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WE Connect!
Start date: May 1, 2016, End date: Nov 30, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The EVS project "WE Connect" involves 5 volunteers from the Netherlands and is the result of a continued partnership between Stichting UcDean (the Netherlands) and Center for European Initiatives, now expanded with partner organizations from the Russian Federation and Turkey. Through this expanded partnership, the participating organizations will sustain West-East Connections (hence the title of the project) and support mobility between an EU member-state and non-EU member-states. In this project, four organizations are involved as EVS hosting orgzniations. The origins of this project lie in the commitment of all involved organizations to sustain a dialogue between EU member-states and an EU neighbourhood countries, in spite of the political deadlock concerning these country's European futures. The particular aims at 1) supporting partner organizations in provincial towns in Russia, Turkey and Ukraine with international perspectives and practical assistance in reaching out to local youngsters.2) offering Dutch youngsters an invaluable opportunity to broaden their horizons, obtain relevant working experience and an immersion in another culture. This project not only supports an intercultural dialogue between volunteers and local communities in the hosting countries, but also builds on an already strong partnership between the various involved organizations. Mutual learning through the exchange of best practices in project management, activity design and volunteer guidance is an integral part of the project design, including web-based communication tools for disemmination of project results and regular communication between project staff.Project activities will take place in Nizhny Novogorod (Russia), Sumy (Ukraine), Mugla and Canakkale (Turkey) in 2016 and 2017. In addition, online activities between the partners are envisaged for project management and peer learning. Project activities include organising workshops in the domains of sports, arts, culture and language training, provision of care and leisure activities for vulnerable groups, organizational support for NGO's, and highlighting EU values and EU programmes in local high schools and youth organizations. In doing so, this project offers not only immediate support to vulnerable communities in the partner countries, but also contributes to capacity building of all involved partners.

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