EVS Diary

More More More for EVERYBODY

So here are four more partners of BDC which cooperate with English-speaking volunteers. For me it was a nice time travelling around and spending time in parts of Bratislava where I have never been!



This organization is hosting 33 seniors (with a capacity of 34) at the moment and therefore is a retirement home. The seniors speak Slovak, German and even Hungarian in rare cases and live in double rooms. Besides the director there are three nurses lead by one main nurse. 11-12 people take care about the seniors every day i.e. help with bathing, eating changing clothes, going to toilet etc. Furthermore more there are 2 social workers who creative activities after breakfast like brain training or painting and other staff member like cooks, a cleaner and a daily work planner. The team also consists of eight volunteers aged from 18 to 60 years. They keep company to the seniors like going for a walk and talking to them, singing, playing card games or watching TV. They do not occupy the heavy mentally demanding or conditioning work. The volunteers have to be there minimum once a week and are responsible for their own work. Volunteers only take care of one senior and volunteer approximately for 3 hours depending on the circumstances and conditions of the senior.

HESTIA also focuses on the dynamic exchange of knowledge and information: If foreign volunteers want they can show their culture to the seniors and do workshops. Besides that HESTIA also calls for voluntary work twice throughout the year: The Week Of Volunteering and another time in June. Mostly companies such as IBM, Dell or DM send volunteers who help to clean or repair something or do gardening. Also before Christmas a special event takes place: volunteers are asked to bake Christmas cakes or together with the seniors. HESTIA is looking for German-speaking volunteers mainly as it is easier to connect with the clients but also English-speaking people are welcome to help with non-personal work.

I found HESTIA to be a very bright building which always is under construction and has access to a huge garden. The fact that it is surrounded by a big neighbourhood is nice for the seniors to in order to stay in contact and not to live totally excluded from society.



The organization called KASPIAN was established by volunteers 19 years ago. At that time volunteers used to play games, do modelling or handicrafts, or simply meet for talking and giving advice. The values and proposed activities however never changed; but the facility did. If you follow my blog closely you might remember how I wrote about painting door frames and walls in my second blog entry. Well, this is the outcome now: a very friendly and bright building in Furdekova 6a; in the middle of tall houses. And this is where most of KASPIAN's clients come from: the neighbourhood.

So KASPIAN's services can be described as social free time work and subdivided into two parts. The first part is the club. This is a meeting place for after school activities such as playing table tennis or card games; singing and talking to each other. I couldn't possibly name all of the stuff going on in that club: too many!The club is opened On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 2-6PM and mostly children aged 7-20 years go there.

The second part is street work. The team consists of 2 workers who act in the local skate park. They go there in order to talk about typical teenage problems or issues like relationships or school and try to keep them away from negative influences. The fact that this takes place in the environment of the youngsters, aged 10-23 years old by the way, means that they have to adapt to their surroundings and respect their wants and needs.

The clients of KASPIAN enter and benefit from the services on their own will. They do not have to bring anything with them but basic human values such as respect and tolerance in order to participate. This programme is called low threshold programme. Often the children are confronted with difficult circumstances at home so this is another reason why to join KASPIAN. All of the staff members are educated in some psychological or pedagogical way so there definitely is nothing to worry about and good advice.

20 volunteers work for KASPIAN regularly; 2 EVS volunteers are among them. The main goal of KASPIAN is to prepare the clients to lead and guide themselves through their own life and not to be dependant on outside help. Another reason why approximately 350 clients (last count: 2015) benefit from the services being provided by KASPIAN. Of course it can get pretty stressful when there are 26 people in the club at the same time, so KASPIAN is always glad for new volunteers signing up.


Seniorville Jablonové

As the name obviously reveals; Seniorville Jablonové is a Seniorville. 60 seniors are living in this facility outside of Bratislava in a small city called Jablonové. Among the seniors English, German, Hungarian and Slovak is spoken. The daily structure changes monthly or weekly, depending on the activity. Here is an example of how the day could look like:

9:00AM: daily preparation

10:00AM: 'exercising' in terms of meeting and talking

11:00AM: activity of the day (changes daily), when I was there it was a spiritual activity so like praying or remembering the ancestors

12:00PM: lunch (after lunch: rest)

03:00PM: minimum of 1 ½ hours, like brain training, singing or art therapy

after dinner: free time which can be used for watching TV or playing games etc.

The team of Seniorville Jablonové doesn't set any events for the weekends because this time is totally free for family or friends to come to visit their family members. Volunteers are mostly wanted to do personal work like offering private talk for the clients or going for a walk; planning activities and so on. But one thing which really became obvious when talking to one of the social worker was that you can't e shy or unsure with the concept but determined and open-minded. Quite a few clients also suffer under dementia so as a volunteer you have to be patient too but in most cases you won't notice the disease. But of course there also is non-personal work like gardening or drawing where you can join the Seniorville Jablonové team! So if you are a reliable and friendly person willing to speak to elderly people don't hesitate and sign up today!


RC Dlháčik

This family centre located in Karlova Ves was established by mothers on maternity leave and this place is still run by mothers mostly. Parents and children (aged 0-6) can feel free to join but have to notice that the parents are responsible for their children all the time.

Inside the facility there is a big playroom where also activities like puppet theatre or 'small scientists' take place. There is a special event which changes monthly. When I visited the organization it was a lantern event where approximately 60 participated. About 300 kids join RC Dlháčik every month in winter; about 150 less in summer. The huge diversity of events and activities attracts a lot of members.

Volunteers are meant to share their skills (like singing, dancing for instance) and help with events or construction or cleaning work. Especially English-speaking volunteers are wanted because there also are English lessons offered and the more the children get used to the language the better is the learning success. All of the staff members are volunteers and BDC was able to attract and sent about 20 volunteers to RC Dlháčik, for what the leadership is incredibly grateful.

So if you want to join a staff working in a very friendly environment and has good English skills don't miss to sign up for RC Dlháčik today!


I hope you enjoyed this part and you can look forward to the end of November as I will be presenting volunteering in Germany! Have a nice time until then.

Luka Paul Vethake

EVS volunteer



Stará tržnica Nám. SNP 25

811 01 Bratislava


Web: eds@dobrovolnictvoba.sk

Tel.: (+421) 949 303 512



Quote of the day:

“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”

~ Barack Obama



source of intro image:  https://goo.gl/96HpCB 

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