MAY AT SVITAC (FIREFLY) – volunteer’s blog
Hi! My name is Trevor Waters, and I’m the newest international volunteer to Svitac (Firefly), having arrived on May 14th. For the part of May that I can speak on, Svitac (Firefly) has been host to wonderful daily youth workshops, a few special events and some new visitors, as well as been represented at two international conferences!
The twice-daily youth workshops continue to entertain both participants and volunteers alike. In the month of May participants (and at least one volunteer) saw themselves sewing handbags, participating in a percussion circle, singing songs, learning about the English names for the planets (hosted by yours truly), and even getting to have class outside a few times. The end-of-workshop, multi-event sport activities organized by Erasmus+ volunteer Vedat Yalçın – including friendly head-to-head number-matching, Ping-Pong ball-blowing, and clothes-hangar-clipping games – were also a treat.
Svitac (Firefly) also held two community events in May. On May 18th, we hosted a screening of the Spring 2018 Future Shorts programme (see main article on Svitac blog). Future Shorts is a short-film festival powered by a worldwide community of screening partners. The five short-films included in this Spring’s screening were The Fall of Lenin, Encarnacion, Tough, After School Knife Fight, and Wannabe. After the Future Shorts programme the audience was treated to a selection of finger foods from the home countries of our international volunteers – Turkey, Germany, and the US. (see photos)
The second community event took place on May 31st, when Svitac (Firefly) and the members of the ASUBiH Local Team Brčko launched the Eco Project, an effort to raise awareness about global warming and protecting the environment (main article). The participants and Svitac (Firefly) volunteers were on the street from 11am to 2pm, promoting the importance of a clean and healthy environment, explaining the project’s goal, and distributing inviting people to a screening of a documentary about the environment later in the evening at the Youth centre. Attendees to the Movie Night that evening watched Before the Flood, a documentary about the reality of global warming. The event was a great opportunity to learn something new, talk to others and together be part of a small, but better change for the future. (see photos)
Since arriving Svitac (Firefly) has also welcomed a few visitors from its parent organization, Firefly International. Tor Crawley, the international administrator for Firefly International, and her son Harry, arrived from the UK on May 29th and stayed with us in Brčko until June 1st. I got to spend a lot of time with Harry in particular and found him to be a very well-rounded young man. One of the most memorable moments from their visit was when Harry, in an afternoon workshop, taught the class how to play a version of rugby called “Hoickball”; all the volunteers and participants played at the same time which made for a whirlwind of fun.
Finally, from the 18th to 25th of May, Svitac (Firefly) representatives Miloš Popić, Zerina Kurtović, Slađana Bašić, Stefan Savčić and Sanel Delić attended the International Peace Academy 2018 in Dresden, Germany. The topic of the conference was “What’s the World Worth to You?” The event drew 400 participants from almost 40 countries, who gathered to find out where and why our world is in a precarious situation and what we can do about it. (see photos)
Daily Coordinator Adin Midžić also participated in a conference from 21st to 26th of May, in Popova Šapka, Tetovo, Macedonia, entitled, “Partner Conference: Strengthening our Networks of Weltwarts Organisations in the Balkans” (main article). Topics at the event included how to improve the volunteer application process, how to choose volunteers from various backgrounds, how to provide them with skills needed in their place of assignment, and how volunteers can best implement what they learn while abroad upon their return. Another important topic addressed how the decision of some volunteers to stay in Germany after their service is affecting the program.
All in all it was very exciting to be a Svitac (Firefly) participant or volunteer during the month of May, and I look forward to all that will happen in June.
Hvala puno! (Thank you very much!)
Trevor Waters, Omprakash/Svitac (Firefly) volunteer