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Mediateka – Library for Youth – is an cultural institution located in Wroclaw city center, created to service for young citizens by giving them opportunity of free internet connection, rich multimedia resources, organized within of Mediateka divers workshops, exhibitions, cultural events, intellectual and social development.

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Mediateka is hosting EVS volunteer since 2004 to participate in long-term projects. For volunteers participate in Mediateka’s project can be chance for their personal development, exchange of experience. It’s a place encouraging multifaceted actions devoted to the local community at the same time a field for development of skills and animator, interpersonal and organizing competences. Mediateka is also a chance for initiation for modern world of multimedia technologies.

At this moment organization of Semper Avanti (which cooperates with Mediateka) is hosting two volunteers from different European countries. One guy is Huseyn Masmaliyev.

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He is 28 years old, from Azerbaijan. He finished Baku Slavic University (International Relations) and Master Art at Warsaw University (Political Science). Also in Azerbaijan he cooperated with Polish non-governmental organizations, tourism and translation agencies. He likes policy, traveling, Russian literature and football.  And another guy is Jan Winkelhake.

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He is just 19 years old and now the youngest volunteer at Semper. In Germany, where he come from, he finished A-Levels (it is normal / very popular to go abroad e.g. as a volunteer after High School, not after studies, how it is in other countries). He likes travelling, reading, cycling and also learning something about foreign cultures and languages.

So… I had opportunity to contact them and ask questions for which I would like to receive answers from them… )))

1)                 Why did you want to take part in EVS project / to be volunteer? What do you expect (which knowledges) from this?

Huseyn: “I do not like to stay in one place. I want to continue to develop, deepen my knowledge and broaden my horizons. EVS is a great opportunity to learn new cultures, to work in the international team and gain invaluable experience. It is also great occasion to practice foreign languages”.

Jan: “I decided to work for one year as a volunteer to see something new and to get out of my school- and learning rhythm between school and studies. I also see this year as a year of developing new ideas for my future e.g. what to study etc. Furthermore I want to meet new people with different cultural backgrounds and it is also very important for me to be fluent in polish after this year. And last but not least I think that it is a good idea to engage in a social Project, since there is not more the duty of going to army or civil work after High School”.

2)                 When your project start / you came to Wroclaw, Poland? How long have you will be volunteer with organization? Why did you choose Wroclaw and Semper Avanti?

H: “I came to Wroclaw 7-th of July. I will stay here one year. I’ve never been in western Poland. I’ve heard a lot about Wroclaw and its beauty. I found interesting the projects of the organization.  That’s why I chose Wroclaw and the Semper Avanti”.

J: “I came at the beginning of July to Wroclaw to start my work at Mediateka and I will stay here for twelve month. I have chose Mediateka because I really much like to work with books and I am very interested in literature and I chose Wroclaw because it is a big City and as I lived in Germany in a village I wanted to live for one year in a big City”.

3)                 Do you like this city? What the most?

H: “Yes, I like the city. Its old and compelling architecture, numerous parks. And that a lot of international events take place here”.

J: “I really like Wroclaw and I am enjoying every day in this beautiful City! I really like, that there is so much water, caused by the river Odra, in and around Wroclaw, even that it is so Close to the mountains…the perfect mixture. And I also like the old City of Wroclaw and the architecture of it’s buildings very much. Another nice aspect is the multicultural Background of Wroclaw and the diversity of it’s diversity of inhabitant. Wroclaw is also a very young City, which is caused by the mass of students in Wroclaw”.

4)                 What were your fears before you arrive, and now during the project?

H: “I had no fears, because I have already lived in Poland, I know polish language and I knew what to expect”.

J: “To be honest, there have not been fears, before I arrived, I just have been very curious for what is going to happen and what I will experience in Wroclaw. Maybe I have been a bit afraid about the question, how the living conditions will be, but from the first moment I was feeling very comfortable in the flat”.

5)                 What do you think about the new mentality? Do you feel the difference? Which?

H: “As I already wrote this mentality is not new for me. I know a lot about this country, I was studying polish language, the history of this country at my University in Azerbaijan, and then I had occasion to come here and to see it personally. Of course there are a lot of differences between our two countries that come for example from the difference in religion”.

J: “As I am coming from Germany and Germany and Poland are neighboring countries, I didn’t notice so many differences in cultural aspects between my home country and Poland. In my opinion Poles aren’t as stressed as Germans and they are enjoying life more than Germans, because they are not thinking so much about future, job and stuff like this. For me Germans, me included, always need to plan everything, what they want to do in detail and Poles are more spontaneous and just do something, without thinking so much about risks or whatever”.

6)                 Which main tasks do you have in Mediateka?

H: “As it is summer time and the students are mostly on vacations, we do not have so many visitors in the library, and our job right now is just limited by helping to the staff (we put the books on the shelves, clean the discs and change signatures). However soon we will also teach foreign languages in “language café” and work directly with the visitors”.

7)                 Do you feel you complete all assignments? If not, why?

H: “Almost, I still do not fully acquainted with the work directly with visitors. But I am trying to learn”.

J: “Yes, I think that I complete all assignment, even that I am not as old and experienced as other volunteers. I think most important is to do your Job and all the other work around EVS with fun and a smile in your face and you will do a good work and be able to fulfill the expectations. Also there should be taken into account, that we are ‘just’ volunteers and no qualified workers; and the work e.g. in Mediateka is only a part of EVS and other elements like languages classes, experiences for yourself or just to learn to know the new mentality and stuff like this is also very important”.

8)                 Do you take the initiative to perform other duties?

H: “Yes, I want to organize the Azeri culture evening in Mediateka, where visitors will have occasion to know more about my country, or to try our national dishes. I want also to organize the exhibition of our famous painter in Mediateka. All this activities will also help to promote Mediateka”.

J: “I would like, and I am already planning this, to give languages lessons to other people in German or maybe even in English and I would also like to take over some duties in the office work at Semper Avanti, like caring and guiding new volunteers and similar works”.

9)                 What are your impressions of the organization and their programs? Are you not disappointed?

H: “Of course I am not. And as I said I like the organization’s activities and projects carried out by them”.

J: “I am very convinced of Semper Avanti and the work they are doing. I am very glad about the language lessons, they are offering, which are Held by a private teacher two times a week for 1,5 hours. Also very good is, that they try to find some tasks for you which are similar to your interests and skills which you can fulfill, if you want to”.

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About Multicultural Language Cafe

Multilingual Language Cafe - EVS projects in Semper Avanti. 6 volunteers from different European countries come to Wrocław for 9 months to work with kids, teenagers and seniors in Lower Silesia district. Volunteer's main tasks are Human Rights and Global Education workshops, activities for people in different age groups, Language cafe in Mediateka - language conversations, activities in Sektor 3, and other partner institutions.

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