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Developing international volunteering - make a step forward!
Start date: Aug 1, 2014, End date: Nov 1, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project involved one from Poland and one from Russia and gave a polish volunteer an opportunity of spending 10 months in Russia. The main aim of the project and volunteer's work was to spread information about non-formal education methods among youth of Nizhny Novgorod region. To realize this goal volunteer has been actively participating in many actions organized by the hosting organization - SFERA - aiming mostly at dissemination of information about international youth social programs and projects, as well as other possibilities for international youth cooperation. So the main objectives of the project were: 1) to increase interest in European culture, language, history, art among Russian youth; 2) to create a friendly social atmosphere in SFERA, giving a space of exchanging and sharing to volunteers; 3) to involve more Russian volunteers in the intercultural activities; 4) to share and exchange good practices of working in a field of international volunteary service between polish and russian organization and share it among local russian partners of SFERA; 5) to lead, co-ordinate and participate in intercultural activities including and empowering disadvantaged russian youth. The project met aims of the EVS programme. It was concentrated on development of active citizenship and mutual understanding among young people from different countries. It was possible mostly because the volunteer had a chance to present his own culture to peers in Russia and learn about other cultures (from Russian youngsters but also other international volunteers). All these activities were connected with European culture, thus the mutual understanding among volunteer and Russian youth has been developed. Besides, the EVS volunteer has increased interest in foreign cultures and languages, tried to break some stereotypes and as a result helped Russians to develop tolerance to other people. Also, the priorities of the Erasmus+ Programme were met by the context of the project – the volunteer could influence the community through realization of his own project (by involving Russian volunteers). Youth in Europe are much more involved in non-formal education than in Russia, and a volunteer has been invited to facilitate their process of learning and to promote European awareness this way. As it was planned - the volunteer has been actively involved in Russian NGOs, has been promoting international activities, and helping russian youth to get involved in these new challenges. His work has contributed to developing the quality of support systems for youth activities and the capabilities of civil society organisations in the youth field. Presence of European volunteer in youth organization gave the organization added value to the activities implemented, as it has helped local volunteers to get to know European culture, values and mentality better, and thus – break stereotypes, but also to stimulate sense of initiative, entrepreneurship and creativity. As Russian youth has less opportunities to go abroad and learn more about problems tackled nowadays in European societies, volunteer has been kind of a “window” for local youth, providing information about environmental issues discussed nowadays in EU.
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