This event was decided to hold in the format of Afternoon Tea where each guest can enjoy a good company, share his/her own SCI story and enjoy a cup of tea with biscuits. The idea itself came to me as a long-term volunteer at the SCI office in Bonn as I adore Chinese tea ceremonies and am passionate to spread this tea unity among other people. With the lack of visiting live SCI projects I decided to organize my own where I could meet and interact with experienced volunteers.
The venue was at the office of SCI-Germany in Bonn. With a big support of lovely colleagues I managed to reach a lot of people sending them invitations to their emails. A lot of people gave a positive feedback but due to limited number of participants and business of some interested people, only ten people were present on the 19th of August on Wednesday 2020 (the exact date of the event). Despite heavy rains, this evening was warm and sunny which also helped to create a positive atmosphere for the group.
With a small warm-up round ‘What I brought with me’ and self-introduction with associated drawing the meeting started. The atmosphere was very smooth and light, notwithstanding the hygiene rules and some distancing, participants were aiming at socializing and sharing about themselves. There were three generations with their individual SCI story to tell, those who did some volunteering long ago and only now reconnected through SCI Social Tea, or those who are currently active at the organization. After a short break the main part with questions began. The questions were prepared beforehand and were well thought through.
Here they are:
My first meeting with SCI.
SCI means to me…
I would describe my engagement in SCI as …
How SCI changed my life?
What new horizons did SCI open for me?
What is my input into SCI history?
My most memorable experience with SCI.
Challenges that I experienced in SCI.
The most interesting person that I met in SCI.
How did I get interested with the work of SCI?
My first impressions of SCI.
Being a part of SCI family for me means …
Main advantages of SCI are …
SCI now and during my active engagemet.
What goals have I set and achieved in SCI?
Influence of SCI on my further life.
The most fascinating event I visited in SCI.
If there were a movie about SCI, what kind of movie would it be? Why?
SCI gave me the opportunity to…
SCI in 10 years …
How did you help to promote the SCI values?
It is important to admit that this format of leading a talk with questions was very successful and gave a platform for all the participants to tell their I-story in SCI. Moreover, with such a short period (120 min) it was also possible to try out one teambuilding energizer which helped to refresh and feel more easy in the group.
Final round was with a small reflection during which the participants shared their thoughts and ideas concerning Social Tea event. This format was new and it is considered to be a positive experience for further implementation in future. However, some participants were more into deeds than words and suggested to do some physical work when meeting.
All in all, it was a positive experience to reconnect with SCI, with each other and I-stories not to let the real deeds to be forgotten. As a host and leader of the event, I feel contented with the outcomes and thankful to all people involved into the process of preparation and implementation of it.
Inspired after the first Social Tea, it was decided to hold the second event like that. The next date was on the 16th of October, Wednesday, 2020. Emails with invitations were sent to SCI members or volunteers that live in or around Bonn and the list of potential participants was broaden by getting in touch with long-term volunteers from previous years. It was a great pleasure to get positive answers from the participants of the First Social Tea. Some of them couldn’t come again due to work, travel or family. This time 11 SCI people got together and spent nice time interacting and talking about past experience with SCI. Among them eight were the new comers. As usual I was the host like during the first event.
The main idea of Social Tea remained the same but the methods changed a little bit. There was more interactive pair and group work. Participants still followed hygiene rules but felt relaxed to move around and share their unique SCI experiences. The time flew by and 2 hours wasn’t enough to listen to all the amazing stories.
As a conclusion, I would admit that such small projects are needed to unite or reconnect different people of three generations and to share their stories of involvement in SCI. It can be also very inspiring for those who just started their journey in SCI-Germany and would like to know more about SCI. I dedicate this Social Tea event to 100 years SCI celebration and express my deep gratitude to all SCI office for help and support during all stages of letting this two-part event happen. https://www.sci-d.de/neuigkeiten/bericht-zum-social-tea-event