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Smile to the sun
Start date: Aug 1, 2015, End date: Dec 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The ideas of European Voluntary Service project "Smile to the sun" was inspired by multifaceted benefits, living up to expectations, positive changes, which were brought by experience, gained by various organizations in international volunteering field. Project "Smile to the sun" invites everyone to smile widely with the sun - feel the power of the warmth, of positivity and to be enthusiastic about making a step forward towards volunteering - helping yourself by assisting others. The main objective of this project is to welcome two motivated volunteers, who would be interested in working with youngsters, and carry out different activities, which would be helpful for all organizations, volunteers and communities which are involved in the project. A secure and creative environment will be created to reach this goal and volunteers will be able to implement themselves by helping the host organization to achieve its objectives. Work will be carried out by improving learning processes, seeking to achieve an equal and effective communication between the organizations, involved in the project and promoting the results of the project between local communities (both in hosting and native country), ensuring not only organizing and personal, but also benefits for public. The anticipated project is fully orientated to host two people - one from Turkey and one from Spain. The estimated length of the project is 12 moths. Rietavas Open Youth Center will be the coordinating and hosting organization, " Youth information center” (Turkey) and "Consejo de la Juventud de La Rioja" (Spain) will be the sending organizations. Youth leisure time, youth policy, youth self-expression, creativity, communication with/informing the youngsters is the main topics of the project. Volunteers will be working in the youth center, and as it is usual for such work with youth, the spectrum of activities is very wide. The main role of a volunteer in a youth center is to help other youth workers organize/carry out activities, using their abilities and personal characteristics. An open space and warm atmosphere is waiting eagerly for their ideas and initiatives (there will be opportunities, created for self-realization, e.g. teaching their native language, organizing arts/sports events for local youngsters, using their own capabilities). One of the most important aspects is to make EST as visible and popular as possible. It is an anticipated to work using open working with youth and informal education, such as individual and group work with volunteers and youngsters, sport, art, cultural, experiential, outside activities, sharing responsibilities, communicating both in formal and informal situations, active participating, not forgetting to learn from all gained experience. At first, the results of the project will be noticed in competence, knowledge, experience, accomplishments, a broadened cultural consciousness, improved foreign language skills, gained by participating youngsters and organization workers. Also, the executive organizations will widen their communicating networks, will be based on human resources, could find new ways to solve problems, will become more appreciated bu community. With the help of volunteers they will be able to use the experience from other countries which work with youth, increase the quality of work, gain more professional improvement. By the way, the result of the project will also reach Lithuanian, Turkish and Spanish communities. It will help to increase tolerance for different cultures, youth activity, raise more interest in voluntary activities and will extend municipality's youth well-being. Various events, new activities for youth, an electronic diary for volunteers, videos and a journal for youth will be created during the project (once in a quarter). With speaking about long-lasting perspective, there are many results of the project, such as competences, gained by participating youngsters/organizations/members of communities, skills, knowledge, new working methods are permanent and will serve for everyone both in professional and personal lives, they could even improve integration within society or even labor market. The gained experience and new collaboration networks will be useful in future while carrying out other "Erasmus+" projects. The spreading of results of the project will ensure better quality of youth informing, involving it in activities, also, it will popularize volunteering itself and educate the public.
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