The Training Course “Step into EVS: Developing Competencies of Organizations to Host, Send and Coordinate EVS” is taking place in Struga, Republic of Macedonia, from 3rd-12th October 2016, organized with the support of the Erasmus + program and CIMO, hosted by Volunteers Centre Skopje from Macedonia and Maahanmuuttajien työ, koulutus ja kulttuuri ry from Finland.
The project involves 32 participants coming from 13 countries: Macedonia, Finland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden. All of them are youth workers, youth leaders, project coordinators and managers strongly motivated to develop their competencies in the EVS field. The project also includes people with fewer opportunities, persons coming from different social, economical and ethnic background and participants who belong to the Somali ethnic group coming from different countries from the EU, like the Applicant organization from Finland, Maahanmuuttajien työ, koulutus ja kulttuuri ry, whose main aim is to promote Somalian culture and integration somlis in Finnish society.
EVS (European Voluntary Services) is one the key activities of the Erasmus + Programme giving young people, including those with fewer opportunities, unique opportunity to gain new competencies, increase self-esteem and self-confidence and contribute to the development of the communities in their sending and hosting countries. With the project “Step into EVS: Developing Competencies of Organizations to Host, Send and Coordinate EVS” we aim to respond to the needs of organizations motivated to become sending/hosting/coordinating organizations of EVS volunteers and organizations who already have accreditation and they are looking for opportunities to increase the quality of their services in the EVS field.
The main aim of this project is to develop capacities of the participants and organizations to provide quality EVS activities to young people, including young people with fewer opportunities, and to increase the quality of EVS in the participating countries. The activities are based on non-formal learning methods and techniques, and the experts involved the Training Course, by using various working methods, will pay attention to meeting the needs and expectations of the participants. The project will make a strong impact on various levels, especially on the participants and participating organizations directly involved in the project.
In addition to these groups, the project will especially bring benefit to the organizations visited during the study visit that will have an opportunity to create new contacts and get to know practices from the participants’ countries, and also young people, including young people with fewer opportunities, coming from the participating countries. They will benefit from quality EVS opportunities giving them a chance to develop their competencies.
The Project Goal is to raise the quality of EVS (European Voluntary Service) in the participating countries, since this year the EVS program is celebrating a 20-year anniversary, and this project comes in the best period for the countries that are partners in this project, as they are becoming part of the EVS family, and Volunteers Centre Skopje, as one of the biggest EVS sending and hosting organizations in South East Europe, with more than 500 volunteers in our records, have the pleasure the be host of this project.
The Project Objectives are:
– To increase the participants’ understanding of the Erasmus + Programme, with particular focus on EVS (European Voluntary Service);
– To develop the participants’ knowledge of the process of accreditation, as the first step to take in the process of becoming sending, hosting or coordinating organization of EVS, to develop capacities of the organizations to prepare quality accreditation for EVS and successfully go through the accreditation process;
– To increase the participants’ knowledge of the EVS project cycle and raise their competencies to create networks with other organizations, prepare the EVS application for submission to National Agencies, being able to manage the EVS project and prepare final report;
-To raise competencies of the organizations to support the EVS volunteer in his/her learning process and with his/her integration to the new environment;
– To increase the participants’ competencies (teamwork, leadership, communication, creativity) through participation in various non-formal learning based activities in intercultural settings that they can apply in the process of implementation EVS projects;
– To support the development of new partnerships and networks with the aim to create and implement quality EVS projects giving young people, including young people with fewer opportunities, an opportunity to make a difference.