JUNE AT SVITAC (FIREFLY) – volunteer’s blog

Well now, we have a lot to fill you in on regarding the goings on here at Svitac (Firefly) this June; we have had some great volunteers come and some amazing volunteers leave us to return home, taken part in various meetings involving the future of our NGO, and developed new and interesting lesson plans and styles to help educate the youth who constantly attend our workshops.

Before we delve into the good, the great, and the interesting, let’s start by saying goodbye to some of our favourite volunteers and hello to our newest, fresh faced and positive attitude sharing volunteers. This month we gave a fond farewell and a see you later to Turkish volunteers Yunus and Taha, Canadian self-funded volunteer Terlyn Noiles, and to our Art Coordinator from England, Eleonore.

Taha and Yunus joined us in December for a six month placement with us here at Svitac (Firefly). Whilst being here they co-lead their own evening workshop for Turkish language, led the younger groups in free-craft workshops, and made great friends out of each one of us here.
Terlyn, though only with us for a few months, made an everlasting impression on volunteers and attendees of Svitac (Firefly) alike, with her update attitude and willingness to work hard. She picked up some of the language with ease and helped in many of the daily workshops runnings.

Eleonore joined us in June of last year for a twelve month placement as our in-house Arts coordinator. In the year that Eleonore spent at Svitac (Firefly) she ran her own art evening workshop where participants learnt aspects from everything: art history, painting tips, sketch techniques and more; for her main project she teamed up with Monica (another EVS long term volunteer) to compose and conduct a social research project, assessing levels of tolerance found in those who come to Svitac (Firefly); organized art from students in Brčko, to be displayed at exhibitions in Bosnia and in London.
These volunteers did an incredible job providing education to the youth of Brčko, and to the organization as a whole, and we thank them greatly for this.

Losing volunteers is not fun, but we have gained the brilliant Andrea to make it all better. A short term volunteer from Miami, Florida, who has jumped straight into the informal teaching style Svitac (Firefly) operates through. Andrea helps teach arts and crafts classes, English language classes, and runs a Spanish language workshop for the 8+ afternoon group every Wednesday from 14:00 – 15:30. As well as these workshops, Andrea has hit the ground running on her own personal project, running a workshop in political and social parallels in American and Balkan cultures.

As well as a change in the staffing here at Svitac (Firefly), we have also had meetings that will take the organization on leaps and bounds into our future potential. At the beginning of the month, Svitac (Firefly) was part of the Agreement on Cooperation with the Brčko District Government. This means that we have joined forces with the Government of Brčko District, and joining over fifty other non-governmental organizations from the region, to come together in building a solid society wanting to build a better quality of life for all.

As well as attending important NGO meetings, having new and interesting people arrive and volunteer, and hosting events that give a voice to all, Svitac (Firefly) has been continuing its great work teaching the youth of Brčko lessons in life and language. This next month will be focused on getting the Summer Camps up, running, and organized down to a tee.

Please remember to keep in touch for more on Svitac (Firefly) and all that we do by continuing in reading this blog or by following us on Facebook (Omladinska Organizacija Svitac), Twitter (Svitac_BiH) and Instagram (svitacbrcko) for more regular updates!

Hvala puno! (Thank you very much!)

Ben Owens, Svitac (Firefly) EVS volunteer



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