Promotion of Youth in Action programme

Last week was full of challenges for everybody: Youth Debate Center office is changing the address, so we all had to pack everything in the special boxes delivered by Oksana. We were so tired after work but there’s still  a bit more things waiting to be packed! Besides, during last week Kasia, Marta, Lena and Maksym made a route around local universities to promote Youth in Action programme. We were presenting Youth Debate Centre as a volunteering organisation, which can be a sending organisation for people who want to take a part in a long-term EVS and also an organisation which is sending people on short trainings located in many countries of European Union, dedicated to specific topics, like for example: human rights or ecology.

Lena speaking about her EVS in Poland

At the beginning we were a bit stressed,in the end not for everyday volunteers have to practise their public speech skills! But after every presentation we got better and braver. Lena and Maksym were introducing  the whole idea of non-formal education which is one of the most important goals in Youth in Action programme, so they talked about travelling almost for free, chances for individual and group development like increasing the knowlegde of foreing languages, team-work,  discovering new fields of interests. Each of them told to the audience their own experience with Youth in Action programme: Lena told about her EVS in Gdynia (Poland) and Maksym about his training in Georgia. Kasia and Marta were talking about their current EVS experience, so: how they found the advertisement about free vacancies on EVS in internet, how the whole process of recruitment looks like, what the hosting organisation is delivering to volunteers and so on. We showed to the audience so many photos from our EVS and trainings!

People looked interested during our presentation, they were taking the leaflets and asking questions so probably Youth Debate Centre can expect soon some new volunteers ready to go abroad!

~ Marta



Drowning of ‘Marzanna’ puppet

After last Saturday workshop “Marzanna” doll was ready to drown! This Saturday we’ve met in front of YDC office and we went together for a final walk with our Marzanna. We found the perfect place to drown puppet nearby the office, but first we had to get there, so we made a little procession- people were starring at us while we were carrying her!


we burned only half of her face


When we were there, discussion started, if we should burn Marzanna or not. We decided to try … but at the end it didn’t work too much!



The puppet didn’t want to burn (the winter was not giving up!) so we had to drown it. We chose one brave men to throw her into water..


Marzanna in the water! Goodbye winter, don’t come back









When Marzanna was finally in the water we said all together magic words, like “Marzanna, Marzanna, swim across the seas”, “Goodbye winter, don’t come back!” It was getting dark but we stayed for a moment more to see what was going to happen with Marzanna.


Later we gathered into a circle and played some name-games, to get to know each other a bit better. Each of us shared also plans for the spring and summer, for example what we would like to achieve, what we want to do during warm part of the year etc. and at the end of the meeting everybody got chocolade bars yuum!

Group photos:

say “Marzanna”!

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Relation from ‘Marzanna’ workshop

Last days in Donetsk were so sunny and warm that everybody thought- spring has finally came to us! In Poland 21 of March is officially recognized as the first day of spring, so volunteers from Poland decided to share one of their spring tradition, also known in some other Eastern Europe countries- making a Marzanna doll. Folk custom says that on that day Marzanna should be built and later drowned in the river to say goodbye to cold weather and invite spring time. This tradition is dating back to pagan times, when the beginning of spring was considered as a very magical time.

So, who is Marzanna? In Slavic tradition it was old goddess of winter, plague and death, also known as Winter Witch. To protect themselves from Marzanna and everything she symbolizes, at the end of winter season Slavs were organizing farewell ritual, called the drowning of Marzanna.

How the ritual looked like in the past? Local people carried Marzanna through every street, ending up outside the town. There, the doll was thrown into the river. After the sinking of Marzanna, the procession had to rush back home, without looking back, out of fear of provoking the world of angry spirits. The sunk puppet could not be touched or watched, those who disobeyed this unspoken rule could expect a curse or even death.

How Marzanna looks like: She is made of straw, cardboard, brunches and everything what is easy to find in the nature and what decomposes easily. Traditionally, she was dressed in a colorful skirt or dress with a scarf on her head, but now people are using mostly rags to decorate her. Later she is placed on the top of the long stick.

How the drowning looks like: people throw decorated Marzanna into a river or a lake, during this ritual they sing and saying the following words: Marzanna, Marzanna, swim across the seas. Let flowers bloom and fields turn green! With time, drowning of Marzanna lost its initial sense of magic and turned into play for children which will remain in Poland for a long time as the proper way to welcome the first day of spring.

Last Saturday event was not only a presentation of the well known in Eastern part of Europe tradition, but also girls prepared workshop- all the gathered people were building together Marzanna puppet. Next Saturday we are going to meet again and finish the ritual with throwing ready Marzanna to the river. So everybody is invited!


HistoryFromEveryone – History seen from several points of view

historyfromeveryoneThe Website/Blog/Place-on-the-Internet-with-some-interesting-words-written-on-it HistoryFromEveryone is “officially open” for whoever wants to visit.

HistoryFromEveryone is a project of our Portuguese volunteer which is trying to relate written history and oral histories in one place. The website is written both in English and in Portuguese.

At this moment, the website only has two posts, both relating to the same topic, about the History of University Life of the city of Porto, Portugal. Two more posts are on their way. One related to life in Soviet Union by the eyes of two generations (a grandmother and a grandson) and another about the Nagorno-Karabakh War between Azerbaijan and Armenia, that took place after the fall of Soviet Union, through the eyes of a person of Armenian descent who lived the conflict during her child years. Posts about life in United States of America in the 1970s and about the life of a prisioner in Poland during the Second World War might follow as well.

The link of the website is (at least, for now)


Диалог между поколениями через искусство

ІД арт постерУже февраль и наш проект “Диалог между поколениями через искусство” уже начался!

Приглашаем Вас принять участие в проекте “Диалог между поколениями через искусство”, реализуемом волонтерами международной волонтерской службы при поддержке Европейской Комиссии и Донецкого городского совета.


Это просто! Попросите Ваших дедушек и бабушек, старших родственников или знакомых одолжить Вам фотографию времен их молодости и рассказать короткую историю, о том, что на ней изображено. Отправьте собранные материалы по электронной почте на адрес
Фотографии и истории будут приниматься до 15-го марта.
Не забудьте написать свое имя, возраст и контактную информацию.


Комиссия, созданная из международных волонтеров и членов Донецкого городского совета, выберет лучшие и наиболее интерестные фотографии, которые впоследствии будут превращены в современные произведения искусства и представлены на художественной выставке, посвященой празднованию 145-летия Донецка.

Вы также можете помочь нам, поделившись информацией о нашем мероприятии!



Intergenerationart Dialogue

ІД арт постерIt’s February and our project ‘Intergenerationart Dialogue’ has already started!

We invite you to take part in this project directed by EVS volunteers, European Comission and Donetsk City Council from February to May 2014.


It’s really easy! Just approach your grand-parents, elder relatives or acquaintances and ask them to lend you a picture from their youth and a brief story about that picture.

Then send it to us to:

You can do it from NOW until 15th March!


Our team made up for us, EVS volunteers and City council members are going to select the best and most interesting pictures and stories and which are going to be transformed in modern art and exposed in some final exhibitions due to the celebration of Donetsk 145 anniversary.




Meet our new Polish volunteer!


Polish team of volunteers is now full-  Aleksandra (called also Sasha) came to Donetsk on 28th of January to join the long-term project “Intergeneration Dialogue” part 2. During first week of her staying, she participated in trainings, which took a place in office of Youth Debate Centre, she also met most of the volunteers who are working now in our organization. Last Friday other Polish volunteers invited Sasha for a long walk in the city center, so now she knows some more about Donetsk!

Here goes the shortcut of informations about Sasha:

She fell in love with UkrainOlae, just after her first visit in the country. The fascination of Ukrainian culture was growing, that is why she decided to start studying Ukrainian philology on the University of Warsaw. And now she’s working on her master degree. Besides her fascination about easter Europe countries Ola has many other interests: she loves sunny weather, travelling wide and far, theater and poetry. She likes also rock climbing. Aleksandra is an optimist, who tries to see bright sides of every situation. She likes to be surrounded by open-minded people, who like to laugh a lot and keep a healthy distance in a life. Besides she wouldn’t like to live without sweets and  Polish sour cream 30%. Aleksandra decided to take a part in project, because she thinks that getting to know people from all over the world is one of the most amazing things in life. During the projects she wants to gain an experience in translations, learn languages and discover something new about herself. Besides she sees the Ukraine as the country of contrast and that’s why she loves it in here!

We invite everyone to meet Sasha personally during all the activities organized in Youth Debate Centre!



Intergenerationart Dialogue – A very artistic saturday

Last weekend the volunteers Ieva and Natalia hosted the second Saturday Event of 2014. The topic? Art.


Natalia and Ieva

Ok, I feel like I should expand a little more on this subject. The purpose of the event was to: promote Natalia and Ieva’s new project - Intergenerationart Dialogue, teach some drawing skills to the public of the event and, in the same page as last saturday event, test the public’s general knowlege of art with a quiz.

Natalia, our Spanish Picassa, iniciated the event with the quiz. The first part presented the public with several pictures of supposed paintings. We had to guess what paintings were created by known artists and what paintings were invented by Natalia and her amazing photoshop/MS Paint skills. This first part of the quiz was surprisingly (or not) difficult. This event showed everyone the huge resemblance between an acclaimed work of art and the work created in the time spent drawing on a computer by a Spanish EVS volunteer in Donetsk while still on her pajamas (there is something very wrong with the artistic world – at this rate she should be a millionare by now). The second part of the quiz consisted on various questions of multiple choice of general culture of the art world. It was a very interesting competition. A very loud Englishman and a louder Portuguese guy kept making noise troughout the quiz saying it was very easy and they would win it. Obviousy neither won. The winner was Oksana and the prize: a dinner with the two artists In their flat.

Finished the quiz, it was time for something very different. Ieva, the best Latvian artist living in Donetsk I’ve ever known in my entire life, started her part of the presentation by showing a small video explaining what a composition is, in terms of the visual arts. Finished the video, Ieva proceeded to give away two groups of paper sheets to the audience. One with pictures and the other, blank. The idea was to create a composition mixing both pictures. The result was interesting, to say the least.

DSC_2337 DSC_2338 DSC_2339 DSC_2340 DSC_2341 DSC_2342DSC_2343 DSC_2344 DSC_2345 DSC_2346 DSC_2347 DSC_2348 DSC_2349 DSC_2350 DSC_2352 DSC_2353 DSC_2354 DSC_2358


Everybody had a lot of fun and learned something new and interesting. At the end of the event, Natalia spoke about her and Ieva’s new project, Intergenerationart Dialogue, which focuses it’s goals on helping younger generations understand the not-so-young generations and vice-versa, using the visual arts (and also, maybe, the not-so-visual arts) as a tool.

All in all, this last saturday has presented to everyone that appeared a very amusing, interesting and didactic event and showed the world the first official presentation of Intergenerationart Dialogue, a project with a future. And no, I’m not just saying this to make Ieva and Natalia less mad with me because of this review of their event.

Hope to see you all next saturday!


Heated discussion about several points of view during the composition



After Polish evening with surprises- so what do we know now about Poland and new Polish volunteers?

As you know, Youth Debate Center is hosting now three new volunteers from Poland. Girls came to Donetsk on 9th of January to take a part in EVS long-term project “Intergeneration Dialogue” part 2. During first week of their staying here they were participating in trainings, which took place in Youth Debate Center office but also they took a part in some out-door actions, for example, they visited “Raduga” center to see how the rest of volunteers is working there.

greeting with bread and salt

greeting with bread and salt

Last Saturday in Youth Debate Center girls prepared presentation which was divided into two parts- first contained some basic information about Poland, for example we got some informations about Polish flag, in which white colour is the symbol of pure heart and red colour is the symbol od courage. Later they shared with us Polish and also Ukrainian ‘welcome’ tradition: sharing bread and dipping it into the bowl with salt.

Besides girls introduced themselves and here comes the shortcut of that:

Katarzyna: she’s living on Wolin Island, she’s 23 years old, you can call her Kashka, she loves to make photographies and she’s against using photoshop. She likes to be active and she loves listening to music, especially she’s into metal and rock. She finished Russian Philology on University of Szczecin.

Klaudia: she’s living in Ko?obrzeg by the sea side. she’s 22 years old, she likes to talk with people and give them advices. She has a small family, parents and one brother. She loves animals and has a dog called “Jacket”. She finished Russian Philology on University of Szczecin.

Marta: she’s living in Szczecin- the capital of region, finished Culture Studies in her home town. She’s 22 years old. She likes creative writing and drawing, horror movies and american tv shows. She has big family: parents, twin sister, two brothers and also a dog called ‘Pimpek’. Besides she loves sweets.

The second part of girls’ presentation could be called “don’t take it seriously” section; they prepared some funny ‘tongue breakers’- sentences which contain mix of letters, which even native Polish speaker is not able to say properly sometimes. Later they showed us some stereotypes about Polish people, but from their sight of view. At the end of presentation there was waiting a challenge for everybody- mini quiz about Poland! The participants had to answer 10 questions and draw their behaving after drinking Polish vodka. The happy winner will be invited for a dinner with Polish dishes made by girls!

Take a look at some photos made during presentation!


all the participants

all the participants

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participants part 1

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participants part 2