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Celebrating 50 Years of Volunteering (Vakantiebos - Group EVS 2016)
Start date: May 1, 2016, End date: Sep 30, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Celebrating 50 Years of Volunteering (Vakantiebos - Group EVS 2016) is a Group EVS Program organized in The Netherlands, In Italy and in Portugal. Don Bosco has been organizing "Vakantiebos"-a holiday program for the kids of the locality for the past 50 years and it is mainly run by volunteers both national and international. The project is motivated and organized by Don Bosco Youthnet Nederland (DBYn NL) and her partners. DBYn NL has been hosting and sending EVS volunteers for the past 12 years. It has been always a positive experience for all the partners, and especially for the young people with fewer opportunities who benefit a lot from such experience. And this inspires us to go forward being active in such youth projects.This program aims to help young people to travel to a new culture, new people, speak a new language and cross own mind set up to help out other people. This in turn help the volunteers to their personal growth, acquire skills and create job opportunities. The program promotes intercultural learning experiences, encouraging social integration and widening the perspective of the young people to employability. Through a creative program the young volunteers step into solidarity and stimulate their creative and innovative thinking through sports and recreative outdoor activities for children (4-16 years). The program takes place in three countries: in Italy from 15 May till 19 June 2016, the Netherlands, from 20 July to 21 August 2016 and in Portugal from the 1st of September till 10th of October 2016. In the Netherlands a group of 22 volunteers (out which 11 volunteers will be young people with fewer opportunities) from 11 countries will take active part in the summer holiday activities (Vakantiebos) in the multicultural youth center Rijswijk. From the Netherlands 2 volunteers leave for Italy and 2 for Italy and all the four with fewer opportunities. Vakantiebos (activities with children) and the activities as a group in Don Boscohuis Rijswijk and activities of the volunteers in Italy and Portugal will ensure engagement, learning and experience which can eventually lead to social change and it show that the learning takes place not only on an individual basis but also in a group. They help children, young people, refugees and in environmental projects during their EVS experience. The long term benefit of this project is for both individuals, organisations and even people who are not part of the project. This help the participants to develop skills, attitude and comptences to work in a team and to work in the youth field, create job and net working opportunities in Europe. This program give young people a first experience of European Voluntary Service promoting intercultural learning and European awareness in a mixed group experience. In turn creates possibilities for long term EVS and exchange programmes for the future.
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