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Empowering Children - Child Support and Child Care
Start date: Jul 1, 2016, End date: Dec 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

With this EVS-project we intend to support the service of two volunteers in a Waldorf kindergarden in Samara, Russian Federation.Both services will last for 12 months and start in September 2016.The Samara Waldorf Kindergarten is located in an area of Samara, with a high number of families who are socially or economicallydisadvantaged. Respectively many children visiting the kindergarden come from deprived families. Aim of the kindergarden, that isactually hosting forty children, is to promote and foster the children with special offers and to so give them new incentives for theirpersonal development. The children who have already experienced discriminiation and exclusion are especially supported by thekindergardens approach in the development of their social competences and self-esteem. While hosting international volunteers,who can bring in new stimuli, perspectives, ideas and energy the project longs to reach these objectives. The exchange gives thechildren as well as the volunteers themselves an opportunity for an intercultural interaction and communication, they experiencepeople from other countries, respectively life in another country, they establish personal relationships and are encouraged tobroaden and diversify already existing pictures (stereotypes).While the volunteers, during their service, get to know different aspects of Russian society in general and the educational system inparticular, the children get the opportunity to experiment themselves linguistically while living with people from another country.The main aim of this activity is to reach a growing positive perception of other „cultures“ and respect towards other people regardless where they are from.During the service volunteers support the staff in all daily activities (wake up, supervision of feeding, sleeping, cleaning). They willalso have the possibility to include and introduce own ideas and to make own offers, according to their talents and competences.Volunteers, realizing their service at the Waldorf kindergarden should bring in a deep interest in working with children and a highdegree of responsibility, even more as working with children requests permanent alertness and precaution. Volunteers should becreative, not be reserved towards assuming daily routines and be interested in experiencing life in the Russian Federation. Profoundlanguage skills are not expected.In order to be able to prepare the volunteers the best possible, they will participate in a ten day preparation seminar, realized byICJA, before departure. This should enable them to get acquainted with all relevant topics before they start their work (EU, culture,discrimination and marginalization, stereotypes and racism). Throughout their service they will be assigned a mentor and asupervisor. In addition they will have a constant contact person at ICJA as their sending organisation, and Lastochki as theircoordinating hosting organisation.We start our work from the premise that intercultural exchange – looked at on the long-term – contributes to internationalunderstanding through enabling possibilities of meeting and so changing already existing pictures. Young people, who take part ina voluntary service are, in general, being influenced strongly by this in their personal development. For many volunteers this is atime where they experience the transition from youth to adulthood, assuming more and more responsibility and putting theirvalues and expectations to a test. Volunteers learn throughout their service to handle with new and enriching but also frighteningsituations and to develop solutions to them. They also include this competence in their environment (in work and personalrelationships) after the service. This learning experience is not only limited to the volunteers themselves, but becomes importantalso for the ones who are also part of the exchange experiences, i.e. the children and families of the kindergarten.

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