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EVS for building bridges 042016
Start date: Aug 1, 2016, End date: Jul 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Context and background of the project: This project is involving two areas: the Rotterdam area, focussing on the south side of city and Vierakker and Vorden, two villages close to Zutphen. Rotterdam is the second biggest city in the Netherlands. The volunteering focusses on activities that are related to people who need extra support. The volunteers in Rotterdam work for a great diversity of organizations, like a women shelter, an art gallery that educates less priveleged youth, a production kitchen where housemade products are made, together with special education students, a primary school with a coloured population of children, a gym for people with limitations, and an organization that supports people with mental and physical limitations. In the Zutphen region volunteers work on a biodynamic farm and on a residential house for children. The support that the volunteers are given is on an operational level: they do farm activities and support the residential in fun activities with the children as well as household activities like cooking. Objectives of the project:There are different objectives. From the organizational perspective, the aim is to support local organizations that aim to support local people in need. From the volunteer's perspective, the aim is to let volunteers get to know social work and the different ways how social work can be organised and how this is done in the Netherlands. Besides, volunteers learn to work and live with a multicultural group of people and how to can grow in their role as active citizen. Nine volunteers are involved in this project. Description of activities: All volunteer support activities that aim to help people that are in need of extra care. The content of the work is diverse: the activities consist of playing activities with children, educational activities, art and cultural activities for less priveleged young people, production of food products, administrative activities, farm activities, sports activities and household activities like cooking. Methodology to be used in carrying out the project: The volunteers learn while doing. They execute operational activities and collaborate with professionals that are trained and educated in the social field. By watching how professionals work, the volunteers learn to know different working methods and strategies that are relevant in the social field. In case volunteers show a motivation, they can set up their own project that aims on a social goal. Results and impact: volunteers learn to know about social work, their role as active citizen and what type of work they like and dislike. The learn to adapt by living in an apartment with other volunteers and running a household or by living in a family house and adapting to the family's rules. Local community benefits because of the structural support that is received by the volunteers: this is beneficial for the individual people in need but also for the organizations that support these people. Long term benefits: volunteers learn about working ethics, like being reliable, work according to the rules, coming in time. These general competencies that are helpful for their future careers. This is especially true for volunteers that are over 25 and have very little working experience. Volunteers also learn to develop their skills to live and work with a diverse group of people. Also this is an important competency for their future life. Lava Legato learns new things from a group of volunteers each time: rules change, activities are adjusted, mentors are replaced, accommodation is changed, all to optimise the organization of EVS. Results and impact envisaged: The main result is related to broaden the horizon of people involved: professionals learn to work with young people (from abroad) who might have a different view/approach on a working strategy, clients/students/children learn to know people from abroad, the volunteers bring foreign influences inside their organization. Last but not least, volunteers learn about working strategies, habits, norms and values of a country which is foreign for them. This makes them (more) aware of their own cultural background, but they also learn to know the Dutch culture from the inside.
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