Postcrossing Blog

News, updates, and all kinds of goodies and stories from the postal world!

Posts tagged "collaboration"

Remember some years ago, when a class of students in Tuvalu sent postcards to raise awareness for the plight of their tiny country?

Well, they’re at it again! This year’s project is called “We are One”. Emily (aka emilytao), the volunteer who is helping the children on this project, explains the concept:

"Being one of the smallest and most remote nations in the world, it’s easy to miss out Tuvalu on the map. Through postcard exchanging, we wish to make this island country more known to the world; hence the idea of “We Are One Project” was born, which aims to connect Funafuti’s (the capital island) Primary School children with postcrossers from all over the world. Students will benefit from writing postcards in English, further motivating them to become better writers… or simply to have more enthusiasm in learning English!

In class

Once we receive postcards, students will be assigned to do studies and research on different country’s unique culture or history. They will be amazed at the fact how big the world is; bigger than they had thought, beyond the skyline of coconut trees and the sea.

Through this project, we hope to help our children be more connected with the rest of the world, and understand that we are all part of it, for better or worse, WE ARE ONE WORLD. "

How wonderful is that? :) They’re planning to send around 400 postcards, and the first ones are already on their way! If you’re lucky, you might receive or send one to them!

Oh! And if you didn’t know where Tuvalu is, or want to learn more about this Polynesian island nation, don’t forget to check out their page on Wikipedia. Student Dance Performance This is a school

PS – We know that Tuvalu is a “rare” country, but Emily and the children won’t be able to engage in direct swaps for the duration of the project. So please respect their choice, and don’t contact them requesting for swaps.

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You might have heard the name PostEurop before, most likely because they organise the yearly EUROPA stamps competition. What you perhaps don’t know is that their functions go well beyond this task: through their several forums and groups, PostEurop oversees the cooperation between 52 public postal services in the European continent, in a variety of topics such as social responsibility, best practices or quality of service.

Last week, PostEurop celebrated its 20th anniversary with a Plenary Assembly and several other events. Since Postcrossing is very active in Europe, PostEurop invited the attending delegations to take part in an exhibition about Postcrossing – by sharing what the project was like in their country.

Sixteen countries accepted the challenge and made a stand with general information and statistics, and shared some postcards sent and received. Other PostEurop countries that didn’t know about Postcrossing yet, had the opportunity to learn about the project. Here are some photos from the event:

PostEurop exhibition PostEurop exhibition PostEurop exhibition

Belgian postcrossers were also invited to come around and check out the stands, and despite the inconvenient schedule in the middle of the week, some did come! There was even a tiny post office where cards and stamps could be purchased and stamped with a special anniversary cancellation stamp.

Oh, by the way, the winners of this year’s EUROPA stamps competition were announced during the plenary: Finland and Turkey took home the big honours!

Winners EUROPA stamps 2013

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As some of you already know from previous editions, a new Chinese Year means a new exhibition at the Singaporean Philatelic Museum!

Snakes and ladders exhibition

The theme of this year’s exhibition is Snakes and Ladders, and all postcrossers are invited to contribute to it by sending in their snake-themed postcards to:

Singapore Philatelic Museum
23B Coleman Street
Singapore 179807
Singapore

As with the previous exhibitions, the museum will send a postcard back to all of those who include their address!

The exhibitions at the Singapore Philatelic Museum are usually very interactive, and especially attractive to the younger visitors of the museum – so please send a message to the little ones! You can tell them about your favourite snake, or just say hi! Bonus points if you can find stamps with snakes as well!

Here are some photos from this year’s exhibition, which will run until September:

Snakes and ladders exhibition Snakes and ladders exhibition Snakes and ladders exhibition Snakes and ladders exhibition

Doesn’t it look neat? You can tell all the effort that goes into making this a great showcase, so if you’re in Singapore, don’t miss it! :)

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Today we have another great story of members using Postcrossing in an unusual way – with inspiring results!

The librarians, employees and volunteers of De Bibliotheek Reuver (The Library of Reuver), in the Netherlands, started a Postcrossing-inspired book club! Here’s how it works: they’ve asked every postcrosser that sent them a card to name the title(s) of their favourite book(s). When they receive the card, they search the suggested books and put in a special bookshelf, on top of which the received postcards are also displayed.

They’ve also set up a large map on the wall, where they put a copy of the postcards received, and a small profile of the sender. The postcards are connected to the countries by strings, to help children find out where they are! It looks great!

De Bibliotheek Reuver's Postcrossing wall De Bibliotheek Reuver's Postcrossing wall

As visitors of the library walk by, they’re free to choose a book from this shelf and read it, effectively picking up reading tips from all over the world! :)

Ellis (aka TheBusyLibrarian) tells us “Our readers like the book club as it gives them new or at least unexpected titles. They also like the idea that somebody took the time to name their favorite and recommend a really good/interesting book. (..) Old and new titles appear on these favorite lists. Most we have in our collection.”

De Bibliotheek Reuver's Postcrossing wall

The Reuver’s Library Postcrossing book club has recently been featured on the De Limburger newspaper – you can read the article (in Dutch) here. They’re also planning to organise a meetup soon, to introduce visitors to Postcrossing, and help them get started. If you’re the area, and would like to help or just get together with other postcrossers, get in touch with TheBusyLibrarian for more details.

Well done Ellis, and everyone at the the Reuver’s Library team! Big thumbs up for this initiative! :)

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Earlier in December last year, me, Paulo and a couple other postcrossers were invited on a special mission. We brought the Little Mail Carriers' cousin along for the ride, and he wrote this lively report:

hallo aus lubeck

Hallo from cold and snowy Lübeck, once capital of the Hanseatic league! You might have thought the reason we came all this way was to tour its UNESCO worthy architecture or try their worldwide famous marzipan… but you’d be wrong! We visited Lübeck because Schöning Verlag, one of Germany’s top makers of touristic postcards, has a factory here, and invited us to come see how postcards are made! Isn’t that exciting?!

Turns out, Bernd and Jana, two of Schöning’s employees (and our hosts in this visit), discovered Postcrossing not so long ago, and embraced it wholeheartedly! Look at the wall of postcards they’ve set up in their office:

Schöning's wall of postcards

Neat hum? How nice it must be, to do Postcrossing when you have literally thousands of postcards to chose from! :D

So many postcards!

But how are they made? We’ve learnt that there are many steps involved in the process… and huge machinery!

Before printing, postcards must be designed, and Schöning has a team of designers in house to cover that task. Something we’ve discovered on our visit, is that a specific postcard is never printed by itself, but as a part of set postcards currently in demand. A technician groups these postcards together in a large sheet, and checks it for mistakes. After that, the fun begins!

Paulo inspecting the aluminium plates

Here is a picture of Paulo, holding an aluminium printing plate – you can see the outline of what they’re currently printing in there! Schöning has to make several of these plates for each set of postcards, one plate for each colour that their big machine prints in… here it is, the Heidelberg Speedmaster! Heidelberg Speedmaster

It is huge, filling up a whole section of their warehosue, and paper flashes through its several colour sections at an incredible speed! The sheets are constantly checked and adjusted, so that the colors have the right brightness and contrast every time. Then, they are fed to another machine, which gives them a shiny coating. Again, sheets whoosh past so fast that if you blink, you’ll miss them! Coating machine

In the end, a technician cuts the individual postcards using a very sofisticated (and scary) cutting machine, and they’re wrapped in sets, which are then stored in Schöning’s huge warehouse. It was postcard-heaven!

Schöning's warehouse

They also have neat old machines, like this Heidelberg press, which at the time was being used to cut out heart-shapes on some postcards – cute!

Heidelberg press

In the end, there was still time to tour Lübeck’s Unesco historical center and drink some glühwein in the Christmas market with friendly postcrossers turtles and mondkind, who took the time to show us around.

Christmas market

And of course, no visit to Lübeck would ever be complete without a trip to Niederegger, the famous marzipan manufacturers! Delicious!

Niederegger marzipan

Coming back at the end of the day, we were all exhausted, but incredibly happy, and felt like we learned a lot in this exciting trip. Thank you Schöning for inviting us, and showing us the ropes! :)

PS – Schöning Verlag offered Postcrossing an advertising opportunity on their paperbags, and we’re asking members to vote on a design to print. Check out this forum thread for more information, and to cast your vote!

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