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International Breeze in Metsäkartano
Start date: Jan 1, 2015, End date: Feb 29, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The area of the project environment (Rautavaara, North-Savo region) and its population is one of the most scattered and rural in whole Finland (after Lapland). The opportunities for young people in this area are limited, locally, domestically and internationally. Metsäkartano Youth Centre has been working with this target group for years, to overcome these barriers, through networking and cooperating in the region's youth work and educational organisations, projects and events. For a long time, we have been sending and coordinating EVS volunteers to go and experience Europe, as well as hosted short-term volunteers (in the past years) in several occations, yet we have been unable for practical reasons to host our own EVS since years. Now these challenges had passed and we are ready to set up our first long-term EVS project. At this time also the youth centre's strategy had made an emphasis on increasing the international dimension of our local and regional level work, and we feel a long-term EVS would support this aim perfectly. The volunteer, Alena Lisava (Belarus) worked for 11 months in Metsäkartano Youth Centre. As mentioned before, the area is very rural and the "international breeze" was very welcomed to the working community, as well as to our local partners and young people visiting. The main task of the volunteer was to support the international team of the youth centre in setting up, planning, implementing and evaluation their activities and projects. The EVS volunteer also had an important role in the working community as well as in local region. The objective of the long-term EVS was to increase and develop the "internationalization" of our youth centre, through adding intercultural value to our everyday activities and events hosted directly in Metsäkartano, as well as carried out by our regional partners. In concrete, the volunteer worked in planning, implementing and evaluating our different youth work forms (social and international youth work, camp schools, social family work and more) as well as take role in assisting the maintenance, administrative and logistical elements of the centre's every day events. Besides this, the volunteer worked conducting i.e. in school and youth house visits in the region to promote young people's opportunities to go international, and act as volunteers. Because of Metsäkartano's involvement with a EVS project in Kuopio (city nearby), and long-term cooperation with Metsäkartano Youth Centre (2 EVS volunteers, 40 km away) the volunteer had also the possibility to cooperate as a team of EVS volunteers in the regions of North-Savo / North-Karelia, supporting each other in work and leisure time, through setting up common interests and initiatives to carry out during the project.
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