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.
My name is Monika and I am from Hungary. I did my ESC project in Tallinna Laste Turvakeskus, in Männi Turvakodu. The shelter hosts children and youth who have been left without parental care or have behavioural problems. As the children can be from different age groups, I initially struggled to come up with an activity that would be fun for everyone.
After some consideration I decided to organise a ‘Hungarian Evening’ that included different types of activities. My main aim was to include everyone, and also wanted to offer the children and colleagues the possibility to learn something about Hungary, and of course to have fun! Together with the children we prepared three meals – two of those had to be sweet of course.
After the meal, we watched two episodes of the Hungarian Folk Tales. These tales stem from original folktale collections and are filled with Hungarian folk art and music. My colleagues very kindly offered to translate the tales into Estonian and Russian and they were very well-liked by everyone.
With my initiative project I also wanted to give something to the team at Männi Turvakodu as a thank you for being so supportive throughout my service. I decided to start a ‘Volunteer Memory Book’ in which I attempted to encapsulate my volunteer experience with notes and photos. This will remain with the shelter for future volunteers to give them an insight of the cheery life at Männi when they start, and to contribute with their own memories after they finish their service!
Here are some photos of the ‘volunteer memory book’ making progress:
Monika made her service within the project European Solidarity in Action, funded by Archimedes Foundation Youth Agency with support from the European Commission Solidarity Corps programme.