, oni su često zastupljeni i u medijima i dosta njih su skupi i ne garantuju znanje. Tako se često u magazinima na akademijama poznatih šminkera i fizera nude kursevi šminkanja, manikira, pedikira... U Novom Sadu obuke za dosta zanata se vrše u Novosadskom radničkom otvorenom univerzitetu gde po pristupačnim cenama možete naučiti da budete masažer, negovatelj, frizer... Shodno željama i mogućnostima, ubeđena sam da je svako neformalno obrazovanje izuzetno korisno i dobro jer pored toga što je ono izabrano na dobrovoljnoj bazi omogućava nam da širimo nase vidike, budemo posebni i da u zivotu dostignemo nove ciljeve. By: Daniela Pajić


PETNICA – PLASTENIK ZA TALENTE društvu knjiških moljaca, u razmeni ideja sa malim naučnicima koji se ni po čemu ne uklapaju u stereotipnu sliku štrebera iz američkih filmova. Oni ne nose naočare sa debelim crnim okvirom, nisu ružni i ne spavaju sa knjigom. Naprotiv, zabavni su, šale se, sviraju gitaru, pevaju pod mesečinom i sastavljaju satirične pesme (jednom smo zakasnili na predavanje, pa smo dobili zadatak da napišemo pesmu na temu „Razmišljanja jedne kokoške o teoriji relativiteta“). Učili smo, gledali Jupiterove satelite u mini-opservatoriji, lutali po hodnicima pećina prvog srpskog vampira, Save Savanovića, iskopavali delove posuda i oruđa na arheološkom nalazištu, sklapali pazle od 8000 delova (o istoriji sveta). O duhu Petnice govori i činjenica da je ta slagalica uspešno sklopljena. Nijedan delić nije zafalio! Sastavljale su je desetine ljudi, a niko nije izgubio deo, nikome nije Za ljubitelje kopi-pejst internetskih palo na pamet da ukrade iz pakosti makar definicija, evo nekoliko suštinski bitnih jedan od 8000 delova. Od te Petnice ostalo rečenica: Istraživačka stanica Petnica (ISP) mi je nekoliko kontakata, nekoliko lepih je samostalna i nezavisna organizacija sećanja i identifikaciona kartica na kojoj koja se bavi razvojem naučne kulture, sam izgledao kao gospodin od pre dve naučne pismenosti, obrazovanja i kulture. rečenice. Aktivnosti ISP su najvećim delom usmerene na mlade – na učenike i studente. Stanica Druga Petnica dogodila se u prvom je osnovana 1982. godine i nalazi se u razredu srednje škole. Tada seminar više nije bio opšteg tipa, već sam se prijavio blizini istoimenog sela u okolini Valjeva. na lingvistiku. Slušali smo predavanja, jeli Nikada dotad nisam izlazio iz Srbije, pa u simpatičnoj menzi, pravili prezentacije bih mogao da kažem da me je upravo (ja o takozvanim „lažnim prijateljima“, Petnica naučila koliko je svet velik. Nije, međujezičkim homonimima). Za kraj sam ruku na srce, bilo stranih predavača, niti dobio zadatak da napišem rad o Sapirvršnjaka sa drugih kontinenata. Svi su oni Vorfovoj hipotezi. Ponovo sjajni ljudi, doputovali najdalje iz Bara ili Banjaluke. simpatični predavači, svemir ideja i nešto Međutim, koliko je učešće u Letnjoj naučnoj bolja slika na identifikacionoj kartici. školi bilo helijum za balon mog ega, toliko Pored lingvistike, možete se prijaviti na je svest o broju pametnih ljudi koji te seminare astronomije, arheologije, fizike, matematike, biohemije, okružuju bila precizna, oštra igla. Nisi više računarstva, jedini koji diže ruku kada predavač pita psihologije, istorije, antropologije... nešto što ne piše u udžbeniku. Ne dobijaš pohvale na račun stare slave. Nema više I, da sve ne bi ličilo na reklamni letak: jasne hijerarhije štrebera i lenjivaca. Tamo propuštate školu nedelju dana! Koliko god deluje kao da svi sve znaju. A ako nešto i ne to primamljivo delovalo, predstavljaće vam znaju – žele da nauče. Moj razred i grupa problem da se vratite na tradicionalni sistem na LNŠ bili su dve hemisfere: odjednom učenja, kao i da nadoknadite izgubljene sam se našao u plasteniku talenata, u sate sna. Spava se u osmokrevetnim Kada se prisećam najsrećnijih događaja u svom životu, pamtim detalje, atmosferu, temperaturu, mirise, jačinu vetra i visinu skoka u naletu prve sreće. Išao sam u sedmi razred, ali me mrzi da razmišljam koja je to godina bila, budući da me takve računice navode da se osećam matoro i prosto mi dođe da sam sebi persiram iz poštovanja prema godinama. Dakle, išao sam u sedmi razred, vraćao se iz škole, a mama je držala belu kovertu u koju staje list A4 formata kada se presavije na tri jednaka dela. Pretrčao sam preko jarka, zgrabio papir kojim sam obavešten da sam primljen u Letnju naučnu školu i tada je otpočela serija iščitavanja tokom koje sam uspeo da napamet naučim kompletno pismo. Taj dvonedeljni kurs bio je stvar prestiža, mala nagrada za ego i boldovana teza moje dotadašnje biografije.

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sobama u kojima nema mesta ni za osam mačaka, a kamoli osam ljudi. (Ako se nešto u pogledu kvaliteta smeštaja promenilo od tada, praštajte ovu grešku.) Dnevno imate po sedam časova, a svaki traje sat i po vremena. Koliki god da vam je entuzijazam, budite spremni na mogućnost da će splasnuti. Većina škola ne finansira boravak svojih učenika u istraživačkoj stanici, pa ćete troškove najverovatnije morati da plaćate sami. Tri decenije stvorile su od ove stanice instituciju. Ako smatrate da ste talentovani, prijavite se. Saznaćete mnogo toga o oblasti koja vas interesuje. Ali i o samima sebi. By: Stefan Janjić

Pre-departure training In June VCV offered two pre-departure trainings to its volunteers. These trainings are designed and are obligatory for volunteers leaving for workcamps for the first time. They aim at preparing the volunteers for their experience and giving them information about the Service Civil International movement of which they become a part by joining a camp. As I have done these trainings many years with the volunteers of SCI Austria, I also lead the trainings for the new Serbian outgoing volunteers and was very happy to meet them and hear about their motivations and ideas. After meeting each other and presenting the camps that we will visit I played a game with them to introduce the history, methods (workcamps) and the ideas of SCI. After this we discussed, also using a method of non-formal education, what volunteering is and what it means as well as why they wish to volunteer. Following a short lunch break then we talked about their hopes and fears. Everyone leaving for a foreign country and doing their new project has some fears and hopes connected with this and we spent our time discussing them and giving each other pieces of advice. Furthermore they learned the rights and responsibilities as volunteers on workcamps. In the end we did two different workshops concerned with conflict resolution, team building and intercultural communication.

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Although I did a lot of talking to explain the different concepts, methods, rights and responsibilities, the participants themselves learned to a great part by oberserving themselves and others in the workshops and they also shared impressions, stories and pieces of advice in the discussions. I could have given them power point presentations and I could have held long lectures on SCI, workcamps and what intercultural communication is, but like the majority in SCI I chose non-formal educational methods to give the participants the chance to learn while acting and not while passively listening and to learn from each other. Note: If you missed this training but wish for some preparation in case you are going to a camp for the first time, please send an email to vcv.workcamps@gmail.com, and I will meet you for a coffee to talk about SCI, workcamps and your hopes and fears. By Valerie Weidinger


A DAY IN A LIFE OF A CAMP PARTICIPANT

July 23rd, 2012 Rupit, Catalonia, Spain Waking up at 8 with my eyes glued to the limestone ceiling. Oh yeah, I’m not home. In fact, I’m a plane ride and a train ride and a minibus ride away from home. Let’s make sure that the view from the Catalan hillside is as breathtaking as it was yesterday. Yes, qué hermoso! Breakfast in the main room; quaint carved wooden shelves and clay whitewashed walls; menu: whole-wheat bread with olive oil and cherry tomato spread with a pinch of sea salt. Some lettuce with balsamico dressing. Arnie said he’d have to be back on his regular diet of butter and sausages ASAP so as not to lose any more of his precious love handles. The gathering is outside the limestone terrace houses; one by one the participants arrive, first Aniko, the Hungarian girl (visited Tibet for a meditation training), Ignacio (Chilean, medicine, plays banjo), Gullaume (Belgian, speaks four languages), Arnie (English, the ornithologist, has a flair for insects as well, our mentor!) and the rest of the group is picking up. The butterfly catchers are on their way! Local children run cheerfully around us, asking to borrow the catching nets and chattering something in Spanish. We promise them they could help us, only

if they’re careful. One of them puts a flower in the German girl’s but crack when she stopped to tie her shoelace. What cheekiness! :D The butterfly hunt begins. The hunters exclaim ‘maravilloso’ whenever they catch a majestic specimen. By the end of the day we have collected and photographed 172 different species. My portfolio is getting bigger every second. The group in the adjacent village invited us for the barbecue and beer. They are involved in refurbishing the medieval Romanic church and we have come to see their accomplishment. I have to admire the

beauty of it; it seems like out of this world. I feel like on the film set of Belle Epoque. The B&B (barbecue and beer) evening. Making a presentation of your country is mandatory. Hm, how to translate

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šljivovica...? No need for translation there, one sip was enough for everyone to get the picture the Chilean guy and the Mexican guy discussing whether Corona is better than Czech beer. ‘Sonos Buenos, le dos’, I say, hoping I got it right. Very pleased with getting better at Spanish! Spoken English has reached ‘level: Expert’ with a little practice. Upon our return, I’m a bit overwhelmed with fatigue and the impressions of my stay here in Catalonia. Feeling quite proud with my accomplishments. My ecology studies finally started to get some sense now with some field practice, and the languages I have had the chance to improve, the visit to the different part of the world, meeting some interesting people. I got the feeling of slight surprise and pride in myself, for being able to adjust to the big wide world (no wonder because all I knew was my hometown, my studies and countrymen). Passing that Statistics exam doesn’t seem so unattainable now It will be hard to say hasta siempre to Catalonia. I’m anxious to see what else life has got in store for me! Ana, 22, ecology student (A mock diary) By Jovana Srdic

*Pictures were taken from http://mardenpix.smugmug.com/Travel/ Catalonia-countryside-NE-Spain/15132765_HvnQzW/1301690592_ FFMFNBF#!i=1878715223&k=XqrGpzw 10 ПИГЕОН July 2012


No Borders for Peace – The Peace Caravan in Novi Sad is almost here will in the office of VCV host a get-toknow evening, where the participants will be introduced to the local volunteers and the organization and we will get the chance to hear about them. (if you wish to join this please inform us beforehand!)

The training for Peace caravan “Preparing for Peace” in Scotland, March, 2012

Your next chance to see us in action will be the 20th from 10 am to 1 pm in the city center, where we will hold a colorful streetaction for peace. Also on the 22nd in the evening you will be able to find us in Dunavski park, where we will hold a human library, which means that you get the chance to talk to each of the volunteers individually about peace, their motivation to be on the Peace Caravan, the project and many other things.

We would like the take the chance to thank all our supporters! - European Youth If you have been following the Pigeon over Foundation, Oš Đorđe Natošević, Museum the last months you have been warned of Vojvodina and Radio Novi Sad ;-) and you have read a lot about the Peace Caravan. (if you want to learn about By Valerie Weidinger the overall project, check the old Pigeon editions and www.no-more-war.net) This month – from the 18th until the 24th of A participant from streetactions organized July – it will finally arrive in Novi Sad and in 2011 by “No more war” team you can all come visit us, see us and talk to us! On the 18th during the day the 16 volunteers travelling on the Peace Caravan will arrive and make themselves familiar with the city. They come from different countries in Europe and even from outside of Europe, e.g. Mexico. They are eager to learn about Novi Sad and Serbia in total, share about their own places of origin and experiences and discuss about peace and you will have many chances to meet them. Already on the day of their arrival we July 2012 ПИГЕОН 11


EVS experience You’re wondering what EVS is? According to the European Commission, it’s a unique chance to improve educational and professional development for young people. Give us 10 minutes and discover it through our experiences!

What motivated me to do EVS Ângelo: I studied filmmaking and I wanted a chance to practice before I continue studying (PhD) and EVS provided that chance and would even allow me to get to know a new culture and grow as a person. I write my own project, I make films and photos for my organization and do cinema workshops, so I was motivated in volunteering in my area. Ilona: To be a volunteer. Darjan: Before even knowing what EVS is, I`ve already decided that I wanted to move and start a new life in Belgrade. Through a friend of mine I`ve found out about EVS, checked if it`s possible to do my volunteering service in Serbia and after getting a positive answer I filled out all the papers. The rest is history... Virgille: My motivation to do an EVS project was to have one year to discover the other part of the world and to get to know myself at the same time. Sara: I wanted to take a break between a high school and a University. Ângelo from Portugal, EVS in Vranje, Serbia

The First impression Ângelo: I already knew the city, the people and the country a little bit, but everyone was very nice, welcoming into their houses and among families, I advise other volunteers to come to Vranje also. Ilona: The country - very beautiful nature; people - friendly; weather - very hot. Darjan: I`ve been to Belgrade many times before starting my EVS so I had none of the culture shock. Belgrade was a familiar city, it had everything I was looking for so moving there was like taking a seat at a table covered with great, delicious and familiar food. You know what you get and you know it`s going to taste exactly as you expect it – awesome.

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Ilona from Latvia, EVS in Podgorice, Montenegro


Sara: I don’t remember very well but it was good. I didn’t have any expectations so everything that came along was good. Virgille: Everything looks crazy like the hotel in Sarajevo or the cool life offered in project.

The most delightful surprise Ângelo: My other EVS colleagues are wonderful, they arrived 3 months after me and it was great to have more people to share the experience of EVS. Ilona: Unexpected presents from friends and family.

Darjan from Slovenia, EVS in Beograd

Virgille from France, EVS in Novi Sad, Serbia

Darjan: The fact that everything turned out exactly as I`ve expected, many things exceeded my expectations and that was quite a nice thing to see happening – realizing the move I`ve made was the wise and right one. Virgille: Because of training where you make lot of contact you have the possibility to travel almost Sara: That I had the chance to travel a lot and almost without money.

The most akward incident Ângelo: Most of my friends are either gay or bisexual (something surprising for Serbia) and it’s sad to see sometimes that local population have a closed mentality and shoe their disrespect for them by calling them names when they see them. My girlfriend had warned me about that before I came, that the Balkans tends to be a bit homophobic. It’s awkward when you walk in the street and some guy calls “Hey dyke” to your friend just because she has no problem assuming she doesn’t like boys. Ilona: It is a hard question. I had no awkward incident, but it is difficult when you need to accept that project is not good and you can`t change anything to make it better; such things can happen sometime. Darjan: Nothing ever happened to me that I can regard as an »incident«. I had good and bad moments but I took it as part of life and tried to get the best out of it, as cheesy as it sounds, it`s the truth. Incidents are just situations we are not ready to face at that specific moment ;) Virgille: YOU ARE POOR! July 2012 ПИГЕОН 13


Sara: There wasn’t any incident maybe just that I had less work to do that the one I was told.

MY conclusion - is the EVS killing or filling time? Ângelo: I don’t mean to brag but some people say that my EVS experience is uncommon because I work a lot and I am really providing a quality volunteer service. I think I can only complain about too much work. But since I like making movies and photos, I would say it’s a time well spent. I learned a lot during these 7 months and improved my skills as a filmmaker, designer and teacher.

Sara from Catalonia, EVS in Skopje, Macedonia

Ilona: Projects can be very good on paper but not in reality and sometimes you can feel that it kills your time, but I can’t say it about EVS in general. In my experience EVS fills time with emotions and a lot of new things and knowledge, new friends etc., and it matters to a person. Darjan: EVS is a great opportunity to achieve something in your life. It gives you all the tools you need but it`s up to you to use them in the best way possible. It`s easy for unmotivated, spoiled and lazy people to point fingers at the EVS program and blame everything and everybody else for not taking full advantage of what EVS can give you and considering your volunteer experience a failure, it`s hard to motivate yourself and see the golden opportunity the program gives you. It can change lives for good. It changed mine. And a year after the end of my EVS I`m still living in Belgrade and doing exactly what I`ve set as my goals back in the days... Virgille: EVS is a really, really good experience, I recommend it to everyone! Sara: Filling time. There is no experience of 9 months that can kill time. Everyone of us have a different experience of EVS but if you want to make a conclusion I would say that it’s the opportunity to explore a new perspective of living and to discover more about yourself. It’s a process of learning about life in a different way to which we are used to. Enjoy Life Opportunities! By Aurelija Rimkutė *You can get more information about this program via http://ec.europa.eu/youth/ youth-in-action-programme/european-voluntary-service_en.htm. 14 ПИГЕОН July 2012


An American guy’s story I’m a complicated American. I’ve come from a small town of about 600 people in rural New York state, only ten minutes away from the Canadian border, where many of my ancestors are from. From a young age I wanted to break from the limitations of small-town America and subsequently chose a university far from home on the West Coast of USA, and have ever since been moving around regularly. I’m a big fan of doing things that are so stupidly ambitious that the response to failure is more productive than success would have What are you doing in your life? been. How did you gain the education? How Following college, like many Americans, I was saddled with lots of student loans, are you developing yourself? and it was one of that hardest periods of y life. You My university program allowed me to change m graduate my major several times, unofficially and “I wanted to so many officially. At various points I was a physics, w i t h break from the a n d literature, and Asian Studies major, before i d e a s limitations of ideals, finally settling on a Mathematics degree. small-town have few Naturally I had a lot of coursework related a n d America” options to other subjects, and I’m mostly satisfied a b o u t that I focused on breadth rather than depth. to go applying I feel that learning happens best when you focus on what you’re poor at (relative them unless you work really hard. Even to others) because it usually requires a though I was more interested in what we significant reconsideration of what you’re call ‘liberal arts’, I managed to survive doing, and if you’re successful, results in a by focusing my computer skills into big change from what you thought before. programming and changing jobs regularly It’s important not to think of

“A lot of education follows a factory or industrial process - right and wrong – and doesn’t focus on making learning fun” learning as work - it shouldn’t feel like a burden or something you have to grind through. Have something fun and you’ll actively keep coming back to it. July 2012 ПИГЕОН 15


to gain different experience. After nearly ten years, I’m now pretty What is your opinion about good at it and my career formal and informal, non“I’m a product of has created a reliable formal education? Which good times and bad financial stability, which of do you prefer? Which times” itself has enabled me to one of them has the biggest take time off for creative (strongest) influence on pursuits that compensate your personality? for living inside a logic box, which is what programming can often feel like. I’m glad you bring up education because I do feel that the conventional school process How did you decide to travel? can have significant flaws depending on the subject and how it is taught. You might get a I only stumbled into it during a university better explanation from someone formally research project, but once I started, I trained in teaching methods. I do think that realized travel is the best school there is. There’s no class to go to, there’s no grades, and your only limit is your own inclination to keep challenging yourself. You have to take it seriously, but also avoid planning excessively or chasing goals. For a lot of people, travel is just a holiday, seeking out beaches and luxury, often as an escape from drudgery at home. A lot of places cater to this kind of travel (the entire Mediterranean coast comes to mind) and they’re generally not very enjoyable to me. Serbia was a wonderful antithesis of this for me. Throughout my time there, I was learning. Learning about the history, the culture, the daily life of people there - both how they worked and some things just don’t transfer well from a had fun - and I wouldn’t trade that time of teacher/student model. Especially as the my life for time on a beach anywhere. definition of passing or failing becomes increasingly standardized, school learning focuses on memorization and doesn’t reward intuition, practice, and exploration. This is acceptable for the basics of arithmetic or history, but falls short for abstract algebra and innovative research. A lot of education follows a factory or industrial process - right and wrong – and doesn’t focus on making learning fun. It especially fails, I think, to convey the purpose of learning another language. Aside from English which is global, I wouldn’t recommend anyone bother learning a language until they can live where it is spoken. 16 ПИГЕОН July 2012


Which personal experience was the most meaningful in your life? That’s a really hard one. I can’t think of any event in my life as more meaningful than another. I’m a product of good times and bad times. I could say that one of the most meaningful experiences I had was the death of my father. Or I could say that it was embarking on a year of travel. I suppose the most meaningful and impactful moments of my life happened so early in life that I cannot remember them. I owe a great deal to my parents and family in general, it’s how I learned to enjoy life and the people we share it with. Empathy. That resonates through everything we do. As much as we have these big epiphanies that change us, we shouldn’t lose track of where happiness comes from. I think the easiest epiphany to find is just doing something nice for someone else. By Buck DeFore Now Buck is in Tokyo...learning a new culture. Exploring. Discovering.

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WORKCAMPS

AT- SCI 3.2: “Paths of Peace” 2012, Carinthia Austria 28.7.-11.8.2012

Peace and Disarmament Many traces of the First World War were left in the mountains between the Ortler Group and the Isonzo River during the years 1915-18. Since 1983, the “Friends of the Dolomites” have been most active around the Plöckenpass area in the border region between Austria and Italy. The beautiful mountain landscape of the Carnic Ridge creates a marvellous backdrop to show visitors the soldier’s frontline environment in which such senseless suffering and hardship took place. In the work camps of the Open Air Museum of the Great War in the mountains (19151917), on the Kleinen Pal (Plöcken Pass) there are many tasks that must be achieved: Clearing and maintaining, as well as marking the existing trails; applying wood varnish protector to wooden structures; mounting or placement of information boards; excavation and clearance of war time trenches and shelters (caverns) as well as reconstructing collapsed rock walls. Study Theme: Here you can combine the experience of being in some of the most beautiful natural surroundings with locations where history took place. In your free time you can visit the village museum or undertake hikes on the various trails (as well as the Geotrail) and climb around the surrounding mountains. Language: German/English/Italian

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UA-SVI 1.1: DOBRE RAZOM (Kharkiv) The Ukraine 8.9. - 22.9.2012 Topic: Anti-racism, Anti-fascism, Refugees and Ethnic Minorities The project is continuing a series of workcamps against racism and xenophobia. It is dedicated to the topics of anti-racism, anti-fascism and anti-totalitarianism. This year there will be a special focus on memorial places important both locally and internationally: Drobytsky Yar, a ravine near Kharkiv where 16,000 people, mainly Jews, were shot during WW2 by the invading Nazi troops, and the Polish cemetery, where the victims of the Katyn massacre and other victims of the Stalinist totalitarian regime are buried. During the workcamp, volunteers will work with materials of Kharkiv Holocaust museum, create and present educational materials for children and young people using creative and experimental educational methods (as documentary theater), organize meetings and discussions for children with former forced workers and prisoners. They will visit Drobytsky Yar and the Polish cemetery, research about these memorial sites, collect materials for educational activities and prepare them and conduct presentations at schools. Study Theme: History of WW2 in Kharkiv and the region, remembrance and learning from the history, situation with racism and xenophobia, meetings with NGOs, visits to museums and memorial sites.

CH-SCI 10.1: HERZBERG (Asp) Switzerland 22.7.-5.8.2012 Topic: Ideology and Spirituality The “Herzberg Centre” on the Jura hills above the town of Aarau was founded 70 years ago in order to educate adults according to the Scandinavian model. Almost as traditional is its co-operation with SCI Switzerland. All over the year, the Centre organizes events on topics like Nature, Philosophy, Culture and Politics. Another focus is music weeks. Type of Work: prepare stocks of wood, weeding the SCI path, mending a labyrinth Study Theme: The camp coordinator is part of the international SCI working group promoting ‘NoMoreWar’ workcamps. She or he will prepare a study part on implications of sustainable development for world peace.

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