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EVS - Enhancing Learning Environment through use of European Volunteers
Start date: Sep 1, 2016, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Background:It is stated in our value documents that Øya vgs is a school focusing on international awareness and international relations. We have previously cooperated with schools and organisations from other countries, and both received and sent students on school exchange programs.Objective:We have a two-way objective where we on the one hand want to help the participants gain intercultural experience and work experience, and on the other hand want to help our own students in finishing their school programs and growing on a personal level. In the bigger picture, we want to contribute to more understanding, awareness and tolerance between cultures.Four EVS-volunteers, two boys and two girls, will co-operate to act as a link between the formal learning and the formative learning at Øya vgs. They will share their time between daytime classes where they support teachers in practical learning situations outside the classroom, and afternoon and evening activities where they support the boarding students in creating a safe and creative time living away from home. Concrete examples of activities are organising a weekly jogging group, joining a group of students on a trip to study biology phenomena in natura, joining a group of carpenters in their weekly practice lessons, organising social evening activities. The volunteers will be working partly individually and partly in groups. Their main tasks will be as young leaders, in a role between the teachers and the students. Seeing these activities combined we have succeeded if the volunteers have increased self-empowerment and self-esteem, enhanced intercultural awareness, if they have enhanced employability and improved career prospects. Through their activities they will be expected to have developed awareness of the EU values, e.g. human dignity, democracy, non-discrimination, tolerance and equality between women and men.For the participants to have had a successful stay in Norway young leadership will be developed in each individual. They will be challenged to organise activities for people younger than themselves, and thus they get the opportunity to practice their communication skills. Assisting young people in learning situations will also help the volunteers improve their motivational conduct.When activities are repeated on a more or less regular basis, the contact between our students and the volunteers will increase self-empowerment and self-esteem on both parties. It will also be a brilliant arena for enhancement of cultural awareness. We hope that this experience will lead to increased motivation to take part in future education or training after the mobility period abroad. It can also widen the volunteers' prospects of future job options. Longer term benefits expected to result from this project are young people, both the volunteers and the students of Øya vgs who have experienced that learning new things is fun, and they have grown to be mature individuals who appreciate the humanistic and democratic values in the European society. Both volunteers and students will have a deeper understanding of people of other cultures, thus learn to appreciate both similarities and differences. The school will keep developing the notion of co-operation as a pedagogical tool. Towards the end of May an evaluation report will gather the learning outcome and will give an assessment of future outcome for the parties involved.
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