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On the Way to Bloom
Start date: Aug 1, 2015, End date: Dec 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project will take place in Central Portugal. It includes 2 volunteers hosted by ARCIL in Lousa for 12 months, 2 volunteers hosted in an organisation “Louzanimales” in Lousa for 12 months and 3 volunteers in the Hosting Organisation APAFF. In this project we selected volunteers from Turkey, Russia, Italy, France, Poland, Germany and Spain. The target groups of the host organisation ARCIL are mainly children, youth and young adults with and without disabilities. The organisation has from the beginning a special sensibility for the youth problems and realities. The second and the third host organisation: Louzanimales and APAFF work on awareness of animal rights for the local community. Hosting a young European is a good opportunity to work on awareness and inform the target groups, our team and the local community, especially young people, to the importance of inter cultural activities as a way to exchange knowledge, practices and to experience different activities. Hosting European volunteers represents a helpful human resource and is motivating our teams. At the same time, we know that these volunteers will be also considered like “something special” for the town, people and institutions. The volunteers are going to help the host organisations with organising different activities like leisure time activities with children, youth and adults with and without special needs, helping in adoption campaigns for animals, awareness activities for animals rights, etc. The volunteers will give a helping hand in organising special events, like information session on schools and promotion campaigns in fairs. The methodology we use will be based on non formal learning, inter cultural learning and learning by doing. We hope that the volunteers can also be always a new way for information for the young people of Lousã: in fact, the young people living in isolated area sometimes don’t know the possibilities offered by Erasmus Plus and it’s one of the reasons of their no- participation. In February 2008 we received the first European volunteer in ARCIL, and now the 19th is participating. In Louzanimales is the 6th participating. Each of the projects until so far gave us fantastic results and we are ready to continue the process of continuously hosting volunteers in Lousã. At the same time another organisation is hosting a volunteer. It’s very useful if there are more projects occurred at the same time: for volunteers and for the promoting of the programme Erasmus Plus. It gives us a tool to collaborate together and built a structure in our region. We foresee that this project has an important impact for the volunteers involved, the organisations and the local community. The volunteers will bring a new inter cultural dimension in the organisations and the local community. By caring out this project we believe that Erasmus Plus will be more known and accessible as we give a concrete example of something that is possible.
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