1st Visit of Greek Volunteers in Warsaw. 12 April – 2 May 2013. A short report.

The visit of the three Greek volunteers was a very fruitful experience both for them, the host organization and the institutions which received their services.The voluntary services were in the field of environmental action and support of public urban green. Time was also devoted to the exchange of ideas, information and experiences about the organizations, their countries and regions and their activities. In addition a very interesting program of cultural visits was carried out.

The day of arrival to the capital city of Poland was the 12th of April, 2013, and the Greek volunteers, members of the Ecological Movement of Patras were warmly welcome to the airport by members of the partner – organization SPOŁECZNY INSTYTUT EKOLOGICZNY (S.I.E.).

The first Saturday of our stay in Warsaw was devoted to a visit in the old town and contact with activists there, protesting for animal rights.
Next day we watched a nice concert in Chopin Academy and visited, along with members of the hosting organization, the Uprising Museum of the city.

The working days of the first week were devoted to service to the Botanical Garden of the University of Warsaw. We have been informed about the plantations, the tropical and subtropical greenhouses and offered work regarding the preparation of the garden for spring planting.
One of the days was devoted to a 5hour common meeting with members of S.I.E. and the polish volunteers, which are going to come to Patras in June 2013. Presentations about countries, regions, natural environment and activities of both our organizations took place in the meeting.
The remaining working days were used for preparation and promotion (including participation in a press conference to the media of Warsaw) of the Earth Day Celebration in the Pole Mocotowski park. A common banner was produced and used during the activities. One day was devoted to the participation in an exhibition of regional agricultural products.
It is, also, noteworthy to mention the visit to the Bielany University, Treblinka Museum and Kazimiers Dolny town.
On the 30th of April a common workshop with volunteers from other countries (Denmark, Germany) took place, with very interesting exchange of experiences and ideas.
The cooperation and support of the polish volunteers and members of S.I.E. to the Greek volunteer team was permanent and fully satisfactory.
The experience of offering services to a University garden, a Children’s Center and an environmental and agricultural festival with big popular participation were sources of learning and moral satisfaction.
Generally, the whole experience of the Greek volunteer team in Warsaw was conducted according to the plan and was successful and fruitful for both sides.
It really reinforced the mutual understanding, learning of polish culture and everyday life in the frame of a common European concept.
For the Greek volunteer team
Georgios Kanellis, May 2013