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Together Strong for Environmental Protection and International Understanding
Start date: May 1, 2015, End date: Aug 8, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The one-year EVS project "Together Strong for Environmental Protection and International Understanding" is hosted by Grüne Schule grenzenlos e.V., Zethau. The organisation was established in 1994 as a non-profit body and fits into a category of small organisations. It focuses mainly on youth activities, environmental education and international projects - within a non-formal educational environment. The organisation is located in Saxony in the Ore Mountains whose mountain range forms one of the oldest natural borders in Europe (between Germany and the Czech Republic). It is a rural region with a variety of traditions, handcrafts and agriculture. Moreover, the mountain landscape and nature provides home for many fauna and flora species and unique ecosystems. The philosophy of Grüne Schule grenzenlos combines a nature conservation, environmental education, international understanding, and regional development. It aims to transfer the environmental knowledge and multicultural principles in a non-formal way, e.g. by gaining own experiences, focusing on problem-solving activities, playing and having fun. Number of EVS-volunteers in Grüne Schule grenzenlos (at one time): 3. Description of activities: The volunteers will be involved in all activities held by Grüne Schule grenzenlos and will achieve a broad insight view into the activities with kids, youngsters, environmental education, as well as an organisational workflow in a non-profit organisation. The volunteers will be encouraged to create their own projects and to involve themselves into the realisation of different events organized by Grüne Schule grenzenlos. The volunteers will be considered as regular Grüne Schule staff members. In addition, the volunteers interested in cooking may develop their skills within our catering service. Possible fields of the volunteers´ involvement: - planning and organizing the international youth activities - organising of school project days (in terms of environmental-, media- and democratic citizenship education) - realising of projects focused on media (e.g. movies) and environmental protection - office work, project management - catering (for school groups and summer camps) Results expected (EVS-volunteers): - overall personal development (including open-mindedness, intercultural competencies, European awareness, etc.) - deepening skills and competencies (as stated above), enhanced employability - developing language skills (demonstrable improvement after 1 year of EVS) Results expected (participating organisations): - Hosting organisation will benefit from a new perspective and ideas the volunteers will bring with them, and from the multicultural environment (those benefits will be transfered also to the activities for target groups) - Sending organisation will (after the arrival back home) benefit from the volunteers´ newly gained skills and abilities - both partner organisations will be interconnected (a potential for future cooperation and networking) and may develop future projects together Impacts: The EVS-volunteer will be directly cooperating with the community of local citizens (local level). The people will benefit from the volunteer´s ideas and activities, as well as from the multicultural aspects (which are rare in the rural regions) and multilinguistic situations. The volunteer will have a great opportunity to develop his language skills in German. The volunteer will join the non-formal community of all European volunteers in Germany and they will be strictly encouraged to network and organize events together (national level). The volunteer will deepen and develop his personal and professional skills (employability), competencies and abilities. He will become more open-minded, respectful, skilled in intercultural issues, aware in European matters, and last but not least, able to communicate and express his ideas in a foreign language (European/international level). Grüne Schule grenzenlos has already hosted EVS-volunteers from 7 different countries and would like to continue in a good practice gained in previous years. The potential of future benefits includes a long-term partnership with the volunteers and their sending organisations (networking), as well as organising events together after the EVS project (successful previous experiences).

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