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"Dix mois qui tu es" - Un service pour se découvrir et pour découvrir les autres.
Start date: Aug 1, 2015, End date: Nov 30, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

« Dix mois qui tu es », (Ten months to tell me who you are) is a project which joins up several smaller projects all linked to finding out who you are and who the other one is, all the while becoming richer. During this voyage of discovery, which lasts from ten to twelve months, the eight volunteers who are coming to Belgium, as well as the one who is leaving for Spain, will have the chance to invest their time and energy with disabled people or vulnerable children and find out what everyday life is like for these people. This kind of encounter brings you face-to-face with yourself, with your own background and your existential issues. All the different individual projects are also linked by the importance of hosting a foreign volunteer and of what he can bring to the project, i.e. a new point of view, fresh blood, energy, enthusiasm... The volunteers hosted in Belgium come from four different countries (Hungary, Spain, Slovakia and Italy) and will travel together for a while. They will be in different local projects, but will meet up regularly at the seminars organised by the coordinating organisation (us at SPJ) and by the National Agency. During these training sessions, they’ll be able to share their experiences while learning the idiosyncrasies of each other’s cultures. This project is an exercise, a life-lesson, in getting rid of prejudice, in learning to see the person behind the stereotype. Getting to know a disabled person, a fragile child, a foreigner, a person form another ethnic background, another culture, as a real person, not just a statistic or a minority compared to yourself, helps to build bridges and knock down walls. You learn not only to tolerate but to accept the differences. These young people have sometimes just finished their baccalaureat, sometimes university, or sometimes they have followed a completely different path. They are never, in any way, chosen because of their qualifications, their sex, their gender, their nationality, their religion or their ethnicity... but they are people who are ready to commit to a year of volunteer service in the social field, either with children or disabled people who live in institutions. N.B. The annexed project descriptions are only as a guide. The timetables and activities will be agreed according to the desiderata and the volunteers’ specific skills. In each project, the volunteers will begin their service with a period of getting to know the institution and its characteristics. Only after this time will the tasks and specific timetables be arranged. In the children’s homes, the volunteers will support the educational team in the everyday supervision of the children – i.e. accompanying the children in a “normal” way : a healthy lifestyle, fundamental need... However, the volunteer can also bring a personal touch through extra activities such as games, crafts, outings, going with the children to sports clubs and Scouts, etc. He or she can also share the habits and customs of their country as well as their family culture, while inviting the children to think about their own. With the disabled adults, there is also the aspect of everyday supervision, in the living communities, but also in the workshops where the people go every day to work (leather, wrought iron, cheese-making, farms, mosaic...). The interaction with the disabled people can be very rich and varies according to their level of independence. The volunteers will also have the chance to reflect on what they are learning and on their experiences as a young European volunteer, with professionals from the same fields, during the SPJ seminars and numerous evaluations in the local projects. The methodology of evaluation and training is part of the methods used in non-formal education. They will also have the possibility to discuss things with other volunteers in the same situation as them during the training sessions organised by the coordinating organisation (SPJ) and those organised by the BIJ. The results, the impact and the longer-term benefits of this project fit in with each other : - Reinforcement of engagement in society - A new language - Intercultural learning - Greater maturity - Help with professional orientation - Teamwork - Patience respect and compassion.
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