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Volunteering Promote Goodness – A strategic EVS project focused on emphazising non-formal learning and raising the awareness about EVS and its values.

The wish to carry out this project was due to the fact, that there is a favourable environment in Europe that makes this not only possible but also desirable as shown by the fact that a growing number of stakeholders from various sectors intends to take advantage of the potential of NFL (non-formal learning). But there are still many people, who don´t know that EVS is good method for using formal and non-formal education and they are not aware of value of EVS and opportunity to participate in it.

This is not only emphasised by the growing attention of youth-targeting programmes (such as YiA and now E+) but also by our own experience. During a needs assessment exercise with returnee volunteers we identified a whole set of skills that their experience brought about. In particular: Global awareness; Adaptability; Interpersonal skills; Delegation capacity; Stress management; Self-confidence; Problem solving; Self-learning capacity; Strategic thinking etc.

In spite of this, links between youth organisations and other actors (i.e. government structures and labour market forces) are still scarce. This is possibly due to the lack of mechanisms to acknowledge and take advantage of inter-sectorial synergies and has emerged as a priority of our partners in the course of our growing collaborations.

Therefore, there was this wish to create an inspiring international environment for Estonia people in order to promote purposeful participation in lifelong learning and contribution to a community on the way of personal development in the global world.

EstYES was targeting the following strategic aims and objectives during the project:

  • To raise an awareness of value of EVS and opportunity to participate in it in Estonia county through increasing number of organisations working with EVS;
  • to raise an awareness of value of EVS and opportunity to participate in it amongst the organisations and youth;
  • to raise an awareness of European Solidarity Corps;
  • to increase the number of EVS accredited organisations and sending Estonia youth to EVS
  • To increase a capacity of EstYES NGO to coordinate, receive and send EVS volunteers
  • to create a systematic and structured new approach to service delivery in order to optimize work with all parties – volunteers, ROs, SOs, supervisors, mentors – involved into EVS;
  • to improve our competence of preparation and supporting EVS volunteers with fewer opportunities during the service with the help of supervision;
  • To create prerequisites for social inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities into EVS
  • to strengthen partnership with international organisations working with young people with fewer opportunities.

Our volunteers within this project did a great job with the promotion and raising awareness of the programmes. They shared their culture and information in the youth centres, education fairs and events, schools and kindergartens, among the parents and teachers. EstYES was also meeting with their partners to develop their collaboration and made agreements with new interested organisations. Collaboration was made with a few organisations who are supporting the youngsters with fewer opportunities.

The project is funded by the Archimedes Foundation Youth Agency from the Erasmus + program.

Nana’s Initiative project

Nana’s Initiative project

EstYES EVS volunteer from Georgia, Nana Burtchuladze, organised the Culture Week in Tallinna Kuristiku Gümnaasium. It involved seven EVS volunteers from different countries, who all presented their country and culture in a creative way and did some very interesting workshops.

The project aimed to raise the awareness about Eramsus+, about EVS, about cultures and diversities through different workshops and presenting cultures and traditional foods to the students.
Monday started with Czech culture day. Volunteer Lucka presented her country and did a workshop about Geography – talked about employment possibilities and attractive sides of studying Geography as a major.

On Tuesday, two cultures – Germany and Bosnia – visited the school. Alex presented Germany, shared his EVS experiences with students and introduced exciting ways of looking at Chemistry. His Chemistry workshop inspired the students. Amar, on the other hand, presented Bosnian culture with humour and full of interesting information. He demonstrated many Physics experiments and explained why things happen, in the language of Physics.

 

On Wednesday school welcomed Julia from Russia. She talked about the EVS, her life in Tallinn, presented Russia and facts about Siberia to the students. She also talked about the stereotypes in Estonia and Europe.

Thursday started with two cultures – Poland and France. Jakub (called Kuba) did a cooking workshop and introduced traditional Polish recipes. After, the class continued with a presentation about Poland and did an interactive fun quiz. Jelena presented French culture, talked about main differences of French people from other cultures and held a cooking workshop, presenting traditional Serbian dishes.

 

On the last day of the project, we welcomed Tutku from Ankara, Turkey. She spoke about EVS and her country. Later students cooked traditional Turkish food with her. Tutku was named the most smiley presenter.

As a result, all volunteers and students, who participated in the culture week, gained new knowledge and learned something new. The week had been overall successful and inspiring for the participants.

Nana Burtchuladze stays in Estonia for 12 months within the project ”Broadening Horizons II” which is funded by Erasmus+ European Voluntary Service program.

 

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