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Environmental Voluntary Service in the Far East of Russia
Start date: May 1, 2015, End date: Mar 1, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Up to five EVS volunteers from Germany and other EU-countries, as well as up to two volunteers from Russia or Belarus will participate in a voluntary service up to 1 year in the "Bystrinskiy" Cluster of the Nature Park "Volcanoes of Kamchatka" (Russia). The volunteers support the nature park in its day-to-day tasks (collecting waste, painting-works, managing and repairing hiking paths, supporting visitors of the nature park, maintaining the park`s website, developing and translating promotion and information material, at times scientific work), hold German or English lessons and also have the opportunity to develop own projects in the field of environmental education, public relations, culture or protection of nature. Important components of the voluntary project are the exchange between volunteers who come from different regions of Europe, as well as the exchange between volunteers and local people. Freetime and working time should be two equal aspects for the experience of the local culture. The aim is to learn about the way of live and work in Kamchatka, and to get to know the working reality of a Russian nature park that is not at all free of conflicts. Volunteers intensively experience how it feels to be a stranger and to be limited because of a lack of language skills, but also how to prove one's worth under these circumstances. The volunteers learn more about themselves and the everyday life away from home. Such situations provide both experiences of individual limits as and the possibility of developing personal skills and capabilities. One could also say, the experience being a volunteer abroad provides all challenges and possibilities of intercultural learning processes. For the nature park, the voluntary project entails a manifold enrichment, because volunteers bring along additional input in terms of ideas, skills and knowledge. The activities of nature protection will be supported and also connected to various fields of interests (such as culture, education, or tourism).
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