Hello everyone, I’m glad to write this first entry part of the EVS program that will last until the start of August.
Allow me to introduce myself briefly. I’m Gemma or Gem, for short. I’m 23 years old and I’m originally from Barcelona. Currently, during this Spring term 2019, I’ll be running the Human Rights Café along with Glënn, both of us being volunteers within the EVS program.
How can you describe me? Mmm, I’m passionate about languages (speaking +5 languages) and cultures, with a strong wanderlust feeling that has brought me to all Western Europe and currently expanding to the East. I have an Economic background and I’m always willing to learn further. I practised kickboxing for a while and constantly push myself to the next challenge. With a clear optimistic thinking, my motto is “feel the fear and do it anyway”.
As rare as it can seem, this is not my first stay at IPC. I had been lucky to get a scholarship to attend the Danish Summer Course in Summer 2016 at the school. These 3 weeks made an inflexion point in my life and ever since I wanted to experience once again the non-formal education provided at IPC. When I saw the opportunity to come back to the school as a volunteer, I didn’t doubt it for a second, and I applied directly. But I was not chosen on my first application, but I didn’t give up. I applied again on the next year offer and well, here I am in Helsingør writing these lines on my 40thday of my EVS experience.
So, 40 days already flew by. Some people might think that they aren’t too many, but actually, life at IPC feels different and most importantly, time is perceived differently.
Let me explain myself, the beginning of this experience feels really close on time, might be because so many things happened already, and on the other side, feels like I have been here for a lifetime, fact that I understand that it is due to a good adaptation in the new cultural environment.
Communicate and establish social interactions with all our 100 students from more than 20 different nationalities is such a challenge, extremely fun but also exhausting. So in short, the first weeks you almost live 24/7 in common room but the hard work pays off with the conversations that you can have afterwards.
Last week I attended the On-Arrival Training along with all the other current volunteers in Denmark. It was such a nice experience to share our interests and the projects that we are contributing to. In addition to that, we made some nice network and I expect to visit some of them along with the program.
The Human Rights Café is running every day of the week with at least one special activity for each day. We (Glënn and I) tried to bring our personal interests and match them with the needs of the students to determine the offer of the events that we are hosting weekly. So far, we couldn’t be happier with how all is going.
On Mondays, we have the Karaoke night. On Tuesdays, we host the Movie Club night (showing a different movie each week selected through a poll where students vote). On Wednesdays, we have the Spanish or French lessons (they happen every two weeks, I’m teaching the Spanish ones). On Thursday we have the Hygge Club (to approach the Danish culture in a friendlier environment and of course more hyggelig with a cup of tea along) or the Every two-weeks Thursday club (totally random activities). On Friday we have the Korean or Japanese lessons (they happen every two weeks). On Saturday we have every two weeks in the early afternoon the Storytelling Club (open to everyone) and after dinner, the “I hate party music” listening sessions for those that are not having the time of their lives in common or party room. Finally, on Sunday, we have the gaming club dedicated to all those that want to set free their inner child and play board games.
It is a pretty full schedule, but we understand that like this all kind of students can have their spot within the Human Rights Café, it is important for us that everyone feels as welcome. We consider the fact to change the planning after transition and deliver different activities during alternative weeks.
My main tasks regarding the Human Rights Café are the planning of activities and PR/communication. First, I have created a new logo for the Café (keeping the original rainbow heart). In order to make it more accessible, I have taken the former Facebook page of the HRC and create all the events that we are having, so people can engage in social media. And in regard to our students, I have created a new Instagram account (@humanrightscafe) to keep them with the latest updates and check for the daily program easily.
During the On-arrival training, we had to start thinking about what it will be our personal project for this EVS, and I’m thinking about researching about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the North and especially Denmark. Also, I would like to learn Danish and be able to communicate myself with it, but for the time being, let’s wait and see.
Can’t wait to write again with the updates of the project.
All the best,