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Volunteers Leraning from and with People with Different Abilities 2016
Start date: Aug 1, 2016, End date: Jan 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The EVS-project "Learning from and with people with different abilities 2016" intends to facilitate a 12-months European Voluntary Service for a 21 year old man from Greece in a residential group for people with mental disabilities located in Berlin. The residential groups are run by the Stephanus Foundation, which coordinates over 90 institutions all over Berlin and Brandenburg for people with disabilities, children and youth as well as elderly people and has successfully worked with EVS-volunteers since 2011. The residents live as independently as possible, and are accompanied and supported in order for them to achieve as much equality and independence as possible in their daily lives.The volunteer will support the work of the staff members in offering leisure time activities and assisting with the residents' daily activities such as housework, cooking and grocery shopping and accompanying them on doctor's visit, physical therapy appointments, and with appointments at the local administrative offices. The volunteer will not assist with the residents' personal hygiene, as this is the task of qualified personnel. The staff particularly supports the residents in activities such as cooking, baking, gardening as well as in following creative and musical interests; the volunteer is very welcome to suggest and organise (supported by staff) his own leisure time offers for the residents (creative, cultural, sports...). While taking part in the daily life of the residents she will experience the atmosphere of normality, of acceptance and of respecting different abilities and needs that the Stephanus-Stiftung aims at creating with their work. The project intends to make a contribution towards achieving more equality for people with disabilities in their everyday life while creating more awareness of cultural as well as human diversity. The volunteer himself will experience a process of informal learning, as challenges and experiences change his perceptions, giving him a new understanding of the very diverse realities of life experiences. He will also give new impulses to the daily routines in the residential group, and simultanoeusly, by working with and getting to know a young man with a different cultural background, the residents, staff members and many other people will become more aware of the diversity of European cultures and lifestyles.
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