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PSP: Personal, social and professional development of Roma EVS volunteers
Start date: Aug 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

”PSP: Personal, social and professional development of Roma EVS volunteers” was a seminar on theories and tools for developing and improving personal, social and professional development of Roma EVS volunteers before, during and after EVS experiences held between 15-23 January 2016 with 7 full working days in Riga, Latvia. Even for a young person with stable background and having an appropriate self – esteem can be challenging for participating in EVS. Therefore, for a young person having different cultural background, being socially and economically disadvantaged, might having educational problems in formal education or being an early school leaver or dropped simply out of the school, so do not have appropriate formal certificate to get a job, then becoming unemployed, do not have self – confidence, good communication skills, feeling just absolutely different or being an outsider – these all and much more can be described from a Roma young person – how can he dare to participate in EVS? How can he struggle with cultural shock, different language, different people, and different world? Reinforced mentorship can provide a support net for them but mentors and sending coordinators need to have appropriate tools for supporting their personal, social and professional development during the whole project. Sending coordinators, mentors need to know the best learning processes for them really based on their personal needs, so they have to know their personality in order to build a great project from where both actors as volunteer and local community can benefit. The biggest challenge can be the biggest success. Nevertheless, only a Roma young person can prove to the local community how his culture is wonderful, how his talents can support the local activities, how his personality can be a light among local young people. The local community can empower Roma young people being active, raise the self – confidence on him, explore his personality, discover his talents, consider himself as an active member of the local community and during EVS even to feel being European citizen. This is what EVS can provide for Roma young people hence sending coordinators and mentors know youth work tools to empower them and build a project around his and the local communities needs. The overall aim of the seminar was to provide space and opportunity for EVS sending coordinators and mentors on sharing different theories and put them into practice as tools for supporting Roma young people as EVS volunteers to recognise and assess their personal, social and professional competence development and improvements before, during and after their EVS. Our 32 participants, 4 from each country, were experienced sending coordinators and/or mentors, youth workers who work directly with Roma communities and/or Roma young people. The seminar was built on the methodology of non – formal education. It had a huge psychological background as participants practiced the psychological theories and tools and evaluated on how they can use these ones within their work as sending coordinators and mentors for the sake of Roma young people as EVSers. The whole process was based on experiential learning, starting from self – assessment then adapting the new tool into their daily work as EVS sending coordinator and/or mentor working with Roma young people. The used methods where: fill in questionnaires, discussions from theories and assessment its’ practice, explore own EVS projects with special focus on personal, social and professional development of Roma EVSers, practicing active listening, etc. Results and impact of the project: Handbook on EVS with Roma youngsters for us and for public: Postcards on EVS organisations and how they fulfil the aims of Volunteering field of action with their special target group as Roma young people. List of the knowledge, skills, attitude and experiences Roma young people have to develop and improve regarding to active citizenship, intercultural dialogue, social inclusion, solidarity as EVS volunteers through their EVS projects. Presentations on each EVS project what type of personality young people fit the most according to Holland personality types. Proposed EVS activities for Roma young people where they can improve their personal, social and professional competences based on the PISI. My Roma EVS placement – Roma EVSers competence development- My work and task. Content is about Present the EVS placement for Roma young people – why is it for them? What are the activities that Roma young people can be involved there and what can be their learning processes, learning outcomes, competence development linked to key competences of Youthpass? How can I support their personal, social and professional development with my work and task as sending coordinator and/or mentor? Recommendation on useful tools for mentors and sending coordinators in order to develop competences of Roma EVSers. Symbols and photos of the seminar.
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