13 June, 2011

Trends in social work

As part of the regular course programme in social educational care work (in Dutch: SPH)students were asked to identify national and international trends in social work and subsequently write articles about these developments. Some examples of this output was harvested by a few lecturers and passed on to interested colleagues.
One group had approached this assignment in an interesting and professional manner. They shared the magazine they had edited in a pdf format on the web, click here to have a look. And on top of that they set up a facebook group.
A fascinating development to see students applying the digital tools freely available on the web of their own accord.

Clipped from: issuu.com (share this clip)

Issuu was a well chosen platform as it has become a popular free outlet for online magazine publishing and allows clean pages and rapid loading of documents with unique urls for your documents. Well done, a great example of "inside out", providing the outside world with products composed inside university walls!
And here's another collection of international and national trends which was edited into a magazine called The Trendwatcher. Sorry, international readers... the articles were written in Dutch.

10 June, 2011

CMV Study trip to Poland, day 4

A visit to the Gross-Rosen concentration camp
By special guest writer: Frank den Tuinder

When we drove to Gross-Rosen, I already felt sick. Not because of my hangover, but because I knew what was coming. I already knew that this visit would have a really big impact on me. When we were watching the introduction movie, other people felt sick too, or at least, that was what people told me afterwards.
When we walked to the camp itself I got scared. No way that I’d walk underneath that “Arbeit Macht Frei” sign. It felt like I was on deportation myself. Luckily for me, we took a side entrance.

A guide showed us the former concentration camp, or what was left of it. I was walking around with feelings of intense hate and disgust with the people who had done this to others and the filthy bastards who still support this sick ideology. I expect that these people will be spontaneously cured once they have visited a camp like this. And I think that for all the ordinary people who pay a visit to this camp, life will be more valuable than ever before. For example: I realised that life isn’t that obvious as everybody thinks it is. We live in a (relatively) free country where people won’t be prosecuted for who they are or where they’re from. Although there is a kind of counter movement, thanks to the PVV, I don’t think that things as extreme as this will ever happen in Holland. I think that a visit to this camp makes people realize how wrong these hateful opinions are against people from other cultures or countries, and that it’s a good thing to ban these evil practices forever. I even missed my little brother when I was back in the bus… How many times does that happen?!
Back on the bus, I started crying. And I kept on crying for about half an hour. (not joking)
Let’s fight Nazism, fascism, racism and discrimination, and make this world a better place for everyone!!

CMV Study trip to Poland, day 3

The castle of ‘Grodziec’ in Poland
By special guest writer: Jolinda Kijne

During the last night of our trip to Poland we stayed in a real castle. After we had travelled over rough roads with hairpin bends, we arrived at this foggy area on a mountain. We walked up till we reached our destination: the castle. It was an overwhelming experience.

The castle was in its original state, but part of it had been refurnished and renovated for visitors. The owner of the castle showed us around, and almost everything we saw was in the same state as it must have been centuries ago.
There were poster beds, there was a fireplace and there was even a hole in a corner that used to be a toilet. The castle had a cosy atmosphere that made us feel comfortable and seemed to draw us closer together as group. I asked the owner, who had dressed up in medieval style, about the age this castle was built and he told me it dated back to the 11th century. Just when we started to feel hungry our delicious dinner was served: soup, meat and more.. Even the vegetarians among us had plenty to eat.
There was a small shop where you could buy wooden swords, daggers and other medieval weapons made out of wood. Some of us bought a sword or a dagger and we began to duel in the great hall. Some of the swords broke, but the owner was so enthusiastic about our game that he gave us real swords and allowed us to use these for the rest of the time. He also had some medieval clothes for us to wear.

The castle is the perfect place to stay with a group as you really get to know each other better. No doubt you’ll have a lot of fun, as long as you’re willing to share and be creative since there are just a few bathrooms, and the water is cold most of the times. Go and find out what your life might have looked like in the 11th century!!

CMV Study trip to Poland, day 2

Collaborating with Polish students from Kolegium Karkonosze, Jelenia Gora.
By special guest writer: Laila Jansen

Last March we went to Jelenia Gora in Poland. I was asked to write some things about day 2 and an interview I had. So here it goes. On Wednesday we had the assignment on social photography to be done in subgroups. Each subgroup included two or more Polish students and two Dutch students. All subgroups were assigned a different town, so that the output would be a diverse set of pictures. The pictures that were made ranged from just pictures of people to a more focussed approach on social elements. Through this project I learned a lot about the Polish culture and people.

I could also make some comparisons, because we had also done social photography as an assignment in Holland. We had all day to take pictures and wander around in the town, so we also did things students normally did. And that was drinking, drinking, and drinking. You’d really be surprised about how much they drink. Though it was funny to see.

In the evening we all stayed at the campus where we would spend our last night in Jelenia Gora. A drink here, some music there, it was the best night in Poland. At the end of the week I was interviewed by a Polish journalist. She wanted to know, what kind of differences and similarities I saw between Poland and Holland. Well, there were more differences than similarities. But the most important thing is the fact that the Netherlands are a multicultural society and Poland isn’t. It was like they had never seen a coloured girl before!
I’m also coloured, so I really felt them staring at me. But for the rest, it was interesting to really see and experience the differences and similarities in the Poland's daily life.

CMV Study trip to Poland, day 1

Introduction to Kollegium Karkonosze, visit to workshop and art gallery.
By special guest writer: Martin van der Meer

After a decent breakfast at the dormitory of the campus we could start the first day of our visit to Jelenia Gora. On this day the rector of Kollegium Karkonosze welcomed us in what appears to be the main lobby/symposiumhall of the campus and drs Han Bakker explained the objectives of our visit along with the programme for the following days.

This was also the place where we first met the Polish students -mostly first year English students- who would accompany us throughout our stay. After dividing into subgroups there was some time to get acquainted. At first it took some time of course to adjust and get accustomed to each other, but after a while it was nice to share our thoughts about each other’s habits, experiences and expectations.
Later that morning, one of the Polish students of our subgroup and I were interviewed for what I thought was some sort of college-TV, about our visit to Jelenia Gora and The Kollegium Karkonosze, about our first impressions and what we’ve done so far and what the rest of the programme contains.

For that particular day, the program led us to the Warsztaty Terapii Zajęciowej (a workshop for mentally challenged people), where people with mental disabilities are trained for future jobs in several crafts. It was a well-organized and varied programme with a focus on health and independence for the participants.
In the afternoon, after a -let’s say interesting- soup for lunch, the whole group of Dutch and Polish students went to an art gallery in the centre of Jelenia-Gora where, among some other works of several artists, the film “Them” was shown by a Polish artist named Artur Zmijeski. To me, this was one of the (many) highlights of this trip. In short, Poland is a highly divided and torn country, with a lot of conservatism and nationalism firmly rooted in its history on one side, and a liberal and progressive other side grasping to the future. In this film Artur Zmijeski shows the nerve of this conflict by having four opposing movements make an artwork of their ideal Poland, to subsequently let the other groups alter it to their ideas. A brilliant piece of work where a conflict is exposed which actually transcends the Polish borders. Unfortunately, this theme can be found everywhere, and as a social work student at a university of Applied Sciences, I find the method of using art the way Artur Zmijeski does, very inspiring for the future.