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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


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.

My hobbies

Good morning, it’s Andrés again. I am passionated about sound and music, so during this year I spent part of my free time on learning new things like how to use a Dj controller, and also one of my hobbies is about field recording (soundscapes), so I have been recording soundscapes of different locations in Sokolowsko and other places in Poland, I like to catalog them and save them in my computer, so I will be able to use them in the future for things related to sound art, sounds libraries for music production or sound design, or just uploading them on the cloud on sound maps like radio aporee (have a look a it, it’s very interesting 👌😏).

Andrés, from Spain, volunteer of European Solidarity Corps in In Situ Foundation in Sokolowsko.

This project is co-funded by European Solidarity Corps.

Andrés in Kulturalna Czerwcówka w Sokołowsku (3-6/06/21)

Hi! It’s Andrés, the sound guy in Sokolowsko. So, we have had a great festival in June and the other volunteers and I have been working a lot, really, a lot, but it was really nice. I was one of the two sound technicians for the events, the head sound engineer and me as a volunteer, and I have had to lead part of the team of the volunteers because we have had to work all together and in different spots of the town at the same time. So much work but worth it. I felt a healthy stress that it was even addictive, made new friends and contacts, musicians and people related to my work. Next time I will manage to get a better work conditions before the festival, something new that I have learnt too.

Andrés, from Spain, volunteer of European Solidarity Corps in In Situ Foundation in Sokolowsko.

This project is co-funded by European Solidarity Corps.

Sandra final article

It was September 2020, I was kind of stuck with my life and I had no clue of what to do. That’s when I discovered that I had the option of volunteering abroad so I took the chance. Now, I have already finished my voluntary service in Poland and I think that it has been one of the best decisions I have taken in my life.

I spent almost 8 months in Poland (from November 2020 until July 2021), in a project related to the world of the alternative education. Now, when I think about it, I feel that it was all super short and that it all ended super-fast but, at the same time, I feel that it has been years since I took that flight from Barcelona.

It has been a really intense experience. I lived abroad for the first time in my life, with people from different parts of the world, of different ages and ways of living. I had to face situations that I had never experienced before. I met some amazing people with whom I connected instantly and also others with whom I know I would never connect. And all that things and lots more are the ones that made me grow as a person and that made me see the world with different eyes.

I also spent a lot of time with children, as that’s what the project was about, and I am still amazed about the amount of things that I was able to learn from them. Usually, we see children as little human beings which need to be taught about how to act, how to behave, how to think… but they are not incomplete human beings, they just see life in a different way and have less barriers when it comes to think and act and I think that this is super cool.

I don’t know what is waiting for me now in my “adult life” and I am really curious and scared at the same time but, overall, I am happy because of what I was able to experience during this months and I would not change anything.

JamSessions in Sokolowsko

Hi, it’s Andrés. I want to share that I’m feeling very glad to meet Polish people who are into music so we can play music together!! Jamsessions in front of a bonfire, in the flat, in the forest, in the pub… An amazing thing is that when we are playing we all are “listening and speaking” to each other with the language of music, so there are no language borders here ^^ singing, dancing, playing whatever you decide that becomes an instrument… It’s really nice. Thanks 🙂

Andrés, from Spain, volunteer of European Solidarity Corps in In Situ Foundation in Sokolowsko. This project is co-funded by European Solidarity Corps.


As time passes so fast is difficult to sketch and recover every feeling, good moment and good days with the new friends i made but afterwards u just can have an atmosphere of bright and warm light about all these days and all the trips and experiences.

I just can be thankful to this project, the association, the school and of course everybody i have spent time with and travel with to know and discover this wonderful country of mountains and beach, trees and dessert ( near Olkusz 🤣) and light and clouds!

I could enjoy and develop my taste in arquitecture due to the amazing buildings around Poland from Krakow to Wrocław and the skyscrapers in Warsaw. Linked to this I could develop too my passion for photography shooting in downtown not even abandoned buildings in Katowice. Plenty of aesthetics, in buildings, uptown, forests, lakes and structures.

I enjoyed and experienced Christmas and Easter in this country and get soaked in the local culture and traditions in each context, visiting museum, traditional coffee shops and tea places! and of course enjoy the big amount of different beers and the good quality of them.

Thanks to all of them who helped me and all of them who i could learn of, and to the Solidarity Corps for bringing me chance of learn, discover and enjoy so much! ♥️🇵🇱

Arturo volunteer in Democratic School in Gliwice Wolno Mi

Project is co-funded by European Solidarity Corps 🇪🇺



Taming my ELEPHANT mind

“I trust myself, my emotions, and the universe, I ask for answers, a sign, and I receive. What and however I receive, I am grateful, because I simply trust, with all of my being.”

Some years ago, I noticed how I ignored my mind, how I turned my back on it, so I couldn’t see the beautiful yet horrible mess that it was making, I was so far that I couldn’t even hear the loud screams and lullabies, I was oblivious of how extraordinary and yet how reckless this elephant mind can be, and how powerful it is. How by ignoring it, it ran so far and wildly to my opposite side that I felt the push and pull that made me fall on my back multiple times, and I could stay there laying for days, and get back up, but even then, when I stood up, I wouldn’t turn to look.

By noticing this, I decided to turn and face my mind, thinking that maybe because I finally turned and looked at it directly it would’ve noticed me, but it didn’t. I thought that showing my vulnerability would make it stop from running, but it didn’t. I ran and ran after it, that I got tired, and I sat on the ground crossed legs, looking at how it danced and stumbled, how it ignored me, and just being in total control. I cried of how much it hurt me, because in this moment I was falling flat on my face, and the bruises and wounds took long to heal.

I decided to sit quietly, because I wanted to identify what was making my mind so berserk and irrational, yet I fell in love with how it moved so freely, like nothing can stop it, it was beautiful but destructive, and I was fascinated, I was noticing, but I was giving in to this control, this time seeing what it was doing to only figure out after a year, that all this is was a distraction, and I blamed my distractions for their monkey like behaviors, but whenever I do, my finger would turn and point back at me, which only made it worse.

It took me a while, but I learned to appreciate my mind, and to love every single part of it, I started appreciating myself physically and soulfully, that I gained more patience, and slowly I was gaining the tools that I needed to finally capture and tame my elephant mind. I sat still, and read books that gave me wisdom, some people even came to me and sat with me, giving me advice, which was very helpful. I gained the force of recollection (mindfulness, a lasso) and the force of consciousness (awareness, a goad).

I have now the tools, so I started to chase after my mind, and eventually lassoed it, and it turned to look at me, so did my distractions, and I also noticed a third intruder which was a rabbit like dullness. So, my distracted mind and strong dullness, looked at me. Now, right now, present today, I have my elephant restrained, and she is looking right at me accompanied with the monkey and the rabbit, and I can see clearly how the monkey uses my senses for distraction. It gets hard some days to hold on to their gaze, and my grip, but I am on the road to a calmly abiding mind.

It takes a lot of energy, and effort to try and restrain your mind, but it’s not impossible, being here in Poland helped me a lot, and Noticing how I am just at the beginning (3rd stage), even thou I am on this road going for 4 years now, makes me just happy, and grateful, because I am aware. Anyone can do it, but really, it takes a lot.

I dance in gratitude, and in love with the journey of my growth, seeing all my stages from my past to now makes me extremely happy and grateful. because I love, I really love every single piece of it, the good times and the bad times. I appreciated and still appreciate every lesson I receive and comprehend. I am grateful to be alive, to be able to have this journey in human form and learn so much. The feeling of when my elephant mind noticed me, and I faced her, was something, very calming and amazing, and still we have a long way to go.

Cherly-ann Franken, volunteer in Szkoła Demokratyczna Droga Wolna, Szczecin

I used the example of the Tibetan ‘taming the elephant mind’ (Shamatha, calm abiding meditation practice) painting, because it represents it perfectly, it gives you the nine stages of mental development.

if you are interested you can click on the link under the picture and also the link up here about the nine stages of mental development and it will give you the meaning of every symbol in the Tibetan painting.

Xmas abroad

Hello everyone, this year has been quite different and strange at times, especially due to the fact of having been away at Christmas, a date that is usually characteristic for being with the closest and closest family and friends and especially for the great feast. This year has been different not only because of the global pandemic but also because I decided to stay in Poland due to restrictions in my country and problems related to mobility.

Sometimes I have been sad for my family and the tradition related to meals and parties, but on the other hand it has been an enriching experience due to it has given me the opportunity to spend a different Christmas, meet other volunteers, very grateful because they gave us the opportunity to stay in their homes and eat with them, exchanging ideas and values about Christmas in different countries and cooking typical dishes from many countries, so despite missing for the classic celebration, having another perspective and changing the tradition for a year feels very good. 😃😄⛄🎄🌟

Much Love to my family and friends, and also to all the new people who have made possible a wonderful time this Xmas! ❤️🇵🇱

Arturo Volunteer in Wolno Mi Democratic School in Gliwice.

Project co-funded by European Solidarity Corps



How air pollution affects to Georgia

Photo by Georgian Journal

Global warning and the polution affects to all the countries. Some countries suffer from the poluted water, droughs and femine, while in Georgia number 1 concern in the capital city is the air quality.

While population from that reside countriside cities like Batumi and Kobuleti often complain about poluted water in the sea, Air Quality Index isn’t bad. So I am confident to say that currently Georgia’s number one problem can be the poluted air in the major cities.

Judjing from my personal experience, I used to live in the small village for a few weeks and once I returned to my hometown Tbilisi, I couldn’t breath. I had feelings that air wasn’t fresh or good enough. Similarly one summer I walked in the square which was fullloaded with cars and people. I had to stop for a few second because I fel that I was about to faint from the lack of air.

Currenlty Tbilisi has AQI 153 which is unhealthy for many reasons. According to the data of the World Health Organization, Georgia ranks 70th for mortality caused by air pollution.

Number 1 reason for the poluted air is the abudant usage of mini-busses, cars and regulra bassess. Unlike the majority of Europe, Georgia doesn’t have bycicle roads and often it is dangerous to travel on road by bike. So even though more and more younger people refuse to purchase the car for the econmic reasons, the problem stands until the vast majority of the population will change their lifestyle.

In 2020 Tbilisi major Kakhi Kaladze intoruduced bus lines and completely re-enovated the main avenue of the capital city -Chavchavadze. The new transportation plan discourages people to travel by car and now, traveling by bus is faster and more comfortable.

Although was met with a huge backlash among the georgian drivers, many citizens refuse to take personal responsibility and thus it is small steps like that Tbilisi is taking to cleance air.

Nanuka from Georgia