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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.

Sophia’s gardening project

Sophia’s gardening project

“It should be an event for the children, where they have fun and also learn something about agriculture. Especially in big cities like Tallinn children do not have so many possibilities to learn about sowing seeds, planting flowers and vegetables or fruits.”

My name is Sophia and I am from Germany. The last 12 months I lived in Estonia and did my voluntary service in Kihnu Kindergarten in Lasnamäe. In my kindergarten over 200 Estonian- and Russian-speaking children play and spend their time together. The kindergarten was opened just three years ago and we have a lot of space and opportunities to play, learn and do sports. With my initiative project, I wanted to give something to the kindergarten, that they do not have yet and which will remain for a longer period of time. I wanted to create a project, in that the children learn with their “head, hearts and hands” (Pestalozzi, reformed pedagogics).

So I decided to do for my initiative project a “Lillepidu” (Flowerparty). It should be an event for the children, where they have fun and also learn something about agriculture. Especially in big cities like Tallinn children do not have so many possibilities to learn about sowing seeds, planting flowers and vegetables or fruits.

After talking with my tutor and boss we agreed, that it would be good, if every group would have their own flowerbeds, they can take care of. For that, we also needed gardening tools, water cans, seeds, and soil.

After getting EstYES’s message, that they want to finance my project together with the Kindergarten I went to the market and ordered all the stuff I needed for my project. I also planned an event for starting to use our flower beds that would bring joy to the children and interest for the topic. Therefore I planned five games at the outside area of our Kindergarten, that where all connected to the topic. After those five games, there was a sixth station, where all the children came together at our big football-ground and planted seeds.
The children had a lot of fun during my “lillepidu” and learned a lot. It was a pleasure to see, how they wanted to learn more about agriculture and how to do those things on their own. Also, the teachers of Kihnu Kindergarten really liked our day and want to use all the gardening stuff in the future as well.

After the party every group took their flowerbeds to the groups, to take now care of the plants. This way the children will see how their seeds grow to flowers and they will have a lot to talk and learn about in the next months and maybe years with their gardening tools.

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