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Down to Earth
Start date: 01 Aug 2016, End date: 31 Jan 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"Down to Earth" is a long-term EVS project between 4 sending organizations from Spain, Italy and Poland (Asociacion Building Bridges, Stowarzyszenie Aktywnosci Obywatelskiej Bona Fides, Amigos da Terra Galicia-Xuventude, Associazione di Promozione Sociale Joint) and 4 host organizations in Portugal (Associação Spin, Junta de Freguesia de Carnide, Associação Nacional de Futebol de Rua e Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves) which together will host five volunteers from 18 to 30 years old with fewer opportunities for a service of 9 to12 months. The organization responsible for the coordination of the project is Spin Association.Considering the previous positive experience in hosting and coordinating EVS volunteers, realizing the important role they have onthe development of the local community, specially in local youth, this partnership decided to submit this EVS project. It's main objectives are to foster social inclusion of children and youngsters through sport practice, promotion of healthy lifestyles and environmental education, as well as to allow the development of new skills and competences in both EVS volunteers and in local inhabitants, changing their health habits, ecological awareness, widening their minds, perspective and future opportunities.The volunteers will be involved in the activities and projects developed by the hosting organizations within the frames of sports, environment, social-cultural and empowerment projects for the local children and youth, stimulating active citizenship, sport activity, ecological consciousness and healthy behaviors. They will also be able to develop and implement their own project ideas in these fields of action. The methods used throughout the project will be non-formal education methods focused on participatory and learner-centered approaches.Expected results include the improvement of quantity and quality of HO's work for the development of the overall health and welfare of Carnide hosting community, as outcomes on environmental preservation an education, with strong positive impact towards the inclusion and wellbeing of all EVS participants and beneficiaries of HO's actions.In this project, volunteers will have the opportunity to experience a different culture and way of living, to master several useful tools and competences in the main fields of work, to learn about organization of social, environmental and sports events/projects, to improve their skills in intercultural communication and learning of Portuguese language. Young participating volunteers will benefit from this mobility that provides them the chance to develop their social and professional skills and competences which increases the chances of finding better job opportunities and/or creating their own in the future. By channeling youth's energy and will in engagement with civic society, the project will also contribute to prevent marginalization, alienation or any kind of radicalization, both for EVS volunteers as for all project's participants and beneficiaries. We aim not only to foster physical and mental individual health, but also collective well being throughout multiple actions towards the community and the preservation/protection of our biosphere. Participants and beneficiaries will be encouraged to change habits and routines for a healthier lifestyle in a holistic "down to earth" approach, fostering active citizenship and social inclusion.Importantly, this project will contribute for positive change of mentalities for updated European awareness: the local communitiesand specially the disadvantaged communities of Bairro Padre Cruz (Carnide’s area) will be more sensitive to European debated issues and also aware of policies regarding youth, sports and environment all through transmission of knowledge in a non-formal way.Due to the cooperation between the organizations in this partnership, "Down to Earth" will facilitate the exchange of best practices and ideas between the several EU member states, especially among public bodies and NGOs, expanding all its long term benefits, which will echo throughout Europe.
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