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FiRE - Finnish Red Cross Experience EVS
Start date: 01 May 2015, End date: 01 Nov 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The Finnish Red Cross hosted an International Youth Camp, called Finnish Red Cross Experience (FiRE). The camp took place in Hämeenlinna, Evo, on 2nd to 7th of August 2015, and it was organized by Finnish Red Cross Häme district. The official languages of the camp were English and Finnish. The camp gathered 200 young people from Finland and 20 National Societies to participate in our Youth Camp. The main themes of the camp were Finnish nature, cultures from all over the world and celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Red Cross fundamental principles. The Finnish Red Cross invited total of 20 youth volunteers of the 6 Red Cross national socities to attend the International Youth Camp FiRE as an European Voluntary Service volunteers. EVS volunteers arrived Finland before the camp, helped Finnish Red Cross volunteers to organize the camp and helped with practical tasks before, during and after the camp from 23rd July till 13th August 2015. The total number of volunteers dropped into 19 just before the arrival of the volunteers. Due to the characteristics of the Youth Camp, EVS volunteers needed to meet the following criteria: Active youth volunteer within his/her Red Cross or Red Crescent national Society, Aged 18-29, Intermediate or advanced English skills and knowledgeable of and dedicated to Fundamental Principles and Humanitarian Values of Red Cross and Red Crescent movement . The EVS volunteers were guests of the Finnish Red Cross while staying in Finland. During the camp accommodation was in shared tents and before and after camp in local youth hostel. Full board and transportation to Finland and locally were provided by the Finnish Red Cross for all National Society participants during their stay in Finland. Objective of the EVS project was to practice and develop international cooperation around and in the camp. The project aimed to enhance the employability of our volunteers by providing them capacities and skills, foster active citizenship of young people and promote volunteerism, which we see critical to the meaningful engagement of children, adolescents, and young adults. Basic tasks for the volunteers were preparing program and practical issues before the camp, supporting the facilitation the camp program and helping to take care camp participants during the 10 days camp. Wrapping up the camp and the project was important task for the EVS volunteers. The project had an impact on the participants by providing them capacities and skills and foster an active citizenship of young people. We managed to promote volunteerism, which we see critical to the meaningful engagement of children, adolescents, and young adults and which contributes to their employability in the future. Additionally, the EVS volunteer developed their knowledge and skills in working with an international and -cultural project and group, and in the planning, implementation and facilitation of an international camp program. The young volunteers went home with a positive and empowering experience on volunteering and we committed ourselves to inspire them to continue volunteering in their local communities and also at an international level.
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