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.
Nefeli is an European Voluntary Service volunteer from Greece who is working in Tallinna Kullatera Kindergarten.
On the 21st of April I visited the Viljandi Avatud Noortetuba youth center in Viljandi, where I had the opportunity to present my country, Greece. What is very interesting when you present your country is that you explain to people why people behave the way they do. Behind every person is hidden a culture which is strongly connected to his acts and thoughts. So in my presentation, of coursed I showed the beauty that Greece has but I also broke some stereotypes. Greece has a hidden beauty in every corner, it can be a landscape, a historical place, it can be the smell of delicious food or it can be the “filotimon” of people, which warms everyone’s heart. Some people have experienced something like this and shared their story; some were motivated from what they saw to visit my country. Even though my country has financial crisis, I made people to see further from what they only see in the media. The evening finished with lots of food and Greek dances. I made a typical pie ‘spanakopita’ which is spinach pie, tzatziki which is a very famous traditional dish and garlic bread. A typical characteristic of Greeks is that, when they have guests they are all day in the kitchen, because they want to pleasure them. They offer them a lot of food, which is rude if you don’t take. It was a very nice experience during my EVS to have the opportunity to share the love that I have about Greece with others.
Nefeli stays in Estonia for 9 months within the project ”Boost the Mind” which is funded by Erasmus+ European Voluntary Service program.