For the residents living at Vial, it can be difficult to interact with other people on the island – not only because of the language barrier but also because the issue of mobility around the island makes it difficult for them to meet and talk to other people. This is why we launched our Vial Tea Project. Every Saturday afternoon our team distributes hot black tea to the residents of Vial while providing games such as chess, Jenga, and cards to the adults. Our main goal is to create a friendly space of interaction between volunteers and amongst the residents – where they can play together or have a little chat while enjoying their tea. We try to encourage encounters between people who haven’t met each other before, and in this way, we hope to break through stereotypes and prejudice. With our presence and a warm smile, we let the residents know that we care and that we are aware of their situation. Even though this project focuses mainly on adults, we also give out tea and provide paper and pencils for the children.
Distributing the tea and playing together always creates a pleasant atmosphere – even without speaking the same language. During the tea project communication occurs on different levels between all kinds of people, which is truly an enriching experience. Every Saturday we distribute about 400 to 500 cups of tea, which amounts to about 80 liters of tea. The Vial Tea Project has so far been very successful and has been equally enjoyed both by volunteers and residents of Vial.