This week, a youth group from Wrocław in Poland have been visiting the city of Oxford to help inspire their upcoming Christmas play.
The group - who have been led by organiser, Jola Ziemba - have taken part in a variety of different activities including: visiting museums and galleries, a guided tour of Oxford, attending a pantomime, and visiting the Oxfordshire County Library. They also participated in Beauty, Art, Media and Sport workshops at Abingdon and Witney College.
The visit to the college was organised by Councillor Ed Turner and Kevin Howick, from Abingdon and Witney College. It will be followed by a visit by Kevin Howick to Wrocław in February 2019.
Oxford and Wrocław became twin cities in October - the first twinning agreement for Oxford in 23 years.
Wrocław is the fourth largest city in Poland and is situated in the west of the country. It is a university city with a student population of over 130,000.
Oxford is home to two very active Polish organisations – the Oxford Polish Association and the Oxford University Polish Society – as well as a Polish Saturday school, place of worship, restaurants and a network of shops.
After English, Polish is one the most widely-spoken languages in Oxford.
Oxford is twinned with six cities. Wrocław in Poland, Bonn in Germany, Leiden in the Netherlands, Grenoble in France, Leon in Nicaragua, and Perm in Russia.
Twin city links give citizens the chance to engage with other cultures and ways of life, and make these experiences more accessible through established contacts and networks in the linked cities.
Jola Ziemba, organiser of the youth group said: “I have been bringing groups to Oxford since 2010. The main aim of our visits is take part in drama workshops and prepare a Christmas play which we put on stage on our return. For the first time this year, we went for a visit to Abingdon and Witney College, and Kevin Howick will be visiting Wrocław next year.”
Councillor Mary Clarkson, Board Member for Culture and City Centre, said: “I am delighted that this week we have had a group from Wrocław come to visit our city. The twin city programme is a wonderful way for different cultures to come together and share their experiences. I hope that being surrounded by the beauty of Oxford at Christmas will inspire the group and their Christmas play.”
To find out more about the Oxford twin city links to go www.oxfordtwincitylinks.com