The Great Orchestras of Christmas Charity


Building decorated for the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity
PaweĊ‚ Chojnack, via Flickr

Steve Myersco and Liz Waid look at the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity. In Poland, this group is supporting medicine through music!

Transcript


Voice 1

Hello and welcome to Spotlight. I'm Steve Myersco,

Voice 2

And I'm Liz Waid. This programme uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1

Today's Spotlight is on a music organisation that does more than just make music. It is called ‘the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity'.

Voice 3

‘It is sometimes very cold at this time of year, but the hearts of people are warm as the music plays. It performs in big cities and small cities. When the Orchestra visits, the people of Poland show how they are able to help others. There is nothing like it. There is so much joy.'

Voice 2

That was what Jacek told Spotlight. He was talking about a special event that happens in Poland every year - in January. Jacek is a listener to Spotlight. He wrote to us and suggested that we make a programme about this event. So, today's Spotlight is all about the "Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity".

Voice 1

The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity is a Polish organisation. It raises money for sick children in Poland. Every year its members organise events across the country. The main event is in the Polish capital, Warsaw. This is called the Great Finale. It is a big musical show. It happens on the second Sunday of every New Year - not long after Christmas. Thousands of people go to watch - millions more watch on television.

Voice 2

Many of these people give money to the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity. The organisation spends the money on medical equipment for children. Each year it chooses a particular problem that it wants to help with. In the past the Orchestra has helped children with cancer, children with heart problems, children who are hurt in road accidents and new born babies.

Voice 1

In English, the short name for the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, is GOCC. But in the Polish language the short name is WOSP, or WOSP. WOSP began in 1993. Since that time the organisation has raised over 100 million US dollars.

Voice 2

Jerzy Owsiak is the leader of WOSP. He is proud of the success of the organisation. He says,

Voice 4

‘Our achievements are often discussed during medical conferences around the world. We can proudly say that nowhere else in the world is there a money collection similar to the WOSP Great Finale. Aid workers from many other countries think our work is very good.'

Voice 2

The WOSP Great Finale is now famous across Poland. Here is what a few Polish people think of it.

Voice 5

‘It is a great idea. It feels good to be helping others. If you are willing and have an open heart, you simply give.'

Voice 6

‘Because you know what the money is spent on, you are very pleased to give.‘

Voice 7

‘Sometimes I think that this country would break without WOSP. WOSP does a lot for our hospitals. And it also unites people across Poland in a great way.'

Voice 1

Polish people living in other countries also celebrate the WOSP Great Finale where they live. Many Polish people live in British cities, like Edinburgh and Newcastle. These communities have organised their own WOSP events to help raise money. Polish communities in North America have also raised money in a similar way.

Voice 2

The idea behind WOSP is also spreading to other countries. The Heart to Heart Foundation is an organisation in Ukraine. It is very similar to the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity. However Heart to Heart is a much younger organisation. Heart to Heart began in 2006. Since this time it has raised over 200,000 dollars. In 2009 the money helped children who are blind or partly blind.

Voice 1

Every August WOSP organises another event. But this time, its aim is to give something back to people who gave money to WOSP. The summer event is called the Woodstock Stop Festival. The name comes from the Woodstock music show. This famous event happened in 1969 in the United States. Many people enjoyed different kinds of music for free! The same is true of the Woodstock Stop Festival in Poland. Many singers and musicians perform. And hundreds of thousands of music lovers come to watch and listen.

Voice 2

The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity also works through the rest of the year. One thing it does is to train people how to save lives. It trains them in ‘first aid'. ‘First aid' is helping someone who is injured or who suddenly becomes sick. Members of WOSP's ‘Peace Patrol' receive this training. The Peace Patrol is a group of people who work for WOSP but are not paid. They work at the summer music event for free. First aid is one of the things they learn during special training days. One of the teachers described what these training days are like.

Voice 8

‘The people from Peace Patrol will have an exciting time! During the next three days they will learn first aid. They will learn how to co-operate in a group, and how to manage extremely difficult conditions. Some of these people will treat their time here as a test of the things they can and cannot do. But for many others it will be the beginning of an exciting story. It will be the beginning of new friendships and a relationship with the WOSP Foundation. This is what we hope will happen.'

Voice 1

WOSP also provides the first aid training to school teachers. The teachers learn how to give basic medical help to their students and other people. They also learn how to help someone who is having a heart attack - whose heart has stopped.

Voice 2

WOSP says that it has trained over 19,000 teachers. These teachers come from 8,500 different schools. The idea is that these teachers can then teach the same skills to their students. WOSP says that over one million school children have been helped by their life-saving classes.

Voice 1

The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity helps millions of children in Poland. But the children are not the only people that the organisation is helping. The organisation is also giving Polish people a chance to help others. And this joy of helping others is a gift that everyone can share.

Voice 2

The writer and producer of today's programme was Steve Myersco. All quotes were adapted and voiced by Spotlight. The voices you heard were from the United Kingdom and the United States.

Voice 1

One of our listeners, Jacek, suggested the idea for this programme. If you want to write to us like Jacek did, you can use our website. This is at http://www.radio.english.net. The website also has lots of other programmes you can listen to. This programme is called "The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity". Thank you for listening, goodbye.

Question:

Do you agree that, "It feels good to be helping others. If you are willing and have an open heart, you simply give." Why or why not?

Comments


Avatar Spotlight
kenhieuloilam
said on January 27, 2011

It’s good to get a community in which everyone is like brothers and sisters of each other. Helping everyone and helping each other aim to the good are wonderful things.

Avatar Spotlight
nguyenthuy
said on January 05, 2015

Helping others like help myself . When i can see their smile and happiness , im too. Helped people , i feel happy and love more my life . You know ? sometimes you will find your mission of life when you are willing and have an open heart . Thank all of you in spotlight english for helping learners english like me . All of you are simply give and help people . Thanks from my honest.

Avatar Spotlight
Lac.lac.
said on March 19, 2015

In social, if you help people with all your heart, you feel happy. And the one day, maybe, you will give suprising things you cannot imagine. helping unites people, and it make the life more beautiful