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Start date: Aug 1, 2015, End date: Feb 29, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Youth unemployment is one of the biggest challenge of 21st century Europe. The skills required from the employment context are not always assured by the formal education system. Non-formal education, and European Voluntary Service in particular, is a useful tool to develop these skills and it’s an option increasingly more sought by young unemployed to live an experience that can open the doors to their professional career. That’s why we have to connect EVS projects with volunteers professional future and create quality volunteer projects, balancing the impact in the host organization, society and the volunteer himself/herself. The mentor is very important to achieve this, but he has to have the right tools to support the volunteer planning his learning path, facing his future career as well. It is also essential that the skills developed during the EVS learning cycle are clearly visible and recognizable. Therefor this project will work on the quality of EVS projects, on the roles within the process, on the tools that the mentors can use for a proper professional coaching of volunteers and on the learning badges as a motivational tool to achieve learning objectives and make them visible and recognizable to the employers. The partners of the project come from 12 countries, both in the program and associated with less experience in EVS projects: Egypt, Poland, Bulgaria, Greece, Armenia, Romania, Morocco, Italy, Jordan, Macedonia, Tunisia and Spain. A total of 30 people will take part in the project with different profiles: mentors, former EVS volunteers interested to become EVS mentors and coordinators. Moreover, we will have 3 trainers and 1 support person. As a final result, a guide for EVS mentors will be published, with coaching techniques and strategies to support the learning cycle and learning badges representing the most wanted skills in the labour market. The training course will last 8 days and will have an approach based on non-formal learning which uses different participatory methods such as simulation games, visualizations, debates, group work, etc., making the participants slowly discover concepts and processes. This is a horizontal method, in which everyone has an active role, that uses the group as a learning resource. A direct impact on participants is expected, since they will be able to design quality EVS projects and also use professional coaching techniques to connect volunteers with their future career. The next level of impact will be on the volunteers, who will benefit from a considerable support to maximize the chances offered by EVS. Finally there will be an impact on the Erasmus + program itself, as tools for volunteer projects’ mentors will be defined and non-formal learning will be make visible through learning badges, which will provide recognition of this type of learning. In the long term this project will lay the foundations to develop the work of mentors in a more systematic way, with the objective of supporting the employability of the volunteers.
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