YEE at Earth Day 2015 in Toulcuv Dvur

DSC02695bWhen my organisation suggested we help Botic carry out their Earth Day event, I got excited for leaving my office and branching myself more in the area of Toulcuv Dvur. After meeting the people from the organisation responsible for managing the event, I knew immediately that I was in the right hands due to their passionate and elaborate explanation, in which I also learned more about the chequered history of Toulcuv Dvur.

To be honest, when I learned that there will be 140 kids in total visiting the event, I got a little freaked out, not only by the high number, but also because of the language barrier. Still, I have already mentioned in previous articles that I identify EVS as a perfect opportunity for new experiences, so on April 22 I was ready to take on the initiative with open arms.

The theme of the event was "Water" and there were several tables set on which children would learn more about the nature of the element, and even have fun by playing some water-related games.

Since the theme of the event was "Water", the first thing we did was bring water to the numerous tables so that the room is prepared for welcoming its first visitors. Our
main tasks were simple and consisted of helping the people from Botic, like bringing water and sweeping the floor occasionally if it gets wet. Unfortunately, as I said above, due to the language barrier, we were not able to actively interact with the kids' lectures, demonstrations and games. Nevertheless, the people who were doing that were kind enough to explain what their tasks are, so we were still aware what was going on.

DSC02694bLittle by little, I started getting acquainted more with some specific activities. Firstly, I helped Sarka on the Gravity table where she demonstrated to children what the principle of fountains is and how a water stream is created by the power of gravity. The kids were active participants in this activity, and they had a great time exploring by themselves how to make a bigger and bigger fountain stream.

Next, I spent some time at a table where children were supposed to make paper clips float on water. It was actually a nice practical and fun lesson in physics. Here I took the same role of helping in the preparation of the table for every next group of kids. It was funny in some cases when I got approached by kids thinking I speak Czech, and the only thing I can say was "Ne". After a while, I progressed and learned to say "Nerozumím" (I don't understand) and "Nemluvím česky" (I don't speak Czech).

Following the lunch break, the same activities started again, only this time for both children and mothers. To my great pleasure, here I took a more active role by helping the children grasp the gravity game. Of course, I used gestures, some simple (and probably wrong) Czech words and some Macedonian words that I thought (and hoped) resemble the Czech ones. Luckily, the response I got from the children was quite positive and even encouragingly assuring. Naturally, some laughed at my expense, but that was expected by the sheer fact that it was the first time I'm being a part of a big event intended for the young ones.

To conclude, the event organised by Botic was not only an exciting activity where I can contribute to the local community here in Prague, but also a task by which I can look deeper into my abilities to work and interact with children. Thus, I am thankful to my organisation YEE and Botic for presenting this opportunity to me and I'm eagerly looking forward to the next one.



DSC02692bAs Vladimir wrote, I also looked forward to get new experiences out of the office of YEE. Due to Botic organisation, we could see one part of the life of Toulcuv Dvur and get to know how they organise and manage a special event in the framework of Earth Day.

At the beginning, it was difficult to imagine how I could be helpful during the event without the Czech language knowledge, but later I realised that we easily could contribute and manage different situation with English speaker locals together. I could also get to know one of the great initiatives of Czech Republic: the employees of big companies can replace some of their workdays by volunteering. So, I managed to meet other volunteers - even a Hungarian one - and make friendship with them, and later they suggested me some good places in Prague.

Moreover, this event gave me a really good platform to see different methods and practices in the case of environmental education. I could ask my questions from the organisers who answered and showed me their work with pleasure. All in all, that day was really useful and joyful, I could meet new people, especially locals. At the same time I could learn a lot and observe how Botic can manage successfully a big event like this.