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The Inspiring Energy of Volunteering
Start date: 01 Aug 2016, End date: 28 Feb 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project entitled “ The Inspiring Energy of Volunteering II“ might be the continuation of the EVS projects of civic association (CA) Kvas, but the foucus of this project has moved slightely towards voluntary service in general. Kvas is engaged on both local and regional scale in ecology, environmental education, promotion of community and cultural life as well as in the growth of local market and healthy lifestyle. A significant part of Kvas’s activities is focused on children, youth and young families for whom we organise mainly leisure time activities, games, educational activities and cultural events. Since its establishment in 2011,Kvas has been gradually expanding its activities in the Piestany region and has also been adding new ones in cooperation with other organisations. This was the reason we decided to take part in Erasmus+ initiative. As former EVS volunteers we want to promote activities in the field of EVS and to work with youth that is stagnating in our region a bit.The main objectives of this project include: to share the non-conform but efficient form of functioning of the CA with other young people from various countries or to inspire them; to make activities of the association more attractive to a wider public through the involvement of foreign volunteers; to improve the level of young people’s awareness about the possibilities of Erasmus+ programme, in particular about the EVS; to lead young people in the region to volunteering;to improve the language skills of the local population, in particular of young unemployed people; to lead the public towards a responsible attitude towards environment and towards healthy lifestyle; to increase the level of tolerance and openness of the local community towards other cultures.We have selcted one candidate for our projects – Caroline (18 years old) from Germany, whose determintion to this projects is obvious and makes us happy. Another volunteer will come from Italy and we will select him/her in collaboration with the Italian partner organisation. The activities in which volunteers will participate include:• Environmental activities: toad rescue in the spring,tree planting, cleaning habitats, educational programme on amphibians, waste and Sĺňava ecosystems, recycling of furniture and equipment, gardening• Cultural and community activities: workshops, concerts, exhibitions, language games, table games evenings for families, presentations of the volunteer’s country of origin, travellers‘ accounts, movie screenings, ...• Work with the local group of volunteers: promotion, work organisation, supporting activities• Leisure activities for children: summer camps, eco-group for childrenThe methods deployed throughout the project derive from the principles of the non-formal and informal education. The volunteers will be confronted with their own expectations and progress through self-reflection during regular meetings with their supervisor (coach). They will learn through participating in variousactivities which will be new to them (e.g. folklore workshops, communication in Slovak). Since they will often work in pairs and in a group, they will learn through participative methods. As a part of activities such as the design of a flyer, co-organisation of an event and preparation of a language conversation course, they will learn how to solve problems findingtheir own processes. Further methods include discussion, simulation and role-play.The outcomes of this project include acquired competences on the part of the volunteers as well as on the side of the Kvas association. Our portfolio of activities is so wide that it provides the volunteers with the possibility to develop all 8 key competencies. The association will gain skills in the flied of EVS project management and hosting of volunteers. Furthermore, the activities of the organisationwill be improved and their visibility will be enhanced, as will improve the co-operation between the CA and other organisations/ institutions. The intercultural exchange within the community and the European awareness will be enhanced as a result. The ability of communication in foreign leanguages of local people will be strengthened. The term volunteering and the willingness to engage in the EVS programme will become more visible.In the long run, we see the projectcontributingin the increase of Kvas’s members’ competencies in thefield of participation, development and management of EVS projects and in the development ofskills &capacities for the EVS. We also see the project as an opportunityto the further promote regular activities of the association and to create new ones, in co-operation with volunteers, and at the same time in expandthese activities towards local municipalities, schools, other CAs etc.
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