The aim of the “Paint Happiness” project was to renovate one of the walls in “Domkultury!” community centre in Toruń. The successful closure of the project was followed by a party thrown for Domkultury!’s patrons, volunteers, staff and children frequently visiting the facility. Domkultury! is a place for children to spend their free time in a positive atmosphere. It is also a place where children from dysfunctional families may put everyday problems aside and simply enjoy the moment.
Since the spring semester of 2016/2017, the SocialErasmus project members have been organising meetings for both foreign and local students in Toruń in the facility. Students have been given the opportunity to present their country, popular games and songs characteristic for the place that they come from. The experience has been doing nothing but bringing out the best in the participants, also due to the positive atmosphere of the meetings. The children were quick to realise that a smile is a universal sign recognisable regardless of the language one speaks, and that despite coming from various parts of the world, they have much in common with their guests. Moreover, Former Erasmus+ students who visited the facility admit that meeting the children was one of the highlights of their exchange programme and that the event influenced their opinion about the stay in Toruń significantly. At present, ESN’s visits to Domkultury! are still very popular among the Erasmus+ students, who are always willing and full of motivation to help the kids.
Considering the overall number of people engaged in the project, including the ESN members and Erasmus+ students, as well as the children and their tutors, one may say that it can be estimated at about 40. Thanks to all of them, the SocialErasmus’ project was realised and the wall was renovated. The picture painted on the wall depicts the map of Europe with symbols characteristic for each of the countries. Thanks to that, learning geography has become much easier for the kids. It has also been ap
preciated that all of the participants enjoyed taking part in the project and were exceptionally active when it was being realised. What is more important, however, is that everybody has admitted that the effect of their common effort is more than satisfying. Recently, after nearly a year of cooperation between ESN and the facility, the project has come to closure and the final touch was the party for all of the people involved.
Painting the wall was portrayed by a university photographer, and the information about the project was published also on the english version of the ma
n University webpage. The project has been assessed in a very positive manner by the University and Domkultury!’s authorities, especially because of the engagement of both local community and international students. The project was also an opportunity for ESN to share with others the value it attaches to the public weal and prosperity of the local communities. The renovated wall has therefore become the symbol of the cooperation between Domkultury! and ESN UMK Toruń.
English translation: Patrycja Płachecka