230 volunteers put their hands to work

Painstaking work during the Opening Ceremony of Košice ECOC 2013, which was often hidden behind the stage or screen, was done by the people who came to help without expecting remuneration. The students of Košice secondary schools and universities, and others became part of the magnificent project that Slovakia has never seen before. These volunteers helped to prepare cultural events because they had a desire to do so.


Responsibilities were divided and allocated a week before opening

Organising volunteers was not as difficult as their recruitment. New “crew” members were continuously taken onboard. When training volunteers, students were assigned roles and tasks behind the scenes of this magnificent project.

“All our members were brought together one week before launching the Opening Ceremony,” says Veronika Illésová, head coordinator.

“Lumir Mati also attended the meeting. We presented our programme. Volunteers were assigned responsibilities and tasks according to their interests and time availability. They helped us with the installation of works, event production and promotion, accompanying foreign artists and VIP guests, attending at the theatre and cinema, assisting the directors and producers, and they were an important part of the main Opening Show. I always got a lot more people through personal contacts. However, some people enrolled on their own.”

The SPŠE (Secondary Technical School of Electrical Engineering) students helped to prepare the Východoslovenská galéria (East Slovak Gallery) premises two weeks before the Opening Ceremony also during school hours. Among other things, volunteers installed the work “Kumulus” by Élise Morin. Kumulus is a modern fable of a dialogue between various types of common industrial objects. Kumulus is a metaphor where plastics change into crystals, and a common office item is displayed in a classy design. The SPŠE students helped with cellophane at the TechnicalUniversity and promoted the entire project among the Košice residents and across the whole of Slovakia.


230 altogether

Students of the Košice bilingual grammar schools had no problem to accompany foreign tourists in the city. During the Opening Ceremony of Košice ECOC 2013, all members of the volunteer crew worked almost non-stop.

“At first, I was expecting much more difficulties. But together with second coordinator Martin Dani we made it,” admits V. Illésová.

“I believe that the positive response from our volunteers will motivate other candidates who can join us at any time. However, we have our old standbys. Another major project is planned in March. The “Jakubisko Days” will definitely need volunteers,” says Illésová.

And do the volunteers say?


Lucia Anderovská:

“I think things go easier when one wants to then when has to do them. I have been looking forward to this year because Košice deserves the ECOC title, and being at the most important ceremony was voluntary of course. It is true that people nowadays measure everything in terms of money, and many do not understand volunteering. Since Friday, I had worked at the Visitor Service but when we finished there I tried to help wherever it was needed (East Slovak Gallery, music in the city), because I could not stand inactivity when I saw my colleagues in action.”


Ľudmila Kostelníková:

“I have to say that these two days were perhaps the most interesting and gripping days I experienced in Košice (I am not from Košice). Since architecture is my old-new passion, I am grateful that I had the opportunity, thanks to the “Breakfast in the city” event, to meet Irakli Estravi, chief architect of the Košice Kasárne/Kulturpark, or to welcome Juraj Jakubisko. On Saturday evening we went for music to more pubs and cafés than I’d ever been to during my entire first semester in this city. I see the biggest positive in the fact that I met many interesting people and found a different view of the world. Today, I took my 12-year-old brother to the “numen/for use” event because I said to myself: He must experience this as well. Unforgettable experience! I am glad that I’ve been, am and will be part of this.”


Lenka Volčková:

“I can say that I spent 5 days playing with adhesive tapes. First, with the French girls on “Kumulus”, then with the Croatians at TUKE (Technical University Košice) in the library. Yes, at times I cursed the cold in the church, but I knew that what I was doing made sense. I knew it would be something amazing, attended and admired by many people who would contemplate how beautiful it really is, and I’d perhaps help someone in creating their fantasy.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>