The atmosphere of today’s meeting was created by the active club member Nastya Burova. She took a lot of effort, time and creativity to carve a genuine Halloween artifact - a Jack-o-Lantern. Nastiya’s first experience in pumpkin carving turned out to be so successful that we decided to use it as a centerpiece for the round- table discussion. The lantern impressed all the visitors and became a popular object for taking photographs.
The actual topic of today’s ESC session was “Peace Corp. Volunteerism in Ukraine”. The guest presenter was Mr. Patrick Kelly – a friend of the WOA and an experienced Peace Corp. volunteer.
Patrick started the lecture with a brief presentation of his background and his home town – Seattle. The facts about the tourist attractions of Seattle were quite amusing and evoked a lot of comments and questions.
The facts, figures and statistics about Peace Corp. Organization were particularly interesting to the new-comers.
Mr. Kelly pinpointed the objectives and tasks of Peace Corp. activities in Ukraine. After that he told the audience about their projects of his host organization in Dnipropetrovsk and his own main goal – to teach the local Non Government Organizations (NGOs) the basic fundraising techniques and to shift their activity to finding the local finance sources for the volunteer projects.
Mr. Kelly appealed to the audience to help him in his community projects and received several offers and ideas for the joined activities for the young people in Dnipropetrovsk. There were many questions asked about the current experience of the Peace Corp volunteers in Ukraine.
Among the new visitors of the WOA was Mr. Matt – an ex- Peace Corp volunteer from the ex-Soviet republic Kazakhstan and an English teacher at a local language school. He shared his experiences of the life in the central Asian republic.
Once the official presentation was over the Head of the WOA Svitlana Usenko informed the club members about the article in the local government newspaper (circulation of 70,500 copies).
The title of the article was “America is closer than it seems” and it presented the history and the current activities of the “Window on America” in Dnipropetrovsk. Our American friends Patrick and Samantha who found their photos in the Ukrainian newspaper were genuinely impressed and received a photocopy of the article each.
The Halloween artifact on the table prompted numerous questions about the Halloween traditions from the clubmembers. Samantha and Patrick added a few funny facts to our knowledge about this holiday.
The younger generation of the club members needed more time to share the impressions from the session and arranged a Halloween tea ceremony around the Jack-o-Lantern. Nastya B. followed the tradition and treated her fellows with an assortment of candies.
The number of participants – 31 persons.
Федченко А. Америка ближче, ніж здається // Вісті Придніпров'я: Обл. суспільно-політична газета (тираж 70 500 прим). - 2011. - 27 жовтня. - С.9.