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The Asha Centre
Start date: Sep 1, 2009,

The ASHA centre is an international retreat and training venue working for greater peace and understanding amongst diverse communities, especially young people. The Centre is located in an old country house in one of the lovliest parts of England - the Forest of Dean. We have five acres of productive vegetable gardens and grounds. We invite young people from war zones and former conflict areas to come for visits where they take part in theatre projects under our Peace Ambassadors Programme. This group EVS project involves three volunteer from Italy and Portugal, arriving in the UK for a period of six months to volunteer at the ASHA Centre, Flaxley, Gloucestershire The project combines elements of environement protection and organic farming with arts and culture in an innovative and fun-packed programme aiming at fostering active youth participation and a sense of European citizenship. Its learning outcomes include an increased understanding of organic issues and nature coservation, confidence in leadership, presentation and public speaking skills, media and marketing skils, office skills, customer service and hospitality skills, project design skills and internet skills. This will providing the volunteer with enhanced confidence and self esteem, examples of their work which can be used as portfolio examples for either futher education applications or for employment interviews and both hard and soft life skills. The volunteers will have had experience of confilict resolution, teamwork, project design, management and implementation, working with the media and the not-for-profit sector and also the business community in the local area. These experiences will have been set in both a rural and also an urban context. There will be opportunities to compare and contrast the two ecomomies and draw conculsions. They will have worked with adults and young people with a wide range of abilities and from a wide range of cultures. They will have learned about ecological and sutainable enterprise and good resource management including Fair Trade, the Transition Town Movement (reducing oil dependency) local regeneration initiatives, arts led regeneration and the Lets Scheme amongst others. They will have a good understanding and knowlege of organic and biodynamic concepts and basic knowlege of eco-build principles. They will have an understanding of different business/trading models including social enterprise, community interest companies, micro-business and volunteer run/led organisations. They will have worked with local young people in the Forest of Dean and Gloucester areas.
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