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ECOvolunteering in National Park
Start date: 01 Jul 2016, End date: 30 Apr 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

WHO ARE WE ? EUFEMIA is an Italian non-profit organization, for social promotion in the cultural field, endorsed by a group of young people committed to supporting the process of European integration. Eufemia is divided into two main areas: the Socio-Educational Area (we work in schools and in local-level educational project targeted to children and young people with fewer opportunities) and the International Area: we develop projects of youth international mobility, we are experienced in the Erasmus+ program and Youth in Action program; we cooperate in project design, facilitate Youth Exchanges abroad, organize and run Youth Exchanges in Turin as well as non-formal learning activities. VERTIGEM Associação para a Promoção do Património is a local non governmental for environmental protection organisation, is EVS hosting and sending organisation since 1998, with a curriculum of more than 80 hosting projects. Main area of activities is related to environment and sustainability. The volunteers work on a daily basis at our organization, fulfilling different activities and tasks among our community. We also help our volunteers to integrate in the Portuguese society and daily living. Until today Vertigem has hosted young volunteers from: Spain, Costa Rica, Mexico, Brasil, Camboja, Quenia, France, Italy, UK, Hungary, Slovakia,Turkey, Estonia, Latvia, Litvania, Finland, Belarus, Poland, Ukraine, Armenia, Serbia, Austria, Germany and Greece. All the volunteers have classes of Portuguese several times a week until they can speak our language in a proper way. WHERE? Portugal - Natural Park of “Serra de Aire e Candeeiros” WHEN? 1.10.2016 - 31.03.2017 WHAT? We’re looking for 2 volunteers (between 18-30) who would like to take part in our EVS activities. The 2 volunteers will be involved in the activities inside the Natural Park and educational activities. The activities propose to establish a connection in three sources -leisure, educational and labour- aiming at the contact and direct experience with the environment in the rural areas. Volunteers participating in this project will be integrated in groups of young members and monitors of Vertigem specialized in the different areas, who will give all the specific technical support for the different activities. The aim of the project is to develop the volunteers' understanding of different cultures and situations, which, at the same time, may lead to personal growth of the volunteers themselves. Throughout their volunteering experience, youngsters will learn more about the reality of a National Park and all the activities surrounding its sustaining. In terms of service and learning opportunities the EVS volunteers will be able to develop several skills in order to improve their performance. The volunteers will also have the opportunity to learn portuguese; we consider that is very important to give them linguistic basis in order to allow them to communicate with people and to feel integrated culturally. Thus we can distinguish between four main areas of relevance: 1) Outdoor activities that are mainly related to the method of learning by doing, both with group of people (kids and families), than with Vertigem's instructors that will introduce the activities to the volunteers. Practical workshops and excursions are included in this area (e.g.: implementation of a composting system; production of farm products (biological): fruits; honey (proceeding from the beekeeping); bags of humu, bags of tea and plants seasoning; Feeding the animals; “The Green” Workshop – preparation, preservation and packing of the farm products; Recycling paper). 2) Theoretical knowledge of the different subjects an expert should know while running projects in a centre like Vertigem has. The volunteers will learn from the responsibles of the park, some basic and also advanced notions in biology, chemistry, zoology and so on. They will be able to study them in special sessions, but also during their active service, while doing the camp activities and preparing the workshops. 3) ICT and practical tools: the volunteers will get to know some ICT programmes Vertigo staff uses for data mining and presentations and also some very practical skills related to the necessary equipment they will use during the service. 4) Linguistic training in Portuguese language and culture, plus personal support will also be present throughout all the project.
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