EVS Diary

Widen the horizon

My 4th blog entry

This time I am going to tell you something about our approved partner organizations. I visited all of the in order to get to know the environment BDC is working in. For me it was a great experience to see the incredibly wide range our partners are acting in. Find out which one suits you best for yourself!



Mládež ulice

The name translated in English means: 'youth of the streets'. And it makes sense: Mládež ulice works with children and teenagers mostly in the local excluded community called Rendez. For 16 years now the staff organized to lead activities and community events for disadvantaged children. Three times per week a minimum of two activity leaders spread out to the neighbourhoods to play games, do sport or simply be a good listener or give advice in terms of social insurances, consultants etc. They also managed to create community events such as summer cinemas in cooperation with the local neighbourhood and involving the children's opinions and wants. Why? Because if there wasn't such care children would start committing small crimes in their freetime and I think everybody can imagine how it would develop further if there was no help...

Approximately 20 children enjoy the benefits of Mládež ulice per shift. The activities are open to every child who wants to participate, often they feel or experience social barriers or are an ethnic minority so this is why the activities take place in their own surroundings where they feel safe and comfortable. At the moment a new community centre is planned with the cooperation of three more NGO's. Currently Mládež ulice's volunteers are mostly students which study psychology or pedagogical subjects; they have to volunteer at least once per week in order to establish a trustworthy relationship with the clients. Mládež ulice also hosts Aneta, a Czech EVS volunteer who helps with the administrative work, street work and community event organizing. Not only to their own clients but also to the clients of the organizations located in the same office Mládež ulice's staff is great help such as carrying out art workshops for homeless people. So this organization definitely is a social benefit and aims to improve the living conditions in Bratislava. Great work!


Dom Quo Vadis

Dom Quo Vadis was built by the Catholic Church and volunteers and is being kept up by volunteers and 2 employee's supported by Church. Around 40 volunteers, most of them are young adults and some students, volunteer for DQV regularly.

Dom Quo Vadis is more than only a meeting point. People come here to read a good book (don't worry; you will have a choice of approximately 3000 books), to chat to friends or new people, to play games you can borrow from DQV, to go through the gallery exhibition which at the moment offers ceramic art showing visions of praying but with a modern touch (gallery changes monthly) while having a good cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate.

But there are so many more activities going on in Dom Quo Vadis. They also provide space for social, political, philosophic or religious discussions and host music groups. In addition to that free dancing lessons from time to time are offered or if you prefer to get information about a certain country; no problem, there are travel evenings every month! Downstairs there also are calmer places for people who want to relax or study for school/university.

DQV also has lecture room with a capacity of 90 people and 2 rooms for meeting or workshops. Lecture room is for public event but also for NGO's gatherings. Approximately 20 groups of different kind of peole (from teenage to seniors) gather in 2 rooms downstairs weekly. Furthermore the facility occupies two psychologists who have their own council space.

Dom Quo Vadis's staff would like to make DQV as a spiritual heart of the city centre of Bratislava. All ethnic groups, religious beliefs or political opinions in good will are welcome as long as tolerance and respect are being practised by the visitors. DQV is an institution which wants to prove that catholic values and the church are more than strict rules and praying; as most of the content is being represented in the DQV programme (like lectures about saints etc.). Nevertheless the organization cooperates with a priest who helps wherever help is needed. For the very inside volunteers' community there are team-building offers such as skiing or hiking trips. DQV also hosts EVS volunteers from foreign countries, whose are part of team. You won't find prices on the menu which means that the staff trusts the customer to give an amount of money he or she thinks is fair.

So this is why more than 1000 visitors enjoy the services of Dom Quo Vadis monthly. As you might have noticed DQV is like a balloon filled up with surprise eggs: Once you think you discovered everything you are just about to discover a new surprise.



Historia Posoniensis

Historia Posoniensis is a huge portal or platform which is applicable to any city or village and people can feel free to use this service to document the history of their own place. So what is in this platform? The answer is: Literally everything. From postcards, audio devices, pictures and photographs to items, maps and other digitalizable documents. The portal of Bratislava is available in German, Slovak, Hungarian and English as this city has always been multilinguistic.

The project works like the memory of the town. The information collected in Historia Posoniensis mainly focuses on the people: What did they feel; what were their hopes/fears, how do they remember what was going on in the past? To record this bunch of information first the item or audio is been digitalized and put into the system. Now information is added and graphic improvements are being taken if necessary. Then it is able to be shared on the website. At the moment there are 1911 units in total in the collection of saved treasures. Visitors of the webpage are also able to see where it was found and overlay a modern city map. Furthermore, the originator can be contacted for more information about a specific piece of exhibition.

Historia Posoniensis aims to show the roots and the different destinies of the once very multicultural inhabitants of the city.Therefore it collects and exhibits information they receive from many people willing to share their history. History becomes alive here.



PAZOA (Little Monkey)

This kindergarten and community/family centre is open to people from all social backgrounds. Its aim is to establish affordable and accessible education for children aged between 1,5 and 6 years old in Bratislava. Approximately 26 children learn how take over responsibility, develop their very own senses and discover the world they are living in every day. The centre also offers workshops and problem solving for parents.

The success of this system of kindergarten is reflected in the strong feeling of community as parents are starting to create activities or trips after the actual closure of the institution for their kids and for them as well. People who are willing to share job experiences or skills feel free to do so and take the class for a trip Because of this reputation the waiting endurance for potentially new members lasts up to two years at the moment. PAZOA is looking for volunteers starting from January onwards. The newcomer project of the owners of PAZOA is called 'Kalab centrum'. This is a meeting point for minorities such as expats where they can express and present their culture through art, other exhibitions, discussions and educational workshops. It is also planned to inform schools in order to create a higher level of tolerance in Slovakia. This project is crying for volunteers! So do not miss to sign up for this project as it is a tool to improve conditions between social groups towards a better and more open society.


Of course there are more organizations! So please be patient for a while because I will have them interviewed by the middle of November. So you can look forward to that. Enjoy your day!

Luka Paul Vethake



Quote of the day:

"The heart of a volunteer is not measured in size, but by the depth of the commitment to make a difference in the lives of others."

~ DeAnn Hollis



source of intro image: https://goo.gl/F4KkJQ 

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