EVS-Convergence Point Narvik: EU and neighbours in EVS
Start date: 01 Aug 2014, End date: 01 Aug 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Narviksenteret's vision is to contribute to peacebuilding, and we consider youth exchange to be an integral part of this. Interaction and cooperation with, and exposure to people and cultures from various corners of the world have the effect of familiarising an individual with such. Similarly, by adding a new member to a give society – being the EVS-volunteer – we believe that the interaction between such valuable, motivated persons, also infuses the local community in which the volunteer is hosted, with heightened cultural sensitivity and understanding. We consider youth exchange to be peacebuilding in practice, and it continues to be a focal point of Narviksenteret’s operations. We are located in a mid-sized town in Norway, which has found itself at several internationally significant historical crossroads. Due to the town being a major port for shipping iron ore, it became a strategically important location to control for both major warring factions in the European context. A fact not know to everyone is that Hitler’s campaign suffered its very first defeat during WWII right here in Narvik. Our region has witnessed defilement first hand, and Narviksenteret, through our various work which includes a major war museum, have made it our mission to made sure our younger generations don’t allow for such currents to become feasible once again. We have been an active EVS partner since 2007, and wish to continue our project along the same lines. We are concretely looking to: 1) Receive 8 EVS volunteers 2) Send 5 EVS volunteers Our overriding objectives with this two-pronged project include: - To promote interaction across national borders, in order to promote heightened tolerance, solidarity and cultural understanding among our volunteers, and within our local community. - To facilitate intercultural learning between countries directly within the EU sphere and the EU's neighbouring regions in the south-east and east. - To provide a platform for young people from our region, or for young people from other countries who would like to volunteer with us, to learn by doing, to express themselves, and to broaden their horizons. As Europe is becoming ever more multinational, we believe that concrete experiences of cooperation and interaction between our continent's (including neighbouring regions) young people have a very positive effect which in turn has further synergies. By bringing young people together for actual activities in unison, we are seeking to enable and encourage our participants and local community to discover and learn to cherish each other's humanity. We normally get a variety of young people inquiring and applying to our projects. A majority of the applicants normally tend to be good school performers who are looking for an opportunity to further their learning and boost and practice their competencies. But we also receive inquiries from young people who may not have figured out their path yet, and are looking for a refreshing experience or stimulation in order to find some inspiration. We cater to both categories, and have positive experiences with young people from both. Our hosting capacities are very good. The volunteers we host are placed within various work places of public and civic sectors, including schools, kindergartens, museums, organisation administration, and more. This is also influenced by the interests and characteristics of the volunteer in question. The volunteers we host are housed in one large house, all together. The house is fully stocked according to Norwegian standards and boasts ample common area as well as private quarters for each. We consider this cohabitation to be part of the activity, as young people thus get their own arena to practice democracy in a multinational community. We actively strive for gender equality. Our desired impact on all various levels of community is related. Whether at EU level, national, local, or within the bounds of our project, we desire lasting and positively peaceful relations between peoples from different sides of any kind of any border – national, cultural, linguistic, gender, or other. It is our desire that our project contributes to creating a heightened awareness and understanding of the value of a variety of cultures; an increased level of tolerance at all levels of community, including - crucially - our own local community; and that all people affected by the project, whether directly or indirectly, as they learn to recognise and acknowledge the similarities and rationales in various cultures which may seem distant at first, and come to respect and cherish them as valuable. This is peacebuilding in practice, as we see it, and we will continue working towards it, through this project and others.

Coordinator

9 Partners Participants