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Help Applying Non-Discrimination Solutions
Start date: Oct 1, 2014, End date: Sep 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"HANDS - Help Applying Non-Discrimination Solutions" is an EVS project, that took place in Sandrigo and in some of the surrounding towns of the Province of Vicenza –Italy–, in which Cooperativa Margherita (the hosting organization) gives its commitment. It gave the chance to 4 youngsters coming from Greece, Belgium, Spain and Germany to volunteer for a 9-month period (from October 2014 to June 2015), within care-centres, measuring themselves with activities for minors, elderly and persons with disability. The name of EVS project “HANDS” has a specific connection to the practical involvement that concerned the volunteers, and recalls the basic principle of collaboration, that was a fundamental for their EVS experience. - As first connotation, this word has been related to the services the volunteers gave in the different areas: from the kitchen to the garden, manual activities with disable people, spare-time activities with the elderly, help in the school-job for the minors and the chance to help with practical arrangements. The EVS Programme allowed the development of a context in which the different languages, cultures and experiences were mixed up together as if they were part of the same recipe, overcoming the differences in order to give the final dish as a result. The kitchen, in this meaning, is seen as the perfect place in which the volunteers and our services’ users can get in touch one another through collaboration and help towards the result. Europe can be built also behind the stoves! - "To give our HANDS dirty" means literally help, to be part of the society in a careful and active way, getting involved into the activities. We think that it was important that the volunteers had the opportunity and actually gave their contribution in building up the daily program for the services they participated in by sharing ideas, proposals and organizing-skills. They faced a new society, environment, association and culture, and they left their fingerprint on the people they met and on the activities they run within the Cooperative, getting involved into the social life, the events and the community of the town and, mostly, cooperating between them and with Cooperativa Margherita in a productive way . - "To share the HANDS" is the invitation to be open-minded toward people, conscious of the great value of the joined path: to be part of Margherita is an active and meaningful way to help the community’s growth. This allowed the participants to explore forms of mutuality, and promoted the welfare not only of people in disadvantaged situations, but of the entire population. It meant, and still mean, entering the network, learning, sharing experiences and offering our own abilities and inclinations to build up real meeting places for the inclusive development and empowerment of people.

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