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STAND International Belarus 2015/16
Start date: 01 Apr 2015, End date: 31 Mar 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

STAND International works with young people form extreme disadvantage backgrounds[ homelessness, drug addiction, mental health and drugs] and these young people are marginalised and excluded from a wider civil society with little prospect of paid employment . This project allows the young people to volunteer outwith their own communities and the stigma that surrounds them and utalise their skills to assist other people . In doing so they can increase their own self confidence and develop soft skills which will assist them in the employment market[ e.g time keeping, working as a team, understanding diversity etc ] . Our project works with those in Scotland who are themselves at the edges of citizenship in their own country and as such have an acute personal understanding of being excluded from citizenship life within their own communities. However because they have been subjects of social injustice in their own country they are very keen to use their skills and talents to benefit others in other countries. All of the young people who participate in the programme will have had a very fragmented experience of permanent work having few qualifications and access to further education . By providing socially and economically excluded young people in Scotland with opportunities to use their time and skills to benefit those who were in similar situations to themselves allows them to increase in their own self belief whilst contributing to the wider society. This will be done both through contributing to programmes of improvement via basis construction or renovation or provide social learning programmes for those who are subject to state control institutions for example, orphanages, reformatory schools,shelters. The first concern is to make the living conditions more humane and provide basic resources which allow for human dignity to be restored. This involves general re-provisioning of sleeping and eating areas and the creation of personal space and communal eating and sitting areas where people can interact or watch television. The second part of the activity programme is to provide basic workshops and classes which can help develop and stimulate those resident who are able to engage with the environment and stimulus. As a sending organisation we usually send groups of 12-15 young people on a two week project . As these young people have a significant disadvantage and have additional issues around homelessness, alcohol and drug addiction and mental health they are accompanied by a group of 5 mentors who stay with them through the duration of the project providing support to the individual and ensuring cohesion amongst the group. As a group of young people who have low impulse control and can experience serious self doubt at the smallest set back the mentors' role is one of encouragement, challenge and role modelling results and impact disadvantaged young people  develop an understanding of different views and belief patterns and interact in a respectful non discriminatory way.  raise personal expectations and aspirations about oneself.  the individual maintains optimum mental health and reduce worry and isolation  develop an altruistic attitude which allows the participant to realise than s/he can assist others in similar circumstances.  develop a sense of self worth and self belief which will enhance future chances of employment.  develop the ability to work as a team and contribute to a project that encourages joint working  Develop coping strategies  develop a greater understanding of wider equality issues and have expanded their ideas of solutions to tackle these inequalities .  be reaffirmed in their own identity and encourage others to challenge negative stereotypes longer term benefits. Longer term benefits People have an excellent volunteering experience • a stronger volunteering infrastructure is developed in both countries • agencies are supported in improving practice in working with volunteers • volunteering is rewarded and recognised • new volunteering opportunities are developed between participating countries
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