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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.

Make kindergarten’s garden great again – Anton’s initiative!

Make kindergarten’s garden great again – Anton’s initiative!

Did you also notice, that children are entertained more and more by technology? And did you also observe the consequence of children’s rising unawareness considering their natural environment? Maybe you are lucky and you have not faced it yet – but I had to and I was thinking about options in order to educate children being more aware of nature. That’s how I got the idea of creating a garden as my initiative project in kindergarten. By raising own and different plants I am aiming to show children the diversity of nature by showing different plants connected with their varying  demands. Besides, they get a view into natural processes, while being able to practice all new content. At the same time, children are being forced to actively deal with responsibility, since they are going to get a direct result of their caring in autumn.

Luckily my kindergarten had an old playground, which had to be demolished, so we could upcycle the material in order to build a bedframe. Following this frame we covered with garden foil, painted it nicely red and put finally soil into it. As you can see on picture, The garden has a higher middle part, which is meant to be used for potatoes and other deep-growing plants. Nevertheless, the lower ring is for plants having no require of deep ground. Then we already planted the seeds, children started to learn about nature during they are amazed interacting with it. Perfekt!

In July, we harvested our first outcomes – everything grows very nicely!

Anton Weissflog, volunteer from Germany

Anton is doing his service within the project Volunteering promote Goodness (2017-3-EE01-KA135-046761), which is funded by the Erasmus+ European Voluntary Service program.

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