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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

My European solidarity corps program

Hello, it is Mohamed! As my program has come to an end, I just wanted to write my view of it, I would start by simply describing it as an eye-opening experience, but I will elaborate more on that so bear with me hahah!

I have always thought of learning more about different kinds of education, learning about education in Europe in general as it is no secret that European countries have gone so far in that, living in a whole new and different community from mine and seeing how I can manage and be in that…kind of pushing myself out of my comfort zone to do more and experience more, and discovering different environments and cultures.

I consider my time here fruitful because the way I see it, I achieved these goals mentioned above, moreover, I got to make new friends from all over the world and I do not see myself now as that stranger living in Poland as the people at my school really made it feel like being with my family, the support and help I got from the association too, especially Monika – my program coordinator and the best coordinator that a volunteer could ask for, she was and still the most helpful person for us in Poland – all of the new friends that our roads crossed in Poland and some left while others stayed. All of this made unforgettable memories that I will always cherish.

The amazing students at the school whom I became their student on many occasions while teaching them, they also taught me, the fun we had, cooking together, playing together, losing in chess to one of my smartest students…I got to laugh a lot at this because I do not really often lose in chess but those students were really amazing!

My flatmates with whom we shared many moments, situations, parties, and trips, and that life would’ve been incredibly hard if they hadn’t been there so I am thankful for them and for our time together.

The great people whom I met during my training in Slovenia, the amazing situations and traveling experience together, our long walks and discussions about life, philosophy, politics, and the future.

And now as I am preparing for my new adventure and the next chapter of my life I feel really content and happy about my time with each and everyone from my people in Europe and I want to tell them that it has been a pleasure and we shall be in touch.

Now, I just want to say that the people I met and the connections we had, they are really the highlight of my time here and I am glad that I got the opportunity to participate in such an amazing program. I truly believe that making those friendships are my real success story here…so keep it up and we shall meet again, mates!

Mohamed from Egypt, a volunteer in Wolna Szkola Ursynów.

This project is co-funded by the European solidarity corps.



Living on a Kurkum Farm

Hi, I am Weronika. I come from Poland and I would like to share my story here. Two months ago my travel to Spain started. I moved out to Cretas, a small, adorable village with a magnificent mountain view. I lived in the place in which I could live in harmony with nature-Kurkum Farm.

Since a long time I wanted to live in a sustainable and concious community.
This safe, caring and inspiring environment gave me a lot of precious memories. Every week was different. At the begining I had to accomodate to new climate, place, people and language. It was a lot! However, I feel stronger, more resistant and flexible for changes now.

This project was not only a journey to meet people, cooperate together and create beautifull space around us ( which was immensely valuable) it was also a journey inside myself. I had a great opportunity to get to know myself better. It gave me a lot of peace and tranquility.

Everyday I could enjoy being surrounded by nature and admire astonishing nigth sky here. Beauty and special ambience of this place improved my life-style. I was practicing yoga and meditate. Thanks to that I feel more grounded and stable now, so I am healthier person. Moreover it was good place to work with emotions and learn non-violent communication. I had to communicate despite the differance in age, experiance and language.

We were constructing buildings from wood and stones and organizing events. I could learn how to cook traditional dishes. I can make tortilla di patatas. I might participate in workshops about permaculture, aromatherpy and ayurveda. I could dance, have fun and feel free. I taked care of garden, plants, animals and people. They were giving me back the best they could do. I will miss all this things.

I am so grateful for being part of this project and for meeting on my path all this people who accompanied, helped me and shared their stories. I feel sad now because I became a part of ‘Kurkum Family’. I think that piece of this place will stay in my heart. This adventure is going to the end, soon another begin. Nevertheless, acccording to Heraclitus sentence, ‘The Only Thing That is Constant is Change’.

Weronika, volunteer on a Kurkum Farm, Cretas


Mission completed!

Almost 1 year passed and so many & different experiences appeared during my way! New people with new ideas and frames! We built all together new enviroments of sharing trust & love! The connections are unique and the moments as well!

For sure I discovered many & new parts of myself I realized and I observed from different perspectives a variety of topics as regards society or natural enviroment or education or mindfullness. I am sharing all those thoughts as a completely different human than when I came as first.

This volunteering project offered me chances to come more close to my dream- goal of meeting flexible learning enviroments around the world. At the same time it opened new horizons for the future!

Sometimes is not easy to put in words the feelings and the thoughts you already earn of such precious experiences!
Thank you for that opportunity!


Last day at school

At the end of June, the school finished and I had to say goodbye to all the amazing people I met there. It was an amazing day but hard as well. A lot of hugs, tears and laughs. I wrote a letter for them and I want to share it with you too, hope you like it: 

On the 13th of September, I started my adventure here at school. 9 months later is time to say goodbye. It was a long journey, like a roller coaster. There were good moments (really good ones) and hard ones. But all of them were significant and I learnt a lot every day I spent here with you. 

I came here to find answers, but I’m leaving with more questions. I look backward and I see a different Ester. At the beginning I was shy and scared, always observing and not understanding polish at all. Now I feel energetic, wild, crazy, asking and suggesting things to do. And surprisingly, I understand more polish than I was expecting!

Maybe you don’t know that, but I learnt a lot from you. First of all, you are the best polish teachers! I hope I will remember all the words that you taught me. But not only polish, you also taught me how to be wild, how to have fun, how to be honest, how to take care of each other…

In this place, I had the chance to be myself at 100%. No judgements, no bad-comments. At the end, I wasn’t afraid to make mistakes, to say no/stop or to cry (although it took me some time to realize that). Chodor was always saying, “This is a safe place” and it’s true. I hope you will remember this: This is a safe place, so be yourself, make mistakes, cry and laugh. 

The firsts months, I was lost here. Too much freedom for me. I didn’t know what to do. I was observing a lot: watching you playing, listening to your conversations… And I want to thank you for allowing me to be there. Because maybe it was weird to have a stranger in your school and watching you all the time. But you didn’t complain and it was really helpful to me. 

After this quite beginning, I started playing with you and making workshops. I will remember all of this:

I will remember how I was trying to learn the rules of the games with my translator. I will remember all the cooking workshops, the cakes and the popcorns. I will remember having fun during the English lessons with Łukasz. I will remember observing you playing Geoguess. I will remember the trip to Gorce Mountains (to be honest: I thought that you wanted to kill me. I was just a normal human and you had an incredible energy all the time). I will remember the chill moments in Plastyczna or in the dining room while listening music, painting mandalas or just having nice conversations. I will remember playing Djembes, the cups and singing Let it go, Lemont Tree, The Witcher song or We don’t talk about Bruno on repeat. 

I will also remember our Spanish workshops playing games, our music workshops and also the artistic ones. And, of course, the t-shirts workshop!

I have a lot of random memories on my mind and even though they seem stupid, I hope that they will make you smile when you will remember me, like: gumka-pomoc, the trip to Kacze Bagno, the sweet pasta and the pizza with ketchup, the board games night and the movie night, plastelina (with english accent, of course), Baranek Shawn, playing Virus for hours, the excursions to the forest and the breakfasts at 9am. 

I also had so much fun showing my culture to you, like hitting a lock for Christmas, eating 12 grapes for New Year’s Eve, the catalan chocolates, the book fair for the Catalan day and the human towers. Thank you for being respectful with my culture and for being interested. 

I look at all of you and a lot of memories come to my mind. With some of you I spend hours and hours talking and playing, with some others we just spent some moments (but special ones as well). Sometimes, just one hug or a high five was perfect for our communication. 

I have the feeling that I still have a lot of things to do here, but it’s time to say goodbye and to say thank you for all the moments.

There’s a sentence that I like that says: Education that impacts is not head to head, but heart to heart. This is Wolna Skoła. 

Dziękuję i do zobaczenia!

Ester from Catalonia, volunteer in Wolna Szkoła Ursynów

This project is co-founded by European Solidarity Corps

#EurpeanSolidarityCorps #ActiveWomanAssociation

It’s time to say goodbye

It’s crazy how time has passed so fast. Almost 11 months ago, I packed my things to move to a small Polish city with Ari. I was so excited and nervous at the same time. Everything was new: new country, new home, new flatmates, new school, new language… Adaptation was not an easy process, but after so many months, it’s hard to have to say goodbye.

Thank you Wolno Mi, for hosting me the way you did. Before coming to Poland, I did not know what a democratic school was. In the beginning, I was so surprised when I was seeing kids climbing trees, talking about what they wanted to do, or playing around the school (which is literally a house). But after all these months, I found my place in this beautiful community and learned a lot from the other mentors and the kids. I know I am going to miss you.

Thank you, Ari, for joining me on this crazy journey and being the best partner I could have asked for. You made me feel like home and the second half of the project was not the same without you.

Thank you, Ester, for being my main support in this cold country. Thank you for the trips, for hosting me in Warsaw almost every weekend, for the talks, for the hugs, and for being the most amazing friend.

Thank you, Anna, for being an amazing flatmate. Thank you for the bike rides, for the almost running back home from school, for the trips, for the dinners, and for your craziness, you made my days better.

Thank you to all the other volunteers, for being the greatest companions for this adventure. Thank you to most of you for opening the doors of your schools, it was an amazing experience to be able to visit you. I hope we meet again somewhere in the world.

And thank you, Monika, for being the best coordinator we could have had. You have always been there for us, and I am sure I will miss your energy and sense of humour. Gracias!

Overall, it was an incredible journey, with ups and downs, but full of learning and good company. This experience has opened the doors of the exciting world of democratic education, and this adventure has been just the start of what I hope it will be an exciting trip.

Alba from Catalunya, volunteer in Wolno Mi in Gliwice

This project is co-founded by European Solidarity Corps

#EurpeanSolidarityCorps #ActiveWomanAssociation

English lessons with Łukasz

During these months at school, I joined English lessons with kids to see how they teach English here. Almost every Tuesday, I spent my morning with Łukasz, the English teacher of my group (5+). Łukasz has a lot of experience as a teacher and he’s been working in Wolna Skoła Ursynów for several years.

There are 3 different groups, divided by the English level of the kids, not by their age. But he was always encouraging them to join other lessons. In every lesson, I learned a lot and I’m really grateful for that. You’d never know what will happen in those lessons, every day was surprising. He was using different board games, books, videos, drawings… He was always taking into consideration the interests of the kids and their moods that day. He never had a problem changing an activity that wasn’t working, he always had an idea (or more than one) in his pocket to create a good environment during the lesson.

Maybe now you are thinking: so, basically, the kids were playing and drawing? Yes, but they were learning a lot. At the end of the school year, I could see kids remembering vocabulary that we did months ago, or kids asking to do some exercise to improve their past simple… Step by step, his efforts are growing. Kids are not afraid of English, they know that English lessons are a safe and a fun place.

Łukasz’s attitude is the most important part: never pushing too much and always adapting like a chameleon. For him, it was okay if a kid was only listening and not doing the activity. He is a really nice person; he’s always saying thank you and expressing to the kids how proud he was of their work.

Now the school is already finished, but I have a notebook full of ideas for activities, videos and games to use in my future as a teacher. I also have a mentor to think about in case I would be lost or lack inspiration.

Thank you so much, Łukasz!

Ester from Catalonia, volunteer in Wolna Szkoła Ursynów

This project is co-founded by European Solidarity Corps

#EurpeanSolidarityCorps #ActiveWomanAssociation

Tie-dye t-shirt workshop!

In May, I did an amazing workshop at school and I want to share with you the experience.
In Wolna Szkoła Ursynów, any idea is welcome. During my years in my Scout Group, we were customizing our t-shirts a lot! So, I thought this idea could work at school. So, after organizing everything with my tutor and other mentors of the school, I did a Tie-dye workshop one day.

We bought a specific painting for fabrics, rubber bands and white t-shirts for all the kids. I explained to them different techniques and we started our creations! In the beginning, everything was chaotic. Super chaotic, trust me. Everyone was asking for help and forgetting some important steps of the process… But at some point, I decided to chill. “Everything is gonna be okay, Ester.” I asked them to be patient and they were. Step by step they listened, they helped each other and they were super creative.

A lot of kids joined the workshop, even those who usually don’t come to my activities. Some of them even customize two or even three t-shirts. After the workshop, we had to wait for some days to open the t-shirts. But it was worth it. The result was amazing and everyone was super happy.

Since then, they are wearing the t-shirts at school and I feel extremely happy, because is something unique made by themselves with effort, patience and love.

Ester from Catalonia, volunteer in Wolna Szkoła Ursynów

This project is co-founded by European Solidarity Corps

#EurpeanSolidarityCorps #ActiveWomanAssociation