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EVS to experience active citizenship
Start date: Aug 1, 2015, End date: Dec 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"EVS to experience active citizenship" is an EVS project dealing mainly with the promotion of active citizenship, youth participation and cultural diversity through the involvement of youngsters in activities dealing with social inclusion of disadvantaged people. There are several meanings of active citizenship. In the framework of our project, citizenship is seen as the character of an individual viewed as a member of society, belonging to a community of shared values and mutual identity. An active citizen is the ideal of a citizen who strives to build a better society with tools that are democratic and non-violent, respectful of the opinions of others above all of the ones in needs. In this sense volunteering becomes a fundamental way to foster active citizenship in our societies. EVS, specifically, can foster young people’s empowerment and their social engagement which are crucial aspects of the creation of a more cohesive society in which every individual can fully participate and realize her or his own potential and contributing to the well-being of their communities. Starting from this context the main aims ,we would like to pursue with this EVS project, are: 1) To allow youth to understand what active citizenship means and that as citizens we can and must bring about social change in the European society. 2) To facilitate the mobility and participation of youth from some European countries in activities dealing with disabled and elderly people seen as some of the vulnerable groups of our societies and above all the Italian society; 3) To promote youth employment by selecting unemployed or neet young people. 4) To foster intercultural learning, mutual dialogue and respect through social inclusion actions among European countries; 5) To initiate through non-formal educational tools and intercultural learning approaches a self-process of reflection that give a counter to preconceived notions, perceptions and attitudes for both the volunteers and the local community. Thanks to this EVS project, four volunteers (from Spain, France, Estonia and Portugal) in this 9 month EVS project will not only live in Italy and be exposed to its cultural diversity, they will also be actively engaged in some civil society projects one addressing the disabled (Insieme si Può) and another one the elderly people (Rifugio Re Carlo Alberto). In all hosting organizations, the volunteers will have a supporting role of the local staff, as creative resource, in the daily activities carried out. Those activities will range from the ones of supporting the social workers in organizing and performing helpful, rehabilitation and recreational initiatives for the elderly or the disabled people to the ones of establishing relations with all of them. Those activities will serve volunteers to develop their communication and practical skills, leading to their own social, personal and professional growth. Moreover, during their EVS project, the volunteers will be committed to analyse social organizations and unjust their one’s own implicit prejudices and for this reasons they will be taken a long way in disseminating good practice and encourage actions and activities that lead to social change. These young people will become active agents of citizenship creating awareness and stimulating debate on the need for the larger involvement of civil society in European countries. In the framework of this project, AFSAI and all partners have planned and agreed on a specific working method strategy, with roles, responsibilities and a timetable, regarding each phase of the project: project drafting phase, volunteers selections, volunteers and host organization’s preparation, Evs activity implementation (monitoring and support), Evs activity closure, project evaluation and follow up. AFSAI, as coordinating organization, will make sure that a good, fruitful and effective cooperation and communication will be kept during the whole project in order to lay down foundations for a future cooperation in the framework of the new Erasmus Plus Programme.
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