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Start date: Aug 1, 2014, End date: Jul 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"Experience The Challenge" is a European Volunteer Service program (Part of the Mobilizing Young Generations in Action program), which will be carried out by the Aµ?? ??S?S in Athens for the duration of six months. Six volunteers will participate between the ages of 18 and 30, coming from Spain,Germany and Turkey. The issue at hand, in addition to the objective of this program is to sensitize the participants to the vulnerable groups of society (mental health patients and asylum seekers) also including psychological health issues and minorities. A further goal is for the volunteers who will be participating is to acquire experience working in a professional environment. The method which is going to be followed will be informal way of learning, and the volunteer's activities will include supporting the beneficiaries according to their needs. To be more specific, in case of the Boarding House, where mental health patients are hosted, the activities that the volunteers will implement, will aim to increasing the functionality self sufficiency of the residents, and in the case of the Shelter for Asylum Seekers, the volunteers will be responsible for organizing creative activities for the leisure time of the residents. More specifically the activities will include social and creative activities (through art), with cultural, athletic and recreational excursions. In addition, the volunteers will also participate in other activities according to the needs of the Hosting/Coordinator Organization such as sponsorships, public relations, household chores, planning of workshops/conferences. Through this project, the volunteers will receive very important knowledge that will affect them and help them both in their professional as well as in their personal life. The knowledge that the volunteers will gain, has to do with simple stuff such as following a time schedule, but also more complicated procedures such as implementing small projects, and working with a deadline. Their everyday contact and routine with the previously mentioned social vulnerable groups will affect them in a social level Amongst the anticipated results of the program, is the conveying of acquired knowledge and experience. The participating volunteers, besides all the knowledge they are going to gain, will develop a sense of active citizenship within European society, since the concept of giving is a key component of the program. In this manner, the volunteer movement is exponentially increased at a European level, a fact that can only be seen as positive, for the entire continent. The completion of such a program, obviously results in a network expansion of organizations who work and specialize in similar and relevant activities, a characteristic which cumulatively, also has a similar impact at an international level. Finally, the innovation that a mental health organization powered such an important program will be an inspiration for all relevant supporters, so that they can actively move in that same direction.
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