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Start date: Aug 1, 2014, End date: Nov 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The overall aim of the Project „Open a window” was to offer possibility to youngsters, who themselves are affected by different risk factors, to get involved into the social work and acquire new experience and skills of the work with disabled youngsters and adults as well with youngsters, who have luck of social skills and to render them support as well to organize and lead different events and support the work of organization in general. Volunteers, which were involved in the Project, had very different social and economic background and included both youngsters with disabilities as well as from socially disadvantaged families, e.g. unemployed youngsters, receiving social benefits. Due to the mentioned reasons, these youngsters were limited in their possibilities to get involved in the active social life, informal education, traveling and other for youngster’s personal development and socialization relevant activities. The Project enabled youngsters’ possibility to broaden their horizon, to become acquainted with different cultures and learn new skills, which they could learn through the different activities, offered by the project, like sports, creative workshops, interaction with people, who have disabilities, to understand their needs and support them. Project place: Sigulda, Latvia Planned Project implementation time: 01.08.2014 - 30.11.2015. Involvement of volunteers: 12 months, starting from 01.10.2014 till 30.11.2015 Involved Project organizations: 1. NGO “Aicinājums Tev”, Latvija – coordinating partner 2. “Cooperativa Sociale Muovimente", Italy – Project participant 3. Association “Georgian Youth for Europe”, Georgia – Project participant Project participants: the project involved two young people from Italy and Georgia, aged 21 to 30 years, before engaging in the project young people did not learn and did not work. Project tasks: Project task was to carry out 2 volunteering work activities. Topics of the project activities were determined according to the interests and needs of the volunteers, as at the beginning of the project they were given the chance to select activities, where they would like to participate. During the whole project, volunteers were treated as fully entitled association’s co-workers, could carry out their own ideas and activities and participate in the events, organized by the association. Description of the activities: Activity Nr. 1: the aim of this activity was to offer to people with disabilities possibility to participate in different kind of free time activities, helping participants to improve their health, to feel better and to be active. In particular there were organized 1) sport games and creative activities; 2) sport tournament; 3) sport festival and 4) summer camp. This activity was carried out with participation of volunteers from Italy and it took place in the Club of handicapped people “Sigulda”, which is offering different sport and leisure time activities to handicapped people and their family members as well for socially disadvantaged youngsters. Activity Nr. 2: the aim of this activity was to offer possibility to people with mental disorders to participate in new and creative leisure time activities in order to improve their emotional wellbeing, develop social and practical skills. In particular there were organized 1) different creative activities; 2) foreign language courses; 3) leisure time activities and 4) summer camp. This activity was carried out with participation of volunteers from organized in the day care center “Sunflower”, which is offering different services and activities for people with mental disorders. The role and tasks of the volunteers were to great extent depending on their own initiative. They were encouraged to take over the leadership and to organised their own activities. During the whole project volunteers were supported by a personal mentor as well by all the specialists of the center e.g. social worker, psychologist, group leaders, administrative coworkers etc.In a spare time volunteers were actively participating in the activities of the association and with great interest were exploring the nature, traditions and culture of Latvia as well as thanks’ to the project, were able to become acquainted also with other countries of Europa. Volunteers have received Youthpass certificate, where are stated the skills, knowledge and practice, gathered during the project. Volunteers: have received valuable experience, encouragement and new skills, which will help them in their future professional life as well to develop their personal competences and raise their self-esteem. This was a great opportunity, which helped them in the development of their personality and allowed to observe their own success, growths and to receive acknowledgment from those people, who needed help and have received it from the volunteers. Project „Open a window” was both challenging, but also very valuable experience for us as and for volunteers as well
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