Happy Birthday SocialErasmus!
On the 10th Anniversary of the SocialErasmus project and centennial of the regaining of independence, polish local sections of Erasmus Student Network (ESN) from all over the country invited international students to cooperate and organize 100 activities for polish society. Since the 11th of November, over 100 events have been organized across the country, involving over 500 international volunteers.
WHO MADE IT REAL?
The initiative engaged members from 27 local sections of ESN Poland Association, international mobility students (mainly participating in the Erasmus+ exchange) and full-time international students studying in Poland. They have been posting each organized activity on main event on Facebook: 100 for 100 - 10th Anniversary of the SocialErasmus Project.
ACTIVITIES ORGANIZED AS A PART OF THE INITIATIVE
The most often organized event was Erasmus in Schools. During that initiative international students visit kindergartens and schools to support foreign language classes, talk about their countries and traditions and at the same time get to know Polish culture from its youngest representatives. Students from University of Łódź hold the record - they have visited 6 schools! This year, thanks to cooperation with The Bridge Foundation pupils had also the chance to learn more about Sustainable Development Goals in a friendly, fairy form of “Fairy Tales for a Fairer World”. For students from Gdańsk University of Technology visit in school and cooperation with children with mental health disabilities were also the lesson of… making pierogi (dumplings) - traditional polish dish!
Charity events have been equally popular: students took part in Noble Box (ESN Wrocław United, ESN Kraków United, ESN UŁ, ESN SGH, ESN SUT Gliwice, ESN UW), collection of school supplies (ESN Gdańsk, ESN PB), as well as christmas cookies markets (ESN UP Wrocław, ESN Olsztyn) and sale of christmas cards prepared with support of kids from kindergarten. Charity badminton tournament has been organized at Łódź University of Technology, Christmas Charity Tournament at Gdańsk University of Technology and students from HEIs in Cracow and University of Warsaw organized Christmas Dream Cup. This initiative is much more than sport! It combines physical activity, art and visit of real sport celebrities - all for the kids from the orphanages. Students from Szczecin took children from orphanage ice skating and those from University of Białystok visited them with Christmas gifts and invited to play brand new board games. ESN PWr, ESN SWPS University and ESN UW together with their international students prepared christmas cards for kids that will spend Christmas in hospital, to cheer them up a bit in that time away from home.
International students have been also engaged in preparing food for the homeless (ESN UAM Poznań) and organizing Christmas dinner for people with sickness and disabilities (ESN SGH). Students from Cracow visited seniors in nursing home and students from Łódź University of Technology (ESN-EYE) bestowed them with handmade Christmas cards.
Some of our activities aimed to help animals and that is why, volunteers organized donations for animal shelters. Moving on, sections decided to raise the awareness regarding environmental sustainability through events like debate about environment, collection of plastic nuts (ESN PB, ESN US Szczecin) or showing a movie about environmental sustainability to international students (ESN US Szczecin).
Between 19th of November and 3rd of December ESN network celebrated Social Inclusion Days. Apart from many SocialErasmus events, many other initiatives have been organized with the goal of supporting more inclusive society and making students more aware of how the daily life of people with disabilities may look like, for example: dinner in the dark, sign language workshops, English classes for visually impaired.
The idea of enriching multicultural experience of mobile youth was born in 2008. Currently SocialErasmus is the international project of Erasmus Student Network (ESN). Within last 10 years, since first events organized by Magda Pawelczyk and Justyna Adamiec, ESN involved thousands of international students in activities supporting integration and intercultural awareness. 100 years of SocialErasmus mean 10 years of integration, active citizenship, joy and changing the world one initiative at the time.
100 events is a symbolic gift to Poland to celebrate the centennial of the regaining of independence. It is also a huge reach of the activities on the society. Each initiative is not only the beginning of changes in lives but most importantly - in the attitudes of young people!
This project is a part of the commemoration of the centennial of the regaining of independence.
Volunteers participating in the initiative were full-time and Erasmus+ students of 28 Higher Education Institutions in Poland.
The aim of SocialErasmus is to enrich the international experience of young people abroad with volunteering activities that allow them to understand society’s problems and to work on the solutions. SocialErasmus provides an opportunity for international young people to get to know other realities and learn how they can contribute to improve society as citizens of the world.
Our mission is to provide young citizens with the opportunity to use the experience they gain abroad, induce positive change in the society through volunteering and showcasing added value of volunteering as a part of the student mobility period through the SocialErasmus project.
There are 8 causes: Animals, Disasters, Discrimination, Education, Environment, Health, Poverty, Violence. "Leave your mark!" is the motto of the project!