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Liberty in education


I am Kubra and I am from Turkey. I have been an ESC volunteer at Bullerbyn Free Democratic School for a couple of months. This type of education seemed very different to me at first because It was my first time experiencing non-conventional education on-site , although I had some idea about alternative educational methods before.

Education takes place in three different places at Bullerbyn and on a regular day within the first three days, students and tutors have a meeting session, which, they greet each other and talk about how they feel. Afterwards, they make their daily plans and choose which type of activity they would like to take part in other days. If they need to decide on something among many options, the option adopted by the majority of  them is added into the program. It does not matter if the decision belongs to a student or a tutor because these kinds of democratic schools are known to have the least amount of hierarchy, so, an opinion of a student is equally important as an opinion of a tutor.

Every Tuesday I have a Turkish language session. At those sessions, I introduce my language and talk about general expressions used in daily life. Students interested in my language teach me the equivalent expressions in Polish and this makes our learning more mutual and productive.

On Thursdays, we usually go to cultural activities like visiting museums or art places. Students and tutors are divided into two groups, juniors and older students and each group visits a different place.

At the last day of a week, some sport activities like swimming, ice skating or hangar are chosen to participate. Students prefer any of them based on their interests and a regular week at Bullerbyn comes to end.

Kubra from Turkey, a European Solidarity Corps Volunteer at Bullerbyn Democratic School in Warsaw

This project is co-founded by European Solidarity Corps

#EUSolidarityCorps #ActiveWomenAssociation


The odyssey of the guy who ended up in Warsaw

     Have you ever experienced a real adventure? Do you have a trip you can’t forget? Are you one of those who are looking for new challenges?
If so, I invite you to read this article, I invite you to discover my journey.


      First of all, ¡¡HOLA A TODOS!!!! I am Jesús Gómez, from Murcia, Spain.
I studied Economics in Spain. Then I was working in a consulting company. Unfortunately my English was very bad. So I moved to Dublin to learn English and work there. I learned a lot in Ireland. Not only English, but I also found myself. I discovered my innermost passions. I realised that I liked to travel and meet new personalities, explore this world, or get involved in new projects. I discovered me. That was the moment I decided to become a European Solidarity Corps volunteer, the moment that changed my life. Fortunately, I was selected for the “Alternative Education” project with the NGO Active Women Association. So I was sent as a volunteer to the Bullerbyn Democratic School in Warsaw (Poland).

Bullerbyn Democratic School in Warsaw, Poland.


Meeting with students and teachers






     What attracted me most when I arrived in Poland was its beauty, its climate and its people. Because yes, for a Spaniard landing in Warsaw is something new. You have to adapt to the fresh air and the culture of the country. I found the Polish people wonderful and friendly. The first day at Bullerbyn School was something I will never forget. My tutor introduced me to all the students and all the staff. She behaved with me in an extraordinary way, I even noticed unconditional love and passion for volunteering from her. She told us volunteers how we could help in the school and gave us all the support we needed to do so. My task as a volunteer was to run English and Spanish workshops for the children. Apart from this, the volunteers also participate in the daily activities of the school, such as helping the teachers on excursions, workshops, activities or special events that the school organises.

     The other two volunteers of the project, who are also my flatmates, Kubra and Vusal, helped me in everything I needed. Fortunately, we understand each other perfectly and make a magical team. Every day I soak up more and more of their knowledge and their way of being. I learn new values and new ideas from both of them. Because this is also part of volunteering, creating value with people from other countries, living with them and overcoming all obstacles. I love them as if I had given birth to them.

Tutoring with volunteers

      At the end of September I did a training with other volunteers from Poland. The aim of this training was to learn more about what it is to be a volunteer, how to deal with winter in Poland and to meet new people. We had an unforgettable week full of non-formal lessons, meals, parties and empathy for each other.

Training together with other volunteers from Poland.

     Later came the winter months, thanks to the school children we have been kept warm and entertained! As always, we continue to learn from them, and they from us. A time full of excursions with the children. Pharmaceutical museum, military forts, heated swimming pools, ice skating, rock museum or football matches – these kids can’t get enough! I speak more and more Polish, and they speak more and more Spanish and English. They speak more English than I speak Polish, but I’m still learning…. We keep on adding good moments!

Excursions with the children


Pharmaceutical Museum

Jesús, from Spain, a European Solidarity Corps volunteer at the Bullerbyn Democratic School in Warsaw (Poland).

“Project is co-funded by European Solidarity Corps”

#EUSolidarityCorps #ActiveWomenAssociation

My Journey of Growth and Empowerment in Poland

Hello everyone! My name is Tuğçe Akbaş and I am from Tekirdağ/Turkey. As a recent chemical engineering graduate, I decided to take a gap year to step out of my comfort zone and explore new horizons. Little did I know, that decision would lead me to the Waldorf Free School in Bielsko-Biała, Poland, where I would embark on a journey of personal growth and empowerment.

When I first arrived in October, I was able to observe all kinds of classes, including English, music, art, drawing, handcraft, and woodcraft. I was fascinated by the different education methods used in Waldorf schools, and I quickly became familiar with the children. I started crocheting gloves, water holders, and Christmas figures for the school’s Christmas market. Crocheting is one of my hobbies, so it was a great way for me to combine work and play.

As I attended workshops on ceramics and Christmas wreaths, I felt a sense of accomplishment as I created my own cup from clay. During the Christmas market, I was filled with joy as I greeted families and helped the children paint figures and wooden objects. Meanwhile, the on-arrival training in Torun was a turning point in my journey, as I met new volunteers and learned about Poland and volunteering. I now have a network of friends all over the country who have inspired me and supported me throughout my time here.

On-Arrival Training

The heavy snowy days in December brought both challenges and beauty to my experience in Bielsko-Biała. Although the snow lasted for almost two months, it was a reminder to me of the power and resilience of nature. Celebrating New Year’s Eve with my friends in the city, surrounded by dazzling fireworks, was a moment I will never forget. The winter break allowed me to travel to Vienna and Budapest, where I was exposed to new cultures, cuisines, and art. From my first opera experience to visiting the Belvedere Museum and immersing myself in art galleries, I felt a sense of wonder and appreciation for the beauty of life.

Returning to Bielsko-Biała after my travels, one of my friends from the on-arrival training visited me, and we took a cable car ride up the mountain to admire the stunning views of the snow-covered landscape. We also visited Katowice to meet new friends and enjoy our time with them.

Ebru Marbling Art Works

After the winter break, I made a greenhouse gas emissions presentation to teach 10th-grade students about climate change. I also presented Ebru marbling and Turkish art styles, including çini, miniature, ebru, and famous artists like Osman Hamdi Bey. I even taught the students Ebru marbling with nail polish, which they loved.

These past three months have been a journey of growth and empowerment. I have learned so much about myself, about others, and about the world. The Waldorf Free School in Bielsko-Biała will always hold a special place in my heart, and I am grateful for the experiences and memories I have made here. I know that this journey will continue to shape me and inspire me for the rest of my life.

Tuğçe from Turkey, volunteer of European Solidarity Corps in Stowarzyszenie Wolna Szkoła Waldorfska in Bielsko-Biała.

This project is co-founded by European Solidarity Corps

#EurpeanSolidarityCorps #ActiveWomanAssociation

My self discovery in Bielsko-Biala

Hello everyone! My name is Sahin and I am from Turkey. I am thrilled to announce that I am currently volunteering at the Waldorf Free School in Bielsko-Biala.

Supporting Poland Football team at World Cup in a pub in Warsaw

As a chemical engineer taking a break from the traditional academic path, I have found myself in Bielsko-Biala, Poland, where I am sharing my knowledge, skills, and culture with the local community through volunteering. I have recently started teaching high school students about the important topic of climate change, which has been a very rewarding and enriching experience for me.

Upon arriving in Bielsko-Biala, I was motivated to begin volunteering due to the students’ high level of enthusiasm and eagerness to acquire knowledge. I joined English classes and infused them with my Turkish heritage, teaching about the art, music, and traditions of my culture.

The winter brought about new experiences, such as participating in Christmas workshops and taking trips to Vienna and Budapest, where I immersed myself in new cultures and cuisines.

Christmas Wreaths and Me

Teaching on climate change that has brought me the greatest fulfillment. To see the spark in the students’ eyes as they learn about ways to reduce their carbon footprint and make a positive impact on the world is a feeling that cannot be put into words. I will continue to guide them through the topic of adaptation and strategies for mitigating the effects of global warming.

Overall, my volunteering journey in Bielsko-Biala has been an amazing experience, and I am looking forward to new adventures and opportunities. I have formed new friendships, learned about different cultures, and had the privilege of sharing my passions and knowledge with others. I am grateful for this opportunity and highly recommend volunteering as a way to enrich one’s life and make a positive impact on others.

Additionally, my love for Turkish art and culture was given the chance to flourish as I shared it with the students at Waldorf Free School. The experience of discussing the hidden messages in Osman Hamdi Bey’s paintings and the excitement of trying our hand at creating Ebru art using nail polish was truly magical. It was a heart-warming moment to see the students’ creativity and unique perspectives come to life through their art.

This volunteering journey continues to be a journey of self-discovery and giving back, and I am eager to see what new adventures and opportunities await me.

Parliament Budapest from Fisherman’s Bastion

Sahin – 10/02/2023

Project is co-funded by European Solidarity Corps

#ActiveWomenAssociation #EuropeanSolidarityCorps #StowarzyszenieAktywneKobiety #waldorfschool #EUSolidarityCorps

A great adventure ends…

Today I am finishing the volunteering that I started 8 months ago in the Waldorf school in Bielsko-Biala. It was really a great adventure, I met great people.

I have thanks to this volunteering discovered a new culture but also an alternative mode of education that I did not know. Become aware that the preservation of our environment is something essential, that we can no longer close our eyes, that we must act. So I had the chance to make, to talk about permaculture with a particular class from school, it was a very nice experience.

I have already had the chance to come on vacation to Poland. But thanks to this European volunteering I was able to live in Poland for several months, knowing that I was not alone in case of problems, which is very reassuring.

I was also able to discover the mountains near Bielsko-Biala (I always wanted to live near the mountains).

Unfortunately, I don’t know the names of the different mountains in Bielsko, but I manage to locate myself. I never had the chance to get lost. Once again by traversing the mountains it is possible to meet wonderful people. People who don’t have the same way of thinking as city dwellers, if I may say so.

The fact of doing this volunteering in a school, a high school more particularly, allowed me to see, to discuss with the teachers but also to be able to give some lessons, always under the watchful eye of the teacher. Previously becoming a teacher was one of my ambitions. I may be one day but I realized the complexity of this profession.

Valentin from France, volunteer in Stowarzyszenie Wolna Szkoła Waldorfska in Bielsko-Biała.

This project is co-founded by European Solidarity Corps

#EurpeanSolidarityCorps #ActiveWomanAssociation

Ayshan in Poland

When I opened my laptop to start writing, then I realized it is the end. But a beginning of new adventures. When I first stepped into Poland, I felt a bit nervous for sure. But then I met with other volunteers in my first week. They helped me a lot in every way. Then my coordinator, Monika, from AWA made me feel less stressed. She helped me a lot along the way. On this photo you see volunteers visiting my school in a festival day.

Then I came to Tychy which a lot of people said oh it is not a good city, I hope you won’t get bored and stuff. But I absolutely loved Tychy. Such a quite, my taste city. I love nature. I am not saying it as it is not important. Nature is a big part of our lives. I was glad to be here. I met lots of great people such my neighbors. With my broken Polish, they understood me very well and we got communication amongst us going on. I will miss them as well.

My volunteer friends visiting Tychy.

Right down on this photo girls at school drew my day of look. I was super happy as you can see. Kids taught me a lot of new things starting from emotions.

Now, let me talk about my first day at Wolna Szkola Dzika. They welcomed me with a big ceremony and hug. Everybody gave me a hug. Kids were amazing. They got used to me so easily. My tutor, Ola, was a total helper and a great friend. I learned a lot from her, I spent my great time with her. About other teachers at school. They were great as they are.

I need to add a part about parents at our school. We were glad that they were open to meet up, have fun together. We were playing games or tasting local food in a restaurant. On this photo at the following, we were invited to one of parents’ house. We had such a great time together. Having a chat, eating, playing. Right after this moment, we spent time in a lake swimming. Yes, we were winter swimming. That was my first time, however it was worth everything. I am glad I had this experience.

Thank you for making me feel like home. Everybody I know here. I am leaving gladly with great moments.

End Of One Year Volunteering Experience

Hello, It’s Sefa from Turkey, I was a volunteer in Waldorf Free School in Bielsko Biala for one year. saying ” I was..” makes me feel bad now because being part of a Waldorf School was my dream, and here we are! end of the volunteering…

I don’t know where to start but I should definietly admit that it was one of the best experiences that I had. I was always dreaming of being a part of Waldorf Schools and I did it!

my dear school

at the beginning of my volunteering most of the things was a bit hard for me. different culture, differend people, a very hard language and a very very cold weather ( as I come from a hot country). but now I don’t even want to leave this school and this city even though terrible polish winter is coming, because I really love this school and the city, I had fun a lot with the students and teachers, I learned them a lot.

A Fancy Tree:)

Also; I should admit that these trees and lights one of the best things I saw in the winter, I fell in love Polish streets in winter, as I come from Turkey I don’t see such things like these trees in the streets. thats why I have tounsands of photos of these streets in my gallery:)

With kids in Waldorf:)

Spending time with the kids, learning the language and culture from their perpective and sharing my experiences with them…. I was always dreaming of it. for me the most beautiful side of this project was spending time with kids, because I worked with kids in Turkey too, but I always wanted to meet kids from other cultures too, especially from Waldorf, and I fulfilled my dream thanks to this project.

my dear friends.

I will never forget this moment and these friends… My volunteering project was not about just the School, It was more than that, I had the opportunity to get to know different cultures with my friends I met thanks to this project. I will miss you all guys…

Kaunas-Youth Exchange

as you can see I am in Lithuania with the people from different culture and country. This is another great side of being volunteer in AWA, Yes, You are coming to Poland as a volunteer but you can visit other countries and get a chance to know other cultures during your volunteering. also everything is covered by the National Agency for these kind of Youth Exchange and Training Programs..


I was in a training within Erasmus+ , and I went to Spain for the first time in my life, and the training was about mind and brain health, also as I am pschologist, this training project was a great opportunity for me. I learnt a lot from this training project. I had just 2 hours to decide if I will join this project or not, and I said Of Course!, I am so happy that I was part of this beautiful project


Thank you so much for everything AWA, I am so happy to be a part of you.

Do Zobaczenia!


At the end of 4 Months in Poland

After spending 4 months in Poland as a volunteer, I finally finished my project. Looking back, it was a nice experience to be able to live in a different city, be in a different educational environment as well as the summer activities I have attended.


Living in Katowice, it was change of scenery for me with various types of restaurants & markets, churches and some historical places. I tried to go out and explore, walk around, as much as possible to discover different things during my free time. Generally, being in a foreign country, everything more or less was very interesting from the beginning which was a good start for me. There were a lot of old buildings with different types of architecture styles that were worth to see. Generally, I had a nice time being in Katowice.

Montessori Education & English Project

As a volunteer I got a chance to be in an environment where rather than traditional approach to education, the school was focusing on Montessori Education. Students were more free to choose what they want to work on, have more outside activities as well as creative ones. I also got to participate in activities and events as well as got a chance to prepare an English project with the students about animals around the world. Working in such place, I believe I have learned many things.

For the rest of the summer, I was mostly in an English speaking camp where I got to interact and meet with a lot of young Polish people. It was a nice change for me to observe different types of ages about how they learn, and basically get to know them.

Overall, it was a nice and beneficial 4 months for me. I have learned a lot and gained a lot of experiences.

The last one in Poland

It’s time to say goodbye or “hasta luego” as it is in Spanish.

I have lived in Poland during four months and for me It was so powerfull I could learn more about the internal organisation of the NGOs and work in administration and financial tasks in. 

My experience with other volunteers was so good. I could learn more about diferente cultures and make friends in differents countries as Imane from Morocco, Islam from Algeria and Olena from Ukraine. And I can’t forget my deal AWA’s staff, that more than staff they were my Little family here to help me in some different situations. I would like mention Monika, Daga, Wiki, Ysaura and Gosia, thank you a lot for your work. 

During these months I could improve my English, live in foreign country and live alone abroad. I think this is an experience that all people have to try because I allow you be more Independence and grow up yourself. A part of that, all people must be try because our world needs us, we have to imporve it with small activities that al lof us we could do it. All counts or as a Spanish saying goes: every grain of sand counts.

Thank you a lot for this experience and see you son in Spain, I’m really going to miss you!

Cristina, Spain

It’s time to say goodbye

After 11 months in Poland, it’s time to say goodbye. I did it! When I came here in September I was scared, I wasn’t able to imagine that I would finish this. The beginning was hard, nobody was here, just me as a new volunteer, our coordinator left… But step by step people started comming and Monika (our new and lovely coordinator) arrived to our lifes to help us.

There were a lot of obstacles during this project, not everything is wonderful. Polish winter (and spring too), sharing a flat with a lot of people, not having enough money, being alone in a new country, cultural shock… It’s hard, but that’s life. Eventhough now I know this, I would repeat again.

I came here because of the school, I wanted to learn about Democratic Schools and I had the best time with kids, teachers ans mentors. I improved my teaching and personal skills and, now, I see completely different Ester. I’m really grateful to have the chance to meet them and I will miss them so much.

I’m also grateful for the people that I met here, it was hard at the beginning because all of us we were living far, but we manage to meet and to travel (in Poland and outside too!). Now I have more friends around the world and it’s amazing.

During the project we did a lot of trainings, but now I will go back home and I don’t have any training that can help me to deal with that. How will I manage it? I don’t know, it will take time I guess, but Poland will be always my second home.

Do zobaczenia!

Ester from Catalonia, volunteer in Wolna Szkoła Ursynów
This project is co-founded by European Solidarity Corps

EurpeanSolidarityCorps #ActiveWomanAssociation