Centru Tbexbix has been accredited as a hosting and co-ordinating organization for the European Voluntary Service since January 2008. Since then we have hosted over twenty five volunteers. To read our expression of interest and see if it suits you, go to: https://europa.eu/youth/volunteering/organisation/946508638_en and type "Centru Tbexbix" in organization name.
Here under are a number of short excerpts from our newsletters, written by our past EVS volunteers, about their experience.
Alessia (Italy) writes:
"From the first day of my volunteering I fell in love with that place, the people and children. . I spent a year away from “real life”, at the service of the others. The year was powerful for myself, helped me to improve and challenge my own limits.
My memory of my experience in Malta is one year full of joy, smiles, peace, laughs and love. Even now that I came back to Italy I have always a memory for each child and each face that I met in Malta. And I would like so much to know how their life is going on, because in that year all of them became like my little brothers or sisters, like my family. With them I was dancing, playing and singing, tried to be a teacher, a sister, a friend. I discovered what is yoga and what is its power in life, and I learnt to control myself and what are my inner needs, what am I.
Centru Tbexbix is a small place with a big heart and a big fantasy. I hope to hear from them always good news and to know that the project is going on and other volunteers from all Europe are working there with the same values and happiness!
A big hug for all of you with a heart full of love!"
Felicity (UK) writes:
"My EVS at Centru Tbexbix has not only taught me to be independent by moving out of my country and fending for myself but also how to deal with many situations, such as dealing with children from all ages, how to plan a non-formal learning activity and to make everything a learning experience. At Centru Tbexbix you get the chance to learn so much, from organising and teaching classes to yoga poses.There are many EVS volunteers who are all on the same path as each other that of trying to find a meaning for their lives. My EVS volunteering with Centru Tbexbix was a life changing experience for me. I have taken a lot from the experience. I cannot give enough thanks for the opportunity to be part of Centru Tbexbix."
Selina (Germany) writes:
"I spent 12 amazing months in Malta and Centru Tbexbix. In this month I learnd a lot about the work with children, about different cultures, about the English language, important things about myself and many other things. I am thankfull that I had the chance to do my EVS in Centru Tbexbix. This year taught me to love life - because life is long and beautiful!"
Ron (Germany) writes:
"During my EVS at Centru Tbexbix I developed myself a lot. Before I came to Malta I was a soccer coach for young kids in Germany and I thought I can deal with children quite well. But the situation at Centru Tbexbix was completely different. In the beginning I was kind of overstrained, but step by step I improved my skills, I became more flexible and got used to the different culture and habits of my pupils. So when I left Malta the feedback of the children showed me that I did quite a good job which made me really happy. Furthermore I got more self- con¬fident. For the -first time in my life I had to live alone and my English wasn’t very good. But I was able to deal with any situation. All in all the time in Malta at Centru Tbexbix was very good for me and my development. I would de-finitely recommend an experience like mine to any person I know. Thank you all at Centru Tbexbix for this beautiful chance!"
Sofia (Portugal) writes:
I finished my EVS last year.
I realized how beautiful is doing service with those children.
Not only I grew with the experience, but also became more happy in my life.
The more I give, the happier I feel.
And if possible, I would spend my life working at Centru Tbexbix...
Laila (Jordan) writes:
My Malta experience gave me growth, it made me stronger and more determined to change for the better after finishing my EVS I came back with a huge cultural shock, it took me a while to get used to the space, people, nature and style of living once again. Malta was just like a dream, my true home that i long for every now and then. it was so hard to find a job, but now I'm currently managing a project called Art Week Amman where lots of related art activities will be taking place all around the city. I'm growing everyday because of this experience and I thank my former boss Kamala Azzopardi for putting up with my moodiness and inspiring me so much with her managing skills and loving heart.
I feel blessed to be given this opportunity.
Elena (Russia) writes:
My EVS was very useful and open-minded experience. First of all, i've learned how to find approach to different people, who lives in another countries, has another religion, values of life, and therefore so different from people I used to accept in my country. No small importance lesson for me was connection with children. I feel sometimes i could managed to get myself in children's shoes and understood from inside how do they feel, what do they want and need, especially it's about teenagers. Not less important for me was comparison of my country and European (mostly) countries in economic, politic aspects.
After i've done my EVS I was trying to find a job, connected with children, because i am curios about methods of work and education with children in modern Russia, and besides I would like to share my knowledge I've gained mainly because of conception of neo-humanism. But, unfortunately, I couldn't find any suitable vacantion. So now i'm working in consulting and audit domain.
In this period of life my job is just a tool to make my dreams come true - traveling, continue voluntary activity and unostentatious tell to people that there is a joy in life, much more important than endless race to reach a career and lots of money - just be happy and free in your mind and your soul, simply open your eyes and take a look around.
Alberto (Spain) writes:
I am very grateful because my EVS experience at Centru Tbexbix taught me a lot about how to deal with children of all ages and to be confident to prepare and lead lessons. The working atmosphere formed by people from all Europe was really nice, always respecting everybody, working together, and learning from other countries cultures. It will be always an unforgettable experience. After my EVS, I continued living in Malta and I got a job thanks in part to my volunteering background related to children.
Sophie (Germany) writes:
"I would like to say thank you to everybody at Centru Tbexbix for the unforgettable and amazing time. It was really difficult and sad to leave Malta after a year full of nice experiences. Now back in Germany I am looking back with a big big smile :) I enjoyed a lot to be with the children. It was so much fun. Of course it was also sometimes a challenge but I love and appreciate each and every one. I made a lot of nice friends, and this was what helped me enjoy myself so much. With the support and care of Kamala and the other volunteers I learned a lot about myself. I learned that even an active person like me needs sometimes a kind of quiet time ;) The centre is a really important part of my life and each of you have a special place in my heart. I wish everybody a nice time in Centru Tbexbix. I will see you soon again. I am sure!! :)"
Erika (Sweeden) writes:
One of the days that I remember the strongest from my time at the centre is when, during the residential weekend in the end of April, we took the children to the beach for the first time this year. They were so happy and were just playing in the sand, swimming and having fun. It was so nice to see. Other moments that will stay with me are those precious times when I just sat and talked with one of the children, about everything between heaven and earth. Those times I really felt that I could make a difference.
Cristina (Italy) writes:
I was a volunteer in Centru Tbexbix this last summer as teacher in the Summer Club and it was a fantastic experience! In fact from the first moment that I started this experience I felt very good with the whole team. Not only did I receive a lot of love, but this experience helped me to improve my English language and I learned to live in a group, plan and implement activities in the centre as well as other work like cleaning and cooking.
In the beginning it was really a challenge for me to understand the children and try to comunicate with them because of my (and some of their) limited English, but with time we learned to use mime and face and body language and after a few days I started feeling good with them and was happy to meet them every morning. Whether at the centre or outside or at the beach they participated enthusiastically.
The most beautiful of this experience was to observe and give a contribution towards the integration between the African children with local children. I noticed this is a gradual process that involves the human transformation of every person at the centre and it is an example that shows it is possible through understanding and love to have a multicultural society and live in peace all together! Thank you Centru Tbexbix.
Sonja (Germany) writes:
The first time I came into the Centre was amazing. Everything welcoming and beautiful. Nevertheless the first months were hard - a new country, new people, new flat, new habits, new work, etc. But with good friends and patience I got used to all the new things. It was the first time that I had to plan and conduct lessons, but I had a lot of ideas to implement, as well as a lot of motivation to change and improve the situation. It got better and better, especially when I started to plan the Arts & Crafts classes. I had a lot of fun to find out and create crafts which I could do with the children.
A big challenge as well as really a lot of pleasure was to build up my own course. After eight years of training in the martial art Jiu Jitsu myself, I wanted an opportunity to hand it down. So I searched for a sponsor to help pay the needed mats, with success. With this new achievement I could start to give a course to eight 10 - 14 year olds. And I think both sides learned a lot.
In general I really learned plenty of useful skills for my life during this year in the centre. And I am really happy with all these new experiences, friends and skills. Thank you all at Centru Tbexbix so much for this beautiful year!!!
Alice (Italy) writes:
The first time I entered Centru Tbexbix I immediately felt at home the warm atmosphere, the colourful walls, the amazing pomegranate ree gave me a feeling of joy and peace. There is something else that makes the centre special, it is the loving, generous and careful heart of the people working and volunteering here. Only people who have a pure heart are conducted here because this is a special place. The children feel surrounded by love, beauty and joy, they are guided in fun and challenging activities and, above all, supported in their growth. I am really grateful for doing my EVS here because I have learnt so much about life, relationships and myself. I have better understood what is really meaningful and impoarnt t in life always and everywhere Love is the answer. Everyone from Centru Tbexbix will always have a special place in my heart
David (Czech Republic) writes:
In the beginning they were a bit naughty and I was under stress. I was a lone man in the centre and children knew it and they tried their borders. Thanks for this! Without this experience I would not have grown. I devoted myself to the beauty of plants and I shared this love with the children. At first they protested: well be dirty from the soil, ugh it stinks! But they changed their opinion after a while. We established a small vegetable garden with a composter; We built bird feeders and insect-houses. Malta and my EVS at Centru Tbexbix was mainly about people. When I remember them all, my heart rejoices. I've never met so many wonderful and open people in one place.. I never forget the keen, philosophical debates, the conflicts, the first climbing and diving, the first tentative kiirtans and meditations, our discussions at lunch, the pick-ups from the airport and discussion after the cries and smiles, the sprouting of seeds, camping in Gozo, sleeping in a cave, theships and rocks, the sun and sunsets, the sound mixer, the smell of asafoetida, old buses on the road, menhirs and temples, astrology, the theatre, the painting.. ...
The experience is still very fresh.... and my heart open. I will never forget you.
Jill (Germany) writes:
I have probably been the shortest EVS ever in the centre but I am convinced that I gained as much experiences as someone who stayed for a year. This time changed, influenced and enriched my life in so many ways. When I got out of the plane I immediately felt myself getting more relaxed since Germany can sometimes be very strict and based on efficiency and Kamala welcomed me cordially. The other volunteers and other people from the centre became my little short term family and I felt home from the first day, which is really no exaggeration. I loved spending time at the centre. I noticed how much effort was put into the centre and the work with the children the years before and how this positively influenced them and still does. For some children the centre is their second and maybe first home. I had a lot of fun and enjoyed being absolutely free with my tasks (which again was an enormous contrast to the German way of working). Before I left I saw some new things being introduced, like the very important new supervision trainer or the women project and this convinced me that this project will continue being a huge enrichment for Malta and its inhabitants. This magical little island and the people from all over the world together created a perfect but also personally challenging 2 ― months I will never forget.
Thank you again for everything.
Niky (Slovenia) writes:
"I didn't choose Malta, Malta chose me!"
This is the answer I always give when people ask me why I went on this little island. I was quite brave to go from a safe home of Slovenia to a totally different world for almost a year. Now I know it was the right place. Green countryside, magnificent cliffs, open and warm hearted people, sweet and joyful kids and a centre full of love and peace, a magic place, where one feels welcome and happy... beautiful flowers, kids work hanging on the walls, volunteers saying hello from every room of the centre and Kamala accepting visitors with a smile on her face.
It wasn't always easy. The cultural shock, being away from family and friends makes one feel unsafe but yet enjoying so much. Malta offers a great variety in culture and history, hanging out with new foreign people who become friends, partying, doing sport or just lying on the beach So I stayed until the end. And I am grateful for this experience that made me the person I am now, no longer afraid of the world, richer with the work and cultural experience and my heart is now bigger and filled with unforgettable
memories and love. I have never received so much positive feedback, so much gratitude and hugs from kids for becoming part of their life It is an experience that happens once in a lifetime". I can finish my thoughts with a big Thank you to all my Tbexbix family, smiling kids and friends, who all made my days fulfilled. I left Malta with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face... I am coming back, soon. Love, Niky
Cristina (Spain) writes:
It is very difficult to explain in a few words an experience of over one year. I remember before coming how much I was wishing to work in the Centru Tbexbix. I was reading the newsletters, learning about the center, the tree, the activities that the children were doing, and I could see myself there. I think I was insisting very much, doing whatever I could, even sending mails with the letters in different colors. Coming to Malta wasn't easy for me. I had to take a decision without knowing how long I could stay, but finally it turned out to be one of my best decisions. This is the best example that our dreams can become reality. Being a volunteer in Centru Tbexbix gave me a lot of things. I discovered how much I like the children and how much you can learn from and with them. I felt that my heart is becoming bigger. I'm very grateful for this nice experience, grateful to Kamala for being there every time that we needed her and worked hard, to Arianna and Lucia for helping me discover Malta, to Didis, Dadas and Iishana for sharing all their knowledge and to all the other volunteers for sharing a nice time together ... And of course I am very grateful to all the children that are coming to Centru Tbexbix and making the centru part of their life. All the children that I met have very good skills in different subjects (art, performance, languages, dancing...). I can see some of them in the future being part of the volunteer members and I can see some as teachers. Centru Tbexbix lives because all of you are participating in the activities that the volunteers are planning with dedication and love. I ended my volunteering with an enjoyable weekend in Marsaxlokk. For me it was a gift to be there and to share time with all of you, my last time as a volunteer there. You are in my heart. Thank you for being such special persons....
Jana (Germany) writes:
Looking back on one year volunteering in Centru Tbexbix and living in Malta I can say that I am very grateful and happy.
Happy for every day that I spent on this sunny island with all the old Arabic-looking buildings, the beautiful nature and sea, the crazy bus system and festas and the relaxed, talkative and temperamental Maltese people. Happy that immediately after I arrived I felt like at home because old and new volunteers, Kamala and all the other people involved are really loving and caring. From the first day I had a lot of fun and I got to know many interesting and great people.
Happy for every day in CentruTbexbix, this beautiful and magical place with all the plants and lovely people who give you the feeling that you are loved and precious. Everything was very well organized and it was never boring. Learning healthy and new ways of cooking, cleaning, clearing and decorating the centre, hosting lunch guests, yoga shoots, staff meetings and outings, reading club, parties with the children, yoga and other classes with Didi and Iishana, fundraising events such as bazaar and international vegetarian dinners and concerts, planning lessons, outings with the kids, of course having classes with the children and much more.
The children were a really crazy and very explosive mixture and many of them needed a lot of individual attention. But even if the lesson was sometimes a big, loud chaos I just HAD to love them because they are really good and cute and you can see that they have fun, they love to come and that the Centre is very important for them. I really liked it that we were so free in what we could do in our classes. Of course there were some guidelines given but I had a lot of space for my own creativity and I could also experiment with my skills. This way I got to know myself better by seeing myself from different perspectives.
I think amongst all the children in Centru Tbexbix I was the oldest student during the past year. Like them, I learned loads of things which I think are important for life and which I didnīt learn at school or at home. But life experience, different aspects of alternative and healthy living, spiritual food for thought, more self-confidence and a lot of new skills are of course not the only things that I take back home with me. New friendships, new ways of thinking, the feeling of having a second home and family and beautiful memories are the biggest treasures that I locked inside my heart to take them back with me into my new life. A big thank you to everyone who made me such a lucky and happy girl.
Corinna (Germany) writes:
Wow, like most people who enter the Sunrise Centre for the first time I felt
something special about it. Bettina, one of the previous volunteers showed the place to Jana and me on our first evening in Malt a. I remember recognizing the tiny green doors from the website and surprise! behind it a whole small wonderful world: the pomegranate tree rich with fruit s, the ancient walls built and restored stone by stone, the yoga room, the roof under the stars, the classrooms decorated with so much fun and love of children and volunteers and this feeling of being home is floating above it all.
I spent so many happy days with the other volunteers, with Kamala and the children and during this year I grew a lot. I am remembering for example the time when Kamala was working in the school and we were alone with the kids and we managed ;-)
Im so happy and grateful for all these little moments every day that touched my heart: another volunteer helping you plan your lessons, a smile from a child, if you see a small positive change or the yoga shoot s program that the children (and me) enjoyed so much.
The cherry on the cake for me was the Summer Club which challenged us all and which helped us all (children and volunteers) to become a team. I especially like to remember when I was making a list with the mangoes asking them to write down things that were difficult for them to live without (like friends, family, ) All of them wrote Sunrise Centre on their list.
I also thought it would be difficult to live without Centru Tbexbix (family) and Im glad that everyone helped me to leave by filling my days with so many wonderful experiences, surprises and love that my supply will last until I come back to see if there is still a magic world hidden behind green doors.
Gabriella (Sweden) writes:
"Volunteering at Centru Tbexbix was just as different and unique as I hoped it would be. Living and working in a country on the other side of Europe, together with several different nationalities, made me start changing a lot of my beliefs and ways of thinking. At home we are affected by the same mentality, our schools have the same guidelines and we read the same news. This closed my mind and stopped me from trying new things. When we travel or work abroad, we meet people who perceive reality in other ways, who deal with problems differently and who have other values than us. We can then choose to learn from them, we may have to review our own set of values and principles - which I believe is our personal obligation in a democratic society. I realized this to be true for me in Malta, and now I just have to figure out how to remember all the great things I have learned and how to practice them in my everyday life. I'm working on it.
It was always a pleasure to meet the children every day at Centru Tbexbix. In the lessons we are trying to increase their English vocabulary, spelling etc. although this is not the main goal. Being a supplement for the regular school, we try to put focus on areas we think have great importance for the children's development and self-esteem. Having smaller classes with two teachers present allows us to give each individual more attention and care. For Centru Tbexbix, ability to solve conflicts, saying "I'm sorry" and being able to understand others' point of view, are as important as skills in mathematics.
I have learned many new ways of teaching and how to manage a group of children thanks to the neo- humanistic principles of education, which are the guidelines at Centru Tbebix - ways that I consider more effective than the ones I was taught by. It is not easy for me to explain this to my Swedish friends. We are 198 countries in this world and close to 7 billion individuals, I believe that we have things to learn from each other. I came to Malta in search of something different, I found Baba Nam Kevalam - Love is all there is, and it made all the difference."
Lucia Troilo (Italy) writes:
It's hard to describe my Evs experience in a few lines.
"I've been in Malta for eleven months. I left that tiny and sunny island one month ago but the memory is still clear in my mind.
I arrived there as an "empty box", curious to know another country, culture and language but at the same time afraid to leave my city, friends and family and my everyday life and I came back home with a big baggage full of memories, experiences and positive emotions.
If I close my eyes I'm still there
I can hear the children singing during the circle time or shouting, running and saying "eya miss" in the yard
I can hear Arianna's music while she was cooking in the kitchen, the contagious laugh of Anna and Cristina and Kamala calling me into the office for doing some bureaucratic stuff
I can hear the girls chatting in the computer room organizing lessons or weekend outings I can see all the EVS group doing yoga on a relaxed Thursday morning led by Didi, Iishana or Corinna and Bettina guiding the children in some sporting exercises.
I can see Lesha, Mehmet or Ozzy resting comfortably on the couch, David working hidden in the basement with his scary music, Ogun preparing some special art&crafts lesson in the yard or cleaning everything with sponge and soap and Bettina sitting on the stairs taking a sun bath.
I can smell the delicious bread prepared by Corinna or the spicy cooking experiments of Jana and
Gabriella and the daily afterlunch coffee
I can feel the maternal hug of Kamala and the reassuring one of Cristina
At Centru Tbexbix I found a new family."
After a short vacation in her home in Italy, she is now in Thailand working in another Ananda Marga project, Baan Unrak, a home for 150 children, for 3 months. While wishing her a lot of satisfaction in this next phase of her volunteering, we would like to say a big thank you for her selfless work in Centru Tbexbix.
Aleksej Barabashkin (Latvia) writes :
Malta, hmm, Malta, Malta ..: I was wondering sitting on the sofa with laptop on my knees. A huge piece of rock in the middle of the sea. Greece, what do I know about Greece. : hmm, Olympic games, Zeus, beautiful ladies with curly hair.. I don't know why, but I made a bet on Malta, and the magical journey began. The very first days of everything new left such a warm and positive impression, that after one year passed and writing this short article I still feel vibrations of wonderful things that happened in already become native Centru Tbexbix .Such a great atmosphere felt everywhere in this cozy and made with love place , that I hardly can describe it with the boring word "work" . Because of this, after the working day was finished, I was awaiting the new one. And I knew that the new day will become even better and funnier and more useful for our little pupils. It was such a pleasure to realize that during or after the lesson, a child can do something you taught, and it will make him better and help him in future. I am happy I was part of the friendly intercultural team and happy I met all these people from all over the Europe. It was a pleasure to work with them and our "boss", super-care mum Katherine, and soul teacher Didi. Anna, Clara, Bettina, Ogun, Miss Marie, Oguz, Mehmet, David, Gabriella, Corrina, Jana, Lucia, Arianna, Cristina and Nika .. I will remember all of you, and of course we will keep in touch The opportunity to take yoga lessons was a big advantage to remember ourselves and grow mentally , taking care of our bodies with the expert help of Didi and Iishana, as well as getting to know more about healthy food .I thought, after such a long time being in the project, it would be hard to leave the island, but after the farewell party, looking at all the people I know sitting at the table full of wonderful food, and hearing: !thank you Aleksej", was the best mark of all my experiences in the centre. Having met the new volunteers, it became clear that Centru Tbexbix is staying in good hands. With these thoughts I was waiting for my early morning flight. And I was smiling, and I always will, remembering the time in Malta. Very big thanks to each and everyone. With love, Aleksej
Arianna Zunino (Italy) writes:
I worked at Centru Tbexbix from January 2010. I must say that Centru Tbexbix is not a normal centre for children. I worked many years with children of different ages in Italy before. But at Tbexbix everything is truly different. All the children are really respected, no judgement, no dufference. Volunteers can express themselves freely, and find their personal way how to contribute to the project. This is not so common...
In the project yoga, meditation and vegetarianesim have a lot of importance. This is very beautiful, because these are things that can help to improve the self- a way to face problems and difficulties in a positive way.
I also like the importance that the centre gives to respecting nature, all the animals and all the people on the planet, ways to solve the many problems facing the world today.
I played guitar with the children; something I enjoyed very much, introducing new tunes and songs from different countries with neohumanistic messages.
Doing yoga with the children for me was a beautiful new experience. This practice is an uncommon yet wonderful opportunity for kids, to help them develop from their young age in a positve way.
I especially learnt to be patient: first of all with myself, trying to accept my limits, trying to stretch them, try to leran quickly to speak the best english i could. Secondly Ii learnt patience by living with volunteers very different from me, in a country that wasn't mine.
It was also, for sure, extremely nice to work for many months with Katherine and Didi. With them it wasn't just work, but all the time together was a mixture of learning, teaching, growing, improving, changing, getting close, every day.
Thanks a lot. I will never forget the time spent in the Centre, and I also hope that I will carry with me everywhere some things I learnt there, the simplest things - love, friendship, respect, tranquillity, laughter...are the most important things in our life. All of these, you find at Centru Tbexbix.
Bettina Maucher (Germany) writes :
Eight months ago I was preparing myself for my Malta time What will await me in Malta? Everything was so new and unknown.
And is it the right decision? Eight months away from home, my family, my friends, my place, my animals Now eight month later I am sure it was the right decision One of the best decisions in my life.
Such a great time I had in Malta in Centru Tbexbix I will never forget and never ever regret.
Now at home I try to explain my wonderful experiences but it is not so easy. There are moments which cannot be described in words. One has to experience the lovely atmosphere in Centru Tbexbix by oneself.
I gained a lot of life experiences which I try to keep up in my daily life. It was great to learn more about working with children. I was happy to find out more about healthy food, a good diet and yoga. For me it was new and very interesting to learn meditation. Also I enjoyed expanding my cultural awareness of different countries, discovering Malta by walking around and by listening to other people. For sure there are a lot of other things which I could tell but one last special nice thing. Every day I looked forward to enter in Centru Tbexbix and feel the lovely atmosphere in the air.
I want to say thanks for everything to my special Malta mother KatherineJ, to Els my wonderful mentor, to my sweet sisters without whom my Malta time wouldnt be the unforgettable time, to the children, who were so sweet and exhausting at the same time, to Didi who taught me a lot of useful things for my life, to Ogus and Alexei for their help and to all the other people who I got to know. THANK YOU.
Since I am at home there is no day without thinking of my wonderful time in Malta.
Anna Engstroem (Sweden) writes:
After six months volunteering at Centru Tbexbix my time is now over. The fact that I have to leave came almost as a surprise for me because I was accepted to take up medicine studies at a university in Norway, and I didnt really expect to get a place. So now I will leave small, warm, sunny Malta for a place with 240 rainy days a year...
But its not mainly the sun that has kept me warm here in Malta (even though it helped J No, it is the loving and friendly atmosphere at Centru Tbexbix and all the amazing people who work there that I will keep in my heart now when I leave. And of course all the crazy and lovely Tbexbix children !! They can really give someone a hard time and take all our energy sometimes, but when one sees their joy and laughter it becomes clear why its so wonderful to work with children.
Last I would like to say thank you, thank you, thank you to Katherine for being a good boss, friend and mother, to Didi for her guidance and for teaching me meditation, to Lucia, Bettina, Arianna and Ogun for all the wonderful memories of everything we have done at work and in our spare time to Aleksei and Oguz for being good workmates and to everyone else who have made my Malta time the best adventure of my life so far!!
Clara Lensing (Germany) writes:
Since Christmas we enrolled some new children who never had contact with yoga until now. So we try to make yoga accessible to them in a joyful form. That means we connect yoga with games or we sing songs to the yoga positions. So the children learn how to keep the balance and to become calm in a playful way. Besides having fun and doing yoga, for the smaller children it is also important to improve their vocabulary. For that we did one activity with the topic On the farm. The children created farm animal masks, learned the song Old Mc Donald has a farm as well as learning farm vocabulary through play.
Marie Wissmann (Germany) writes:
"I remember that I was thinking on my last day in Germany: Oh my God, why am I doing this, why am I so crazy to go to a country where I have never been before, where I dont know anyone?! and now Im thinking: Wow, the 6 months are over and I still feel as if it was just a dream. Not only because of the short time but also because my stay was just perfect. I didnt expect so much when I came, I couldnt imagine that I would get to know such nice people, that I would be so lucky with the accommodiation, working enviroment etc.
But when I look back, I realise that it must have been a long time. There wasnt anything missing and I will never regret that I did my EVS in Centru Tbexbix. I think that I improved a lot in many ways. My stay was exactly what I needed after this boring school routine. After all I feel full of power again and ready to start something new in Germany. Its hard for me to say goodbye but I dont feel that it is a goodbye forever, Im sure that I will come and visit you again!
Christine Kronke (Germany) writes:
"I would like to thank everybody at Centru Tbexbix for the unforgettable, amazing time Ive had here in Malta. Now my EVS time is over and I am back in Germany and I realise how much this time influenced me, of course in a positive way :-). I will try to describe my time here in Malta in a short summary.
The experience of these seven months was not only higher than the expectations that I had before I came to Malta, it was the time of my life. I liked Centru Tbexbix from the beginning, from the first time I entered this wonderful place in Bormla.
The place, the children, the people I lived and worked with and all the lifestyle in Malta made my stay very comfortable and happy. I got all the support I needed and no day was like the other - every day something new and exciting. Even if I thought I knew the children and how to deal with them, I had to realise that there is no secret recipe for every day... They are children :-)
And after a good lesson it was nice to see the children happy, excited and full of positive energy going home. That gave me the energy I needed for the lessons that were not so good, to work on improving them.
I improved my English as well as my teaching skills and I am really glad that I had the opportunity to participate in this project.
I wish all the best for the new volunteers, nice experiences and a wonderful time on this tiny green island :-). All the best also for the Centre. I hope it will grow and expand more with all the beauty and happiness that it gives to the children and the people who come there. I hope to see all of you again in 2010!
A big hug and thanks, Christine"
Katrine Kinch (Denmark) writes:
In Denmark we have a proverb saying "out of sight, out of mind".. In my case with Malta this is not true! Even though I am not physically on the beautiful little island anymore, my thoughts are often by the people there. I am deeply thankful for everything I have experienced and a part of me will always belong to Malta.
Dec. 3 when I was still in Malta, we had a school from Hamrun visiting Centru Tbexbix. I made a presentation about Denmark and our traditions, and afterwards the Maltese children wrote a message addressed to Danish children. I brought the messages with me to Denmark, and on Jan. 20 I had an appointment with a class of Danish 11-year olds. I gave them a presentation about what is typical of Malta and about my stay. I showed them pictures of the Maltese children and Centru Tbexbix. In the end they were inspired and very eager to write a message back to the Maltese children. These messages are already sent back to Malta with the hope that this develops into something more, perhaps a continued exchange. There is so much potential in such an exchange - both the Maltese and Danish children would benefit from it not only to learn about life in other countries but also to develop their English skills and become more aware of the fact that English is a necessary means of communication.
The Danish English teacher was very happy with the whole idea about message exchanging. She and the children liked my Malta presentation (in English) very much and the children were so enthusiastic that they did not want me to go home. For me it was a very positive experience as well. It confirmed that it is possible to spread my knowledge and my love for the tiny green island, Malta :)
Chiara Zecchin (Italy) writes:
Bormla, summer 2009, a troupe of children and the five elements, all together to take care of nature: fire, earth, space, water, air.
During the summer club, the children of Centru Tbexbix spoke, played, saw, sang and visited places connected with the environment.
And at the end of August, during the party with the parents for the closure, they showed all the little important achievements to the audience present for the occasion.
A video to start with, with a lot of photos of our outings and activities.
The small ones, Fire and Water, were singing happy songs and dancing on the stage. They sang a song from Germany and one from Denmark, but the dance was not a normal dance! They were doing asanas, carefully they were holding the positions of the tree, or the bird, or the butterfly and cloud, singing sweet short English songs.
Children from 4 till 7... such a pleasure to see these small ones enjoy a healthy albiet uncommon discipline, with fun and in a relaxed atmosphere.
Then was the moment of the team of Earth and Air, with the English song Bare Necessities and some exciting acrobatic compositions.. sometimes the children were almost three metres above the ground!!
The Space team, our eldest children, were ready with a dance and a musical in which some friendly aliens were helping the human beings to clean the world.
A fitting closure to two months of intense summer club activities.
About the training programme organised by the local European Union Programmes Agency, Chiara Zecchin writes:
Young girls and boys (18 - 30 years old) from all over Europe have the possibility of living a learning experience, useful for them but also for the country which gives them hospitality.
Apart from understanding their rights and responsibilities, the volunteers have discovered the reality of all the Maltese organizations involved as well as beautiful things about Malta. The 3 days of meetings were precious. Now, this team of volunteers can feel
that Malta is a little bit more like their second home and they will do their best to improveand be able to give something back to this beautiful, hospitable and friendly island.
Eliska Kralikova (Czech Republic) writes:
I was invited to my mentors house in Bormla. On the way I met three girls who come to our programmes. It was very nice, everyone ran to me and started speaking with me and asking how I was. The youngest of the girls, Azilea (4 years old) spoke to me in English. I was surprised because usually she speaks to me only in Maltese and of course I dont understand anything JThis is my house! she said, while she showed me happily, continuing to say: See you tomorrow! She looked happy to see me and so was I. It was a moment that gave me a lot of satisfaction.
Its nice that the children dont forget the project even during the weekend. Even the littlest ones end up trying to communicate by speaking in a way that we can understand.
Cindy Petit-Etienne (France) writes:
Since I came in February I have been assigned to the English club with Katherine. One thing which annoyed me was that many times when the children have something to ask or say, they turn directly towards Katherine because they know that she understands Maltese. Even during the work they like to speak Maltese between them, and it frustrates me that I don`t understand anything.
One time Katherine left me alone to take care of the lesson with the 9-year old group, and they were compelled to speak to me in English. I was happy that they turned to me easily and communicated with me with great confidence. I even played an exciting game of chess with them.
I remember one other time when Chimaine (7 yrs old) was concentrated on a jig-saw puzzle and I asked her if she had brought her book with her for reading club. Without looking up, she told me in English: ``Cant you see I am busy!`` All of us smiled.
My EVS ends at the end of June. During my volunteering I have seen the children change a lot. The shy ones have gained confidence and the hyper-active ones are learning to control themselves better.
Gul Mutlu (Turkey) writes:
After working with the children for the past weeks, I am discovering how creative they can be. Some children in the beginning were looking at me with surprised expressions, as if they couldnt understand what I was asking from them. I was feeling frustrated because of their indifferent, sometimes unsocial, behaviour. Now after three months I see a big change. Casey is much more concentrated than before, and even though shes only 7 yrs old she already shows great artistic skills. So does Jake, who is very active and could hardly concentrate, yet can now spend a whole hour quietly painting, and will not go home before he finishes! Kylie Ann, one of the quiet children, is showing a lot of creative potential and is always happy to show her masterpieces! I am very happy to see the children changing so rapidly in a positive way.
Much of this came as a surprise to me, yet it is useful because I can now understand better how I can help them discover their creativity, and I am spending more time on planning better and worthwhile activities.
Natalia Volodina (Russia) writes:
For me it is magic to discover that what we do is not just playing. During the game the children learn how to interact, co-operate and respect others, how different the world is and how much we can do for it. In some social games I planned recently, the happiest moment was when all the kids were hugging each other at the end of the game! I also enjoyed giving guided relaxation after yoga, describing a walk in the snowy Russian forest with a blue tiger and arriving at a warm house. In the end it sounded as if the kids had taken a short trip to Russia, discussing their walk with the blue tiger!"
Jana Kruger (Germany) writes :
" My first impression of Centru Tbexbix was, wow, this small project which is still in its beginning has so ambitious plans, and is even able to reach them... Fifty children coming voluntarily nearly every day to play games, to do arts & crafts, and before all to learn English... That's magic! Me as a child, I would have never come voluntarily after school to study more English! So my first question was, what are these people doing to get all these children here and to have so much success when they organise fundraising projects such as vegetarian dinners in a non-vegetarian country...
I realised that their secret is that they are so inspired and so full of hope that they are able to involve others with their enthusiasm.Their project of learning English is so different from the normal schools' schedule that it is really fun for the kids to study as they don't even realise any longer that they are studying. Besides, we help in an area where normally people don't want to come or if they come they help from a superior position. Instead we try to involve the parents and do not only spend money, but we help with real working engagement.
For me, this has been a really good chance to see how little projects can grow and how they can also contribute a lot to change the situation...
For me the nicest outcome of my whole EVS experience is that I know that my work is really appreciated, when I see how happy the kids are about our work and how they love to come here.
In the centre, there is no bullying of children because they may be different and the centre's philosophy of universal love is really put into practice.
When we all sing together, some kids sitting on my lap, I really feel that I became part of the project and I feel like being part of a big family which supports its' family members in all it can do.
Now that I have to leave, I am really sad and I already miss the children and the nice working environment, but I am sure to return in summer to further support this unique project!!! "
More contributions from EVS volunteers can be found in the monthly newsletters (click on news)