This post is also available in: polski (Polish)
Even if something undesirable happens in our life, it always has many hues. The pandemic of Covid-19 and lockdown have been hard and surspised news for everybody, also for the team of Galway 2020. However Wave Makers not the first time look after the light between clouds. They built the bridges to stay with touch with the local community.
The idea of the Zoom catch-ups came to me in the first phase of the lockdown when we were restricted to a 2Km radius. I was going for my daily walk and noticing so many different details and I thought this was probably happening to many of us. Why not talk about it together with the Wave Makers? Yes, our programme has been paused, our activities have been cancelled, we cannot physically meet but why not stay in touch in some way?
-so said Elena Toniato, Volunteer Programme Development Manager of Galway2020.
Wave Makers appeared on computer screens to share feelings and inspirations.
The fact that I saw my colleagues happy and healthy made me feel hopeful about the whole crazy situation outside. It showed that even when we cannot do much we are still engaged with the cause.
-so said Vanessa Andrade.
The Zoom meetings gave me a sense of community and connection. The Wave Makers are diverse and it is great to being exposed to cultures you do not normally come across
– said Laura Crumlish.
The meetings have various themes and connect a mix of people. Even them now abroad, because of pandemic, some people had to return to their own country.
I can be in touch with the fantastic team of Wave Makers even I am in Germany, now. It gives me the feeling I belong to this team. I have a good wire to Galway 2020 from my country. I am looking forward to coming back soon, when it will be possible, and taking part in further programme. I miss people which I met in Galway.
– said Barbara Heinrich.
In the beggining of pandemic we shared reflections of our 2 km walks, music which we listen to, interesting books, food recipes, cultural values and also had a table quiz.
I’ve been listening to many songs which they suggested there
– so said Vanessa.
It has helped keep the spirit of camaraderie going
– said Joe Maguire.
The Zoom catch-ups provide special moments of sharing, a special connection, even if just on screen, with smiles, giggles and some relief from worries and anxiety. Personally it made me realise even more that the Wave Makers are a community of sound, committed and very interesting people, and it gave me the chance to get to know a few people a bit more
– said Elena.
I think Zoom may well have a part to play once we get back volunteering in terms of organising volunteers for events and also for any extra training requirements, given that we will still be subject to physical distancing
– so said Joe.
Now, when we have a lockdown, again Wave Makers continue the Zoom meet-ups. Currently, they do language exchange classes. There are people from 70 countries in the team. I will describe the Nepali class made by Sita I had atended.
The volunteers write letters to residents of nursing homes, and still help in the organization of safe traffic at Galway Market on Saturday, as well. They can also participate at ECOC Volunteer Coordinators Network‘s projects: Share Your Story and Discover My City which you can watch at the Youtube. There was an interwiev with me and Misaki Tachibana, in the first episode.
The European cultural organizations connect each other and there is also Postcard from home – a project of making and sending postcards between European countries in which Wave Makers take a part, too.
Even in a time of pandemic the relationship between people who are the beating heart of European Capital of Culture in Galway cannot break, because the volunteering consists of following: community, hope, interchange, inspiration, and it simply gives the happiness.
What do you think about this post? Please share your opinion. How you stay in touch with your community?