IntegrART brought me memories for life – Anastasiia from Ukraine

IntegrART brought me memories for life – Anastasiia from Ukraine

Hello there! It’s Anastasiia from Ukraine. I’ve been lucky enough to volunteer for IntegrART project in culture club Przegorzaly during the part year and today, I’m sharing my thank you letter for this amazing time and what it brought to each of us 🙂

Our year of volunteering is coming to an end, and of course, as we’ve been warned, it just flew by! But it’s always like this when you’re having fun right? So I’ll attempt to break it down here.

I gained so much from volunteering in Przegorzały. From participating in activities of the club, like contests, diverse concerts and intense but also fun camps for kids, to everyday duties. All while being a team, sharing news and discussing life updates! I really enjoyed working in a culture club located in such beautiful part of Kraków, surrounded by nature and friendly community.

Some things that I did were so cool I couldn’t ever imagine I’d be able to have such opportunities before coming to Poland. For example, there were two exhibitions in Przegorzały that I really enjoyed creating. First one was dedicated to the forest nearby which was at the risk of being cut and to the beauty of nature (a moment to appreciate natural places in Krakow!). Second one was about fashion, one of my interests. We told about Polish and Ukrainian creators and what are their values in the modern world of consumerism. In Dworek Białoprądnicki, I was a co-host of radio show Glimpse of UA for Jazzkultura radio. I was always curious about this part of possible journalism careers and was very lucky to gain some experience with that. Most importantly, I really enjoyed working on this project with the other great volunteer from Wola culture club, Ira. Very thankful for our collaboration and her dedication and knowledge 🙂

One more memorable thing in Przegorzały was running my express writing course. With my past in journalism, I was happy to share some tips that I found important in practice and to see how useful it is to write, whether for work or as a hobby. It was something completely new for me. It’s another thing, don’t be too much in your head when trying new things during volunteering. Mistakes mean that you’re moving forward and not staying stagnant! Use this time for your benefit while trying to provide good things to local community, that’s what IntegrART is about! Also don’t worry about attracting as many people as possible to each activity. Just try to do your best without too much pressure, ask for help if needed and embrace this unique time! Talking about it, one of my highlights was a celebration for Ukrainian national day dedicated to our item of clothing called Vyshyvanka – a shirt (usually) with traditional embroidery of our different regions. Looking back, I’m very happy to sum up such diverse things that I did! And it would’ve never happened without the support of project coordinators and my friends, so I’m very thankful.

Enough of statistics and facts, because this experience was mostly about new emotions and inner changes for me. Let’s start with the fact that I don’t think I’ve ever met so many people in such little time. From Poland, Ukraine, Italy, Georgia, France, Australia, Ireland… Krakow is an amazing city if you’d like to discover a few cultures and connect with international people more. And if you consider yourself more of an introvert, don’t think that volunteering might not be for you. You’ve a creator of this experience and finding matching community isn’t so hard if you give it a go.

I was lucky to find such amazing people that I clicked so easily with. No matter how chaotic things seemed at points, we always found a way to spend time together. Whether watching new movies, filming videos together just because, going for an ice cream on a sunny day. As a team, we explored Poland a bit (from spring sea in Sopot to vibrant nights in Warsaw). I discovered authentic beauty of 5 new countries. That includes seeing Klimt’s „Kiss” for the first time in Vienna, having breakfast outside in the middle of Berlin, drinking tea in a k-pop inspired cafe in Prague, randomly meeting previous IntegrART volunteer in Bratislava, playing beach games in Split… And everything in between! I’m sure these memories will come back and bring warm feeling.

It will take some time to fully reflect on all we’ve been through and how it shaped our views today. But this amazing adventure was just the beginning that offered us an amazing push for the better and I can’t wait to know what’s in store! I wish all the best to our IntegrART team, including all coordinators, workers of the clubs who helped us on the road and of course – my international family who made this experience so valuable and full of fun, lessons and connection! 

Do zobaczenia! ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜


Follow Anastasiia to check her next adventures after IntegrART!

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