More than 5,000 volunteers made Slovakia a better place. How did Our Town 2021 look?
Thousands of people decided to spend their time making Slovakia a better and more beautiful place. They participated in the Our Town event, which celebrated its 15th birthday this year. Almost 5,600 volunteers in 44 towns from all across Slovakia, from Michalovce to Devín, helped a good cause.
On the 11th of June, volunteers from more than a hundred companies exchanged the time spent in their offices for a time at schools, low-threshold centres, parks and even castles and worked for the benefit of others as well as the environment. They beautified Slovakia, for example, in towns such as Bratislava, Košice, Žilina, Nitra or Prešov. Michalovce was one of the top five towns in terms of the number of volunteers involved.
They helped rescue ZOOs and monuments
So what happened during Our Town? Participants took part in more than 320 activities all across Slovakia. They painted fences, repaired children’s playgrounds, planted trees, cleaned nature from garbage and carried out a range of other activities to make life in the towns more enjoyable.
For example, in the ZOO Bratislava, volunteers set out to clean and repair inaccessible parts of the complex. They removed unwanted vegetation and tidied up an unused riding school so that the zoo could expand the number of species.
The volunteers also helped preserve monuments. They worked at one of our most famous castles in Devín, five castles in eastern Slovakia and three around Žilina. Their task was to clean educational trails and prepare the grounds for archaeological research. Some volunteers turned into castle carriers and brought the material needed to repair the walls.
They collected waste from water in a canoe
One of the most popular activities was nature cleaning. Volunteers went to forests, parks, meadows and into rivers to help the environment.
More than 70 activities focused on nature protection, such as the cleaning of the Little Danube, where the Our Town participants in a canoe pulled the trapped garbage from the water and the branches. Others helped in the liquidation of illegal landfills in Lamač and Zlaté piesky. They also cleaned watercourses in Pezinok, Liptovský Mikuláš and near Košice.
What was said about Our Town?
“Like many companies, we have experienced a difficult time of crisis, when we have had to deal with many covid-related situations. After a long time, this is a wonderful opportunity to meet, experience teamwork, and help the town and Slovakia.”
Andrea Rebejová, volunteer
“We would need the Our Town event to take place every day or at least once a month because the zoo is really big. It is up to 93 hectares large, and it is a huge space where you can always work and improve something. But basically, the event is also a great opportunity to get to know people better and invite them backstage.”
Diana Burgerová, PR manager at ZOO Bratislava
“It feels great to help your town in these difficult times even when wearing facemasks. ”
Jana Dodávková, volunteer
“We participate in the Our Town event every year. I consider it a very good opportunity to unite by showing that we have social responsibility, that we are part of Bratislava and that we want to help, even in such a small way, to make the people feel better here. In our company, people respond to this event very positively.”
Dana Galková, volunteer
“This is my third time here, and I am happy to see that the space of the Jabloň Gallery in Prievidza is improving from year to year, partly thanks to my volunteer work.”
Michal Baláž, volunteer
Over 5,000 people
Our Town is the biggest corporate volunteering event in Central Europe. In 2021, almost 5,600 volunteers from 132 companies and institutions in many places across Slovakia got involved. Together, they helped 171 non-profit organisations, low-threshold centres, but also schools and kindergartens.
You can also see photos from Our Town in our gallery on Facebook.