3E: EVS vol. 2 in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria
"3E: EVS Eastern Express" part 2, foresees participation of 3 volunteers from France, Italy and England in 2-months project hosted by Active Bulgarian Society /ABS/ in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. The main "3EVS" idea is to give an opportunity to 3 young people with economic and educational obstacles from the partner countries to enter their path of social development, both personal and professional and in the same time to contribute to the reinforcement of cultural dialogue, youth policy and European awareness in the area of Blagoevgrad and Sofia.

The relationship of the Union with Ukraine, Republic of Moldova and Georgia is guided by the new Association Agreements, including Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas - the Association agenda states that one of the priorities of EU is to ensure assessment of fundamental rights and "encourage a strategic approach to youth policy and improve exchanges and cooperation in the field of non-formal education for young people and youth workers, as a means of promoting intercultural dialogue and supporting civil society, including through EU programmes in the youth field".

"3E: EVS Eastern Express" part 2 aims to empower young people from Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia to learn from Union practices in the field of youth work and then apply the knowledge received to the youth field back home thus promote European values and cooperation and non-formal education among their peers. Following Erasmus+ programme objectives, the project equity and inclusion by offering voluntary placement to people with fewer opportunities, in particular supporting young people with economic and educational obstacles and thus also at long term perspective contribute to their employability potential and overall sense of well-being thanks to equipping them with transversal skills.

Thus "3EVS" specific objectives are:

-to give an opportunity to 24 young people with fewer opportunities from partner countries to benefit from long term voluntary service throughout which they will gain new skills and competencies in the field of youth work and communication;

-to promote active participation, intercultural dialogue, European citizenship and Erasmus+ in Bulgaria and partner countries;

-to help with the professional orientation of the young people in Europe - create an enabling learning environment that will allow volunteers to obtain new or foster existing transversal skills, in order to increase their chances to find a job;

-to boost the skills of young people for self-actualization and self-realization in the labour market;

-to ensure capacity building in the field of EVS project management, transfer of knowledge and best practice sharing among the consortium and as a long term result to empower collaboration with EU partner countries;

-to encourage the active participation of young people in public life and to inspire them to act as multipliers of the new knowledge and skills in their local communities;

-to provide our volunteers with competences in non-formal and informal education and training (during the voluntary service they will develop practical skills for working with groups - facilitating group processes, discussions, debates, trainings, public speaking, management of youth projects and many others).

MAIN ACTIVITIES

Among activities offered to the volunteers are: support ABS communication channels including social media and communication with international partners, supporting organizations of international mobility activities such as trainings and youth exchanges, providing information about Erasmus+ and learning mobility to the local youth, organizing local social events / e.g. chat clubs/, language tandems and other interactive activities for young people, working with Eurodesk database and many others. Each volunteer will be encouraged to propose own personal project idea, an activity that shall be beneficial both for the target group ABS is working on the daily basis and for the volunteer(s) themselves in terms of learning objectives. The main methodology used throughout the project is dialogue and problem-based learning, learning by doing and direct engagement in activities. As a result, all three volunteers will develop a greater awareness of European citizenship and various transversal skills including such as digital skills, sense of initiative and entrepreneurship, social skills and international communication, management and presentation skills and others. They will also develop various skills they can use in the labour market such as knowledge of methods of non-formal learning; knowledge on how an organization is organized; ability to work in a multicultural team. All of this will have a direct impact on volunteers’ employability.

On the local level, the project will impact young people who are the direct target group of ABS - they will benefit from volunteers' engagement in youth work, their ideas and commitment, intercultural dialogue.

Volunteers’ work will include supporting our daily office activities like answering emails, contacting with partners, supporting all our projects and initiatives, providing information to the local community about the EVS and Erasmus+ programs, holding presentations visiting every month the universities and schools in the region. We are also Eurodesk multiplier, so the future volunteers will have the opportunity to explore the Eurodesk online database and provide information to local youth who are interested. We would like to share our experience with non-formal education and to equip the volunteers with all the necessary tools in order to provide professional career orientation for better social and professional integration. Also, each week the volunteers will have the chance to organize their own art/eco club, where they could present their nation, language, traditions, customs etc. Also, if there are interested people in our city, the volunteers can organize a free language course as a social initiative to the local community. Moreover, they can start helping school students who had difficulties with a foreign language or organize language Tandem events. We will encourage and support volunteers with the realization of their own ideas that fit our organization’s policy and priorities.

Conditions: The volunteers will be hosted in shared rooms with another volunteer/ from the same sex/ in their own flat with bathroom, terrace and kitchen, fully furnished with all the necessary kitchen utensils.

The volunteers will be engaged in activities 30 - 35 working hours a week according to the programme guide.

Each volunteer will receive a fixed amount of financial support each month: for food 110 euro and for pocket money 90 euro / in total 200 euro/ to cover all their daily expenses.

Mentor:

The coordinating organization provides the volunteer with a mentor’s support who will help the volunteer set learning goals and together they may evaluate them after the project has finished. Also, the mentor can help the volunteer with emergency situations, such as going to the doctor, or orientation and information about the local life and all events happening. Mentor will also help each volunteer overcome the cultural shock in the new environment.

Language support:

Even though the working language is English, still each volunteer will have the opportunity to attend a language course through the OLS /online linguistic support/ system. Language support will be arranged by the coordinating institution. As a coordinating organization, we will provide other opportunities to practice Bulgarian (tandem meetings, chat clubs, thematic evenings, etc.). Moreover, our team will assist the learning process for each volunteer.

Volunteers’ profile: 18-30 years old young person who is interested in volunteering projects. There will be given priority to unemployed, finished or excluded from the formal education system, or with economical difficulties youth. The most important criteria in the selection process will be the motivation of the participants. The communication level of English language skills and basic computer skills will be a plus.

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