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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.

Activities for children during International volunteer’s café on Hansapäev

Activities for children during International volunteer’s café on Hansapäev

An international volunteer’s cafe was a project made by volunteers who spent their year in Estonia. The café was organized by 4 volunteers from Viljandi: Julia from Ukraine who was a volunteer in Viljandi avatudnoortetuba (VANT), Marina from Germany working in Näituse Kodu, Lara from Belgium who worked Perekodu and Aykut from Turkey who was doing his volunteer service in Suure-jaani Noortekeskus. They were all volunteers, who wanted to share a piece of their culture with national foods and activities for children.

The café was located in the backyard of Kondase Keskus on 7th of June.

We wanted to get acquainted with those villagers who we didn’t know yet. People who support the tradition of cafe night and Hansa days. With those who were ready not only to share their culture, but also have desire to learn something about the countries from which volunteers came. The feature of the cafe was that we were not professional cooks. But food, which was prepared, was a piece of our home, cooked with love and desire to bring pleasure to people.

 

Another peculiarity of our cafe were activities for children. We wanted them to learn something new about countries we came from through games and entertainments.

«Other volunteers and I had been working in our organizations for more than six months. Sometimes we performed routine work- we helped with organization of events, cutting fruits before meetings or playing games with children. Not always during these activities we had the opportunity to talk about our country and its features».

Children had the opportunity to learn more about different countries from which volunteers came – Belgium, Germany, Turkey and Ukraine. They draw flags and searched the countries on the map, studied which items, things and toys are traditional for our countries, tried national food.

«The event during Hansapaev gathered most of the inhabitants of the city, which has been a tradition that has been observed for many years. Thanks to our café and children activities and because residents of Viljandi guarding the traditions and adhering to them, we were useful and interesting to the inhabitants of the city and we made new acquaintances».

Julia is doing her service within the project Volunteering in Educational Projects (2018-1-EE01-KA125-046993), Marina within the project Volunteering in Social Projects (2018-1-EE01-KA125-047010) and Lara within the project Volunteering in Social Projects II (2018-2-EE01-KA125-047229) which are funded by the Erasmus+ European Voluntary Service program.

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