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Start date: May 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The Project "Empowering" is an EVS project and arises from the common aims of two organisations to develop the learning process and the youth personal/professional development through mobility experience. The main aim of this EVS is to provide an occasion for a mutual encounter of cultures and mentalities of young people, but also to inform others about the people and the culture of their own country. Moreover the project is based on strengthening the partnership between the 2 involved organisations and to promote the European Erasmus+ Programme between the youngsters of the 2 countries and local communities. The project foresees two organisations (Piaskowy Smok as SO, and "Centre for children, Youth and family- Bosnia - as HO) and two already selected polish volunteers (Beata Piekorz and Anna Kurowska), 26 and 25 years old. The two volunteers will spend 9 months in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1st JUNE 2014- 29TH February 2016 in the Centre activities taking care of education and leisure activities for children and youth. During the project they will teach English and Polish language and implement recreative activities for children, working as a support for the children’s playground staff and organize different activities aimed at both children and youth.Through this project we wish to enhance the interest of the local youth in volunteerism, mobilty and programs such as Erasmus + and also by the experience and expertise of volunteers to strengthen their European awareness. Through a direct encounter with young people from abroad, the local youth can develop interest and sensibilty towards other cultures, experience personal development and independence, and becomes better prepared for our increasingly interdependent world. They will also be engaged through Local Volunteer Service program, aimed at implement voluntary activities in different locations and services of the receiving community, such as the public library and different other organizations. Volunteers will also actively participate in the organization of local activities and events, such as “Laktasi summer” and the International day of youth. They will also have the chance to design and launch new projects in the Organization, with the help and guidance of the staff. The methodology proposed in the project will be based on pillars of non-formal education and on learning by doing and coaching. It will meet the aims of volunteers’ personal and social development, through the contact with the life, language and culture of the local community and the receiving organization. Volunteers will gain new knowledge about Bosnia and Herzegovina, learn to deal with cultural shocks and differences, develop team-work skills and teaching skills in intercultural environment, will improve English language skills and existing skills in the local language. Moreover they will improve intercultural communication skills, learn how to run recreative activities for youth and children, non-governmental/volunteering sector and about Erasmus+ Programme. The Volunteers will increase their intercultural knowledge that will help them to avoid/ reduce negative attitudes towards other cultures and cultural misunderstandings, they will arise their self-efficacy and self confidence for life and work. For the 2 organizations this project represents a great opportunity to develop a further cooperation and partnership in an European level, moreover in this case it's involved an European Country and one country from the Western Balkans and it makes the cooperation more interesting. For both organizations it is a way to develope competences in managing EVS projects and to change and make better their local environments and communities, enriching them with inputs and social growth. We hope this project will have a strong impact also on the local communities (Municipalities, NGOs, citizens) and especially on the other youngsters in Poland and in Laktasi area, to promote Erasmus+ opportunities and the benefits coming from EVS as learning service. Participating countries’ Institutions and local communities will get the following benefits: - Widen the horizons of local youth and the rest of the citizenship through taking part in activities with an intercultural dimension - Development of sense of tolerance, international friendship and brotherhood through supporting the local community’s activities - Possibility of cooperation with foreign countries and developing strong partnership for further projects and network - Improve organizative skills and support youth development and the Organization’s mission. It's foreseen the production of blog articles and short videos with experiences and good EVS practices to spread the outputs of the project, which will be available online for youth, youth workers and organizations.
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