Report from the conference for employees and voluntaries ChCE "Diamond"

01suprasl7The Christian Education Center "Diamond" organized a meeting for its employees and voluntaries. This meeting was held in Supraśl near Białystok. It was meant to be both a working and social event, during which the participants would share their experience from working in various areas of the Center's activity. They were also supposed to get to know each other, both during specially planned situations, and those, which arose spontaneously, such as a joint walk to the canteen.


The conference was attended by persons working in the individual "Diamond" centers, both voluntaries and specialists from various areas, mainly tied to pedagogy and psychology. We have also had the pleasure to welcome five American visitors, who have been our friends for years.


01suprasl4The evening of March 16th was spent on arrivals of the participants, discussions and relax after the travel. For some persons, who participated in a "Diamond" meeting for the first time, this was also an opportunity to meet others.

On March 17th in the morning the conference had been officially opened by its main organizer and director of the "Diamond's" Center, Mr. Ryszard Gutkowski. After the official beginning, the representatives of the various "Diamond's" centers have been asked to present a brief report on their activity, together with its main areas, achievements and the most important problems encountered so far.

01suprasl6Representatives of the Warsaw group told about their work in the "Children's Friends Club", mainly for children and youths from dysfunctional groups, aged 7 to 14 years.

The Gdynia branch of "Diamond" has a completely different character of work. This branch focuses on working with high school students, recruited with the help of posters displayed in schools. Young people can participate in activities and sessions managed by specialists from various areas.

01suprasl5Mr. Henryk Kufeld from the Lublin group told about the meetings for families of children with mental disorders, which had been initiated after last year's rehabilitation camp. The group of participants of these meetings is constantly growing, which is a proof that families taking care of their handicapped children need to relax among friends and share their problems.

The Center's director, Mr. Ryszard Gutkowski, who is currently residing in Białystok with his family, told about camps for children from dysfunctional families, organized by the Center, and especially about activities of the Center in Białystok. Mr. Ryszard Gutkowski and his wife, Ms. Ewa Gutkowska, have established relations with the Orphanage in Supraśl.

01suprasl3Saturday afternoon was dedicated to a psychological workshop, which was run by the psychologist Agnieszka Sławek from Gdynia. The participants, divided into groups, had been requested to describe why they worked with handicapped persons or with members of dysfunctional families; what were their personal motivations and needs behind their decisions; and also to define the problems which they encountered in this type of work. Each participant was then requested to define his or her potential (such as good teamwork, friendliness, responsibility); how this potential can be best utilized, and what else must be developed and in what way. The possibility of deeper analysis of our own motivation, our skills and they ways in which we use them was very helpful to all of us. During the second part of the workshop, we collected and discussed the results of our own work. This was meant to ascertain what should characterize a person who worked with children who need help

The next item of the agenda was the very interesting lecture of Helen Waldrop. Helen presented the materials that she had developed for work with children, to help them better understand the Gospel.

Wanda Estes shared with us her many interesting ideas for teaching aids for Bible classes.

After the intense training period, we decided that not only our spirits and souls needed some support, but also the bodies were weary and deserved some rest at the swimming pool.

01suprasl2During the last day of the conference, the participants listened to the lecture of Anna Zamkowska, on work with mentally handicapped children. The main issue discussed during the lecture were the needs of such children, and pointing out some ways of fulfilling these needs.

The conference was extremely fruitful. It was a time not only to share the experiences, feelings and problems; but also to get to know each other and to receive encouragement and ideas for further work.

Bank PEKAO S.A. Al.Jerozolimskie 65/79, 00-950 Warszawa, POLAND
Chrześcijańskie Centrum Edukacyjne "Diament"
23 1240 1066 1111 0000 0006 3946