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Bantry & Dunmanway School Completion Programme Activity Assistants
Start date: Aug 1, 2015, End date: Aug 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Context of project The SCP programme was set up to combat educational disadvantage. By supporting young people at risk of leaving school early to get the most from their education we are helping to fight against Youth unemployment along with poverty and marginalisation. We started EVS projects in February 2002. We can run a greater number of activities with volunteers and it gives a broader dimension to our work. We have young volunteers close to the age of the clients we work with, yet bringing a sense of maturity. Coming from different European countries they bring interest and challenge to our clients, by showing them wider horizons, broader views & cultural diversity. Our clients realise these young people are volunteering, not coming for financial reward. Students see the volunteers wanting to learn & study to improve their English etc. as positive. There are 4 nationalities and this will bring about awareness that they are part of a wider European citizenship. Living together and working in an Irish setting will allow the volunteers to reflect on their experiences. Project objectives The objectives are to provide an opportunity for young volunteers to: Develop an awareness of the issues associated with early school leaving & build skills, knowledge and an attitude which help to address it. Gain an appreciation for those struggling with educational disadvantage and exclusion. Develop their understanding children’s work & youth work. Discover Irish life & culture and share their identity and culture, including their language Develop their language skills (mostly English but also Gaeilge). Earth their formal training (where appropriate) in an informal way. Learn effective work structures and procedures such as safety protocols and child protection practices. Learn about how the Irish education system operates. Recognise the lifelong nature of learning. Gain independent living skills, maturity & resilience from living abroad. Share their learning with their own community on their return home. The ‘SCP Activity Assistants’ will support students both socially and academically in a number of settings. ‘In-School’, ‘After-School’ and during ‘Holiday Activities’. Objectives for student work: a. To build self-esteem in children & young people b. To give them a sense of acceptance c. To support literacy and numeracy development d. To support students in their life skill development e. To support them in learning a foreign language & culture f. To address basic needs due to financial hardship e.g. meal support Volunteers form positive relationships with the young people & children, as role models, being empathic, & befriending. 4 volunteer profiles: Ana Morales (30 yrs) is from Valencia, Spain. She wrote: I really like it (your project); working with kids and supporting young people. Franziska Martin (27yr) Dresden, Germany, a student social worker. She says:- I need education to reach my goals and broaden my horizon. Claire Supervie(22Yrs) Paris, France, studying photography. She says:- I think volunteerism is an important thing for personal development. Alsu Akmetdinova (21yrs) Moscow Russia. She says:- I hope to be helpful to children. description of activities The volunteers will be ‘SCP activity assistants’. They will support project worker to deliver a programme of activities involving ‘in-school’, ‘after-school’ and ‘holiday provision’ programmes. In- School:- This will involve educational support both academic (e.g. helping with homework and school subjects) and social (e.g. helping to comfort and encourage students in their life by talking or doing activities). After School clubs include, sports, art, drama, music, computers, cooking, board games etc. There will also be a certain amount administration e.g. recording. Holiday provision involves residential trips and children’s clubs Methodology Volunteers will work with students as part of a team. They will have the SCP/school staff for guidance & support. They will build up a timetable for activities. Volunteer will mostly engage one to one with students, working through the development of positive relationships. The results and impact envisaged & longer term benefits. It is expected that volunteers will achieve the objectives listed above, gaining knowledge & skill in cultural, linguistic, Youth Work etc. I have no doubt that more young people will remain in school and attain an improved standard of results in state examinations because of the EVS volunteers’ contribution. This enhances the individual students opportunities for employment and life. It also impacts the next generation because the cycle of educational disadvantage is being broken, as their children will have greater parental support to finish school. We financially support, feasibility visits & EVS management costs from our organization's funds. Also many staff give travel & other supports.
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