In August 2019, volunteers from « youngcaritas Mannheim » traveled to Warsaw for a week. On-site, they worked with other young people on two social projects.
« EUphoria » is an exchange project between Warsaw and Mannheim. It is supported by Erasmus+.
The idea is to work together to promote European dialogue and experience a lively exchange with young people on site.
The Caritas in Mannheim and Warsaw have had a close relationship for seven years. At this time there were many different cooperations. However never before an exchange between young people. This we changed that in August 2019.
We started on Sunday, the 4th of August. Due to some problems we canceled our actual flight and took a later one. This created some time to get to know each other better within the German group.
Welcome in Warsaw
On Monday, we were warmly welcomed and played a few games to meet the other young people. This awakened in us sympathy and interest in further shared experiences.
Then we visited a facility for homeless people. It was very interesting to see what differences and similarities between Germany and Poland are.
This week we only spoke English – an exciting experience for all of us. Especially if we tried to talk about creative ideas or other things. Often we had to reach for the hands and feet to communicate:)
In the afternoon we got a city tour. In three hours we saw the old town, parts of the ghetto and other landmarks of Warsaw.
On Tuesday we continued to get acquainted. We collected new creative ideas for social projects and sorted them according to « feasibility and interest ». Fortunately, we were able to implement two projects immediately.
It became intense and talkative
On Wednesday morning we visited a kindergarten of Caritas. This day was the most intense, entertaining, creative, exhausting and most enjoyable day to discuss because we worked on the ideas of the previous day in different groups. Two barcamps and four rounds of discussion were needed to get the right results. On this day we already organized the first materials for our projects.
On Thursday we visited the places of action. It was a nursing home and a Zyntia, a facility for homeless people. We divided the group into two parts. In the early morning, both groups organized the last materials. Then they started their work. During this time the young people sanded, painted, built, planted, sang and danced. At the end of the day, 16 volunteers accomplished two wonderful projects. On Friday we handed over our results to the two facilities.
A garden, painting, chairs and new friendships
In the first establishment, we laid a small « garden of the senses ». We built « boxes of the senses ». We filled crates with various materials to test his senses. For example, there were « feeling boxes » and « olfactory boxes ».
The second group was also very creative. They redesigned the chairs in the dining room. They also built two benches made of old pallets. They added to their work a large painting. It shows a hummingbird and a flower meadow. Homeless people were included in the design of the painting.
Besides our work in the facilities, we also had time for ourselves. We were able to explore the city in smaller groups. A few teenagers from Warsaw showed us their favorite places.
Our time in Warsaw not only had advantages for the two institutions because we participants had a lot of fun as well. We have made a lot of new contacts and also made close friendships.
Next summer we continue!
On Saturday we had to say goodbye after to final discussions, a reflection of the week and a delicious Polish meal. The good news is, this week was just the first part of this project. In the coming summer, in return, young people from Warsaw will come to us in Mannheim. Then we will show them our city and also work on social projects. We are looking forward to this time together in which we will live European cohesion!
A report by Annika Sutter
You can also follow our journey on Facebook:
#EUphoria Tag 1: Gestern ging unsere Reise nach #Warschau zum ersten #youngcaritas #summercamp los. Leider hatten wir dabei wenig Glück: 😣😥Zuerst hatte unsere #Zug Verspätung. 🚄 Dann saßen wir eine Stunde im #Flieger auf dem Rollfeld, der aufgrund technischer Probleme dann gar nicht erst abfliegen konnte. 🛩✈ Also gings zurück zum #Terminal, wieder zum #Check in. Glücklicherweise konnten unsere Flüge umgebucht werden.🥳 Den ganzen Tag verbrachten wir dann fröhlich am #Flughafen, bis wir um 23:00 endlich in #Warschau gelandet sind. 🇮🇩 Müde, kaputt und glücklich am Ziel zu sein, erreichten wir um 0:00 Uhr unsere #Ferienwohnung. 🏠😴Was für ein aufregender Start in diese Woche 😅😃#youngcaritas #Mannheim #Ehrenamt #warsaw #erasmus #aufregung #müdigkeit #schläfchen #Boarding #notboarding #airport #coffeeandcake #dutyfree
Gepostet von youngcaritas Mannheim am Montag, 5. August 2019
#EUphoria Tag 2: Nachdem unser Start etwas holprig war, sind wir ausgeschlafen und mit guter Laune in den gestrigen Tag…
#EUphoria Tag 3: Bei traumhaftem Wetter durften wir heute das medical center und das Hospiz des #Caritasverbandes #Warschau kennenlernen. 🌼☀️Im Anschluss haben wir gemeinsam mit allen Teilnehmer*innen mögliche Ideen für unser soziales Projekt gebrainstormed. 📒Unglaublich wie schnell unsere beiden Gruppen zusammengewachsen sind.👫👬👭 So wurde sogar am Nachmittag gemeinsam Warschau unsicher gemacht 🙂 #Ehrenamt #gemeinschaft #warsaw #erasmus #poland #youngcaritas #summercamp #austausch #youthexchange #sun
Gepostet von youngcaritas Mannheim am Dienstag, 6. August 2019
#EUphoria Tag 4: Der bisher kurzweiligste, intensivste, kreativste, konkretisierendste, erschöpfendste,…
#EUphoria Tag 5: Wow! Was wir heute alles geschafft haben. Es war ganz schön beglückend endlich anzupacken. Unermüdlich…
#EUphoria Tag 6:Gestern war es nun endlich soweit: die beiden Gruppen präsentierten ihre sozialen Projekte. Die…
#EUphoria Tag 7Samstag, 15:00 Uhr Eine Gruppe von 11 jungen Personen steht am Flughafen in #Warschau. Alle sind etwas…
Dankeschön an alle, die diese Woche so unvergesslich und schön gestaltet haben!! Es ist großartig so tolle Kollegen und Kolleginnen in Mannheim und Warschau zu haben!!