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Linking Bridges-Building Networks
Start date: Sep 1, 2015, End date: Mar 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

European Voluntary Service is a type of mobility programme which plays a crucial role in shaping the further development and advancement of all direct and indirect partners involved in the project: Volunteer, SOHOs, target groups, mentors, communities therefore it requires to spare no efforts for working towards the improvement and increase of high quality of EVS projects, deepening trustful partnership, setting certain mechanisms for tracking quality in EVS projects and learning from various realities and practices. Thereby, we addressed the need to organize a partnership building seminar for EVS support people, EVS Coordinators, Mentors/Tutors, which will enable networking amongst experienced and new organizations working with EVS by bringing new inputs and perspectives for setting up trustful partnerships, increasing the quality of EVS projects and sharing best practices and experiences. The aim of the partnership building seminar was to foster cooperation between EVS Organizations in Europe aiming at increased quality and innovation in EVS through the exchange of good practices. The objectives: - Establishing and deepening EVS partnership through experiential learning - Learning about various mechanisms to increase quality and innovation in EVS - Exchange of good practices in national and international contexts - Discovering EVS realities in Armenia through study visits 24 participants took part in the PBA, who had to meet the following criteria: - EVS support people, EVS coordinators, EVS Mentors/Tutors; - Experienced in youth work; - Having strong interest and motivation on the topic; - Interested in reliable partnerships and new EVS projects; - Willing to increase quality and innovation in their EVS projects; - Willing to contribute to the seminar through sharing best practices; - Committed to spending long hours on the road and often changing their location. Methodology of the PBS was based on the principles of non-formal education (voluntary, learner-centered, interactive, holistic). Elements of experiential learning were applied to ensure the gaining of experience, reflection, generalization/conceptualization/ and application stages of learning of the participants during the whole length of the programme. The weekly program was constituted of sessions in the main venue in Toros, series of study visits to EVS organizations in 4 cities throughout Armenia (Gyumri, Vanadzor, Yerevan and Goris), reflection activities in the mentioned cities, on the road and during the stops in the nature. The dynamism of the programme was pair with a good amount of generated knowledge. In the result of the project and as its impact we insured that the participants: - gained capacity to acknowledge the importance of organizing and ensuring quality in EVS projects, - are informed about local realities regarding EVS in Armenia and are able to relate those finding to their own realities, - obtain useful skills through experiential and outdoor activities by sharing best practices on EVS, - developed competences for effective EVS coordination which will further increase the impact of the work they undertake in future.

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