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Junges Engagement für historische Gärten - Yung commitment for historic gardens
Start date: Aug 1, 2016, End date: Nov 30, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

At the place „Schlosspark Altdöbern“, in the south of the German state Brandenburg, the organization „Internationalen Jugendgemeinschaftsdienste“ carries on the EVS together with a partner organization “Brandenburgische Schlösser gGmbH “. The volunteering service concentrates on cultural heritage preservation, especially on historical gardens. The program that runs the project is called the "Internationale Jugendbauhütte Gartendenkmalpflege". In the middle age craftsman merge to so called „builders hut“ – „Bauhütten“. “Jugendbauhütten” are specials forms of a well known program for young people in Germany - the so called „Freiwilliges Soziales Jahr (social volunteering year) – and they are a project of the German foundation heritage preservation (Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz). To involve young people who are doing an EVS is a special wish of ijgd and the “Jugendbauhütte” because it benefits the European and intercultural exchange. We applied for three EVS: one from Spain, one from Turkey and one from France. The volunteers are interested to live in Germany for one year and get to know the german language and culture as well as other volunteers and other cultures. They want to work in the field of enviorment and heritage preservation, explore new tasks and develope themselves . The three EVS are living and working together with seven other young volunteers for 12 month. Main matter of the project is to bring young people together to discuss issues like nature conservation, effects of global warming or cultural history while doing practical things. All volunteers in this international team are working under professional and social care.Because they restore a very beautiful and precious garden heritage the volunteers will mostly work outside. While doing this their awareness for their joint European heritage will expand and also their understanding for conservation. These young people will get a feeling for this park and will get in touch with the history, the unique design elements during the excavation of visual axis, renew ways and restore bridges in proper craftsmanship. Being so close to nature while working with trees, plants and natural materials the environmental sensibility of the volunteers will grow. The contact to nature advances environmental education and creates a connection to the nature conservancy because they see and feel in their daily work what other speaks about. The project also likes to open young people a space to get a personal and occupational orientation and to encourage civic engagement. The project helps us to work against racism and prejudices by bringing German citizens and people from abroad together. The volunteers will life together in a house in the village Altdöbern where they have to organize themselves and their daily life. Our organization will help and support the young people during the year and will always be in touch with them.The garden and park of Altdöbern belongs to the municipality, who supports the project and hosts the European Volunteers friendly and always helpfully. The people of Altdöbern are able to ireview prejudices and fears towards "foreigners" when an encounter with the foreign volunteers takes place. The volunteers are now part of the population and the initial skepticism has given way to curiosity where the new volunteers are coming from. Hopefully this positive experience helps to ensure that the people in the community Altdöbern are open and helpful to the refugees who have and will come to Altdöbern.

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