PTPI Blog


PTPI Chapter Project Grants: Belgrade, Serbia

March 5th, 2015

PTPI provides Chapter Project Grants so that our global chapter network may carry out cultural, educational, and humanitarian projects that exemplify the mission of PTPI. Chapters provide reports after their projects have been completed.

Chapter Name: PTPI Belgrade, Serbia Chapter

Project Name: “Creative Youth Energy for Peace and Understanding”

Number of Beneficiaries: 1,565

PERFORMANS PTPI, Gerontoloski centar na Karaburmi, 25. decembar 2014. (76)

Members of PTPI’s Belgrade, Serbia Chapter spreading joy with the elderly

Project Description: The project was formed in reaction to  the increasing violence and bullying (including hate speeches) among Serbians. The specific case of Rasa Popov inspired the group to connect local community institutions for the young and elderly to raise awareness and teach youths the skills needed to prevent hate speeches and discrimination as well as promote inter-generational solidarity. Therefore, the project consisted of educational programs in the form of a 4 day workshop on NO Hate Speeches and creative activities, including drama workshops. At the end of the workshops, the group of youths performed for the Home for Elderly on hate speech prevention and Promotion of Inter-generational dialogue and understanding.

In addition to the workshops and final performance, the No Hate Speech campaign was supported though blogging by the Club for Adolescent Crisis in Municipality of Palilula.

Members of PTPI's Belgrade, Serbia Chapter preforming for the elderly on "No Hate Speeches"

Members of PTPI’s Belgrade, Serbia Chapter in thier final performance on “NO Hate Speeches” for the elderly

Outcomes and Impact of the Project: 

  1. Educated youths on importance of NO Hate Speech and taught way to prevent discrimination
  2. Inspired youths to use theater/drama to address the prevention of hate speeches and promote inter-generational solidarity.
  3. Established constructive dialogue between youths and elderly
  4. Supported  the NO Hate Speech Campaign though the use of social media (blog)

Reflection on Lessons Learned:

We have learned that good preparation is crucial for project implementation. Next time we will spend more time promoting the activity.

We strongly recommend this project.From our experience there is a lack of projects that bring together  the young and elderly  into dialogue which is crucial for mutual understanding and peace.

It was a very emotional experience for the participants and audience members who shared their personal stories and feeling regarding the topic of hate speeches and discrimination. We have learned that communities have healing capacities when people come together and engage in healthy dialogue.  It is important to hear and understand each other. It takes time amd knowledge,but it is crucial for peace in local communities as well as the world.

Grants are awarded twice per year and applications are due February 1 and/or August 1. All applicants will be notified within 30 days following the application deadline and funds will be distributed in March and September. Chapters may apply for and receive more than one grant in a year. Preference will be given to chapters who have not received a grant within the calendar year.

To learn more about People to People International, visit www.ptpi.org or check out our Facebook Page.

 


Discussion Question for 10% Happier – Meditation Challenge

February 12th, 2015

Question answered by Liz Wegman, Director of PTPI’s Global Chapter Network

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At the end of his book, 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help that Actually Works – A True Story, Dan Harris includes section titled “Appendix: Instructions.” I like this section, because it feels as though you are left with an action plan. Harris wants to help you achieve what he achieved, so he provides realistic and encouraging suggestions for a number of options to try, as well as answers to questions he feels might arise as you make the attempt to incorporate meditation in your life.

Well, I tried. And am still trying, though I have not been that successful. There’s a sentence in the second-to-last paragraph of the appendix that begins: “Meditation is worth the work…” It’s interesting to consider working towards improving your happiness, to me at least. Perhaps I had always thought of happiness as something that should occur naturally, without a great deal of work. So, as I was contemplating my inability to carve out at least five minutes a day to sit and put into practice the techniques and tips that Harris recommends, I switched gears and started thinking about the things I do work to make time for in my life.

Spending time reading a good book and taking classes at the gym are very high on my list of weekly priorities. I started to think more about why those two things are important to me, and it dawned on me that both activities allow me to escape my thoughts almost entirely. I realized that through those two activities I achieve my highest level of mindfulness – I am almost completely present in the moment and the experience. And I am happy.

 

I have a quote by Mother Teresa taped to the wall by my desk:

“Be happy in the moment – that’s enough. Each moment is all we need – not more.”

So even though I’m not sitting down and meditating (yet), I love that reading this book caused me to look at some of the aspects of my life in a different light. It provided clarity in terms of the feeling I want to strive to achieve, and a frame of reference for what achieving mindfulness feels like.

People to People International’s Global Book Club is a way to connect with your global community. Global Book Club members communicate about valuable, international topics and gain unique insight and understanding of various cultural views in relation to those topics. For more information on People to People International, visit www.ptpi.org or PTPI’s Facebook Page. #globalbookclub

The opinions expressed by PTPI staff and other book club members are entirely their own and are not necessarily the views of  PTPI or its Officers, Board of Directors and Board of Trustees.


PTPI Chapter Project Grant: Yerevan, Armenia

January 28th, 2015

PTPI provides Chapter Project Grants so that our global chapter network may develop projects that will make a significant and lasting impact. Chapter Project Grants support projects that exemplify the mission of PTPI: to offer multinational experiences that foster cross cultural learning, develop global leadership skills, and connect with an international network of people committed to making a positive difference in the world.

Chapter Name: PTPI’s Yerevan, Armenia Community Chapter 

Project Name: “Community’s Young Voice”

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Members of PTPI’s Yerevan, Armenia Community Chapter

Number of Beneficiaries: 300+

Project Description:

6 members of PTPI Yerevan Armenia Community Chapter investigated the needs of young people in 10 different Armenian communities (Small Vedi, Byurakan, Shenik, Hrazdan, Vanadzor, Arapi, Gandzakar, Jermuk, Shaki, Martuni). The members found that each community was experiencing low youth involvement, including low employment rates.

Therefore, the purpose of this project was to promote youth involvement in Armenian communities by providing them with training to improve their communication/media skills for future employment, and encouraging volunteer work.

Two seminars on the topic of “Usage of social media in civic journalism” were organized in Noyan-Tapan mass media center which was addressed for the development of IT and Media in Yerevan and other regions of Armenia.

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Outcomes and Impact of the Project: 

The project had a great impact on both the young people as well as the rest of the communities. Each community has a group of active beneficiaries who, as a result of project participation, have acquired new skills in research and  Information Technologies. At the end of the project, the beneficiaries assessed other community issues, made public decisions, passed on their gained knowledge and experiences to other members of the community, and successfully communicated with other youth groups in Yerevan.

Overall, the project was a success in the following ways:

  • Developed research, creative, and Information Technologies skills for 300 young beginner journalists in 10 communities of the Republic of Armenia.
  • Proposed a possible solution to unemployment problem for the successful beneficiaries in the communities.
  • Increased level of knowledge in the field of journalism by means of the created distance educational process.
  • Raised level of  youth self-confidence and self-consciousness in communities
  • Created and developed a communication platform where our beneficiaries will share their ideas, skills and experience with others.
  • Prepared and disseminated information about the Center and its activities
  • Nurtured cooperation and development between our beneficiaries from Yerevan and other communities.
  • Familiarized society with articles and materials prepared by our beneficiaries
  • Recruited new members to the PTPI Yerevan, Armenia Chapter for chapter development

Reflection on Lessons Learned:

At the end of our project, we found that it is best to:

  • Conduct meetings by means of games, to quickly and effectively involve youth in discussions
  • Organize frequent meetings for further development of the communities.

Grants are awarded twice per year and applications are due February 1 and/or August 1. All applicants will be notified within 30 days following the application deadline and funds will be distributed in March and September. Chapters may apply for and receive more than one grant in a year. Preference will be given to chapters who have not received a grant within the calendar year.

To learn more about People to People International, visit www.ptpi.org or check out our Facebook Page.