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Youth volunteering for youth
Start date: May 1, 2015, End date: Oct 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project “Youth volunteering for youth” aims to promote long term EVS as a tool for social action, able to encourage social inclusion of youth at high risk of marginalisation, stimulate social cohesion of local community, spread culture of solidarity and multiculturalism, and provide "added value" to local NGO's initiatives by enriching them with a European and international dimension. The project will have a social profile connected not only to the actual aim of the actions carried out by volunteers but also to the actual socially disadvantaged background of the beneficiaries of these actions. Indeed, the activities of the project will be mainly implemented within a community centre located in Palermo’s Zisa district, an area characterised by high levels of unemployment and early school leaving that affect the onset of anti-social behaviours. Bringing together volunteers and persons from extremely different cultural and social backgrounds, the project will promote mutual understanding and share of knowledge, creating simultaneously an extremely enriching learning environment for the volunteers and the local communities concerned. The project envisages the participation of 3 volunteers coming from three different European countries(CZ, ES, SI) and is based on two activities. An activity will involve two volunteers (ES, SI; from 01/05/2015 to 30/04/2016) in support of local actors and volunteers mainly in the planning and management of recreational and socializing activities aimed at disadvantaged youth, artistic and cultural workshops, multimedia laboratories, and educational initiatives of remedial schooling for children and kids. The other activity will involve one volunteer (CZ; from 01/07/2015 to 30/06/2016) who will support the community centre staff in designing and managing international mobility projects in the field of social inclusion, and in building up a network of relations among hosting NGO and other local, and not local, partners in order to enhance social measures in the area. The service will last 12 month for all the three long-term EVS volunteers. The project as a whole will last 18 months. The adopted methodology will pay attention to a continuous dialogue between EVS volunteers and local actors, and to their active involvement in the working team, in order to promote a process of personal growth supported but always based on volunteers’ individual initiative and responsibility. Thus, volunteers will be guided in the development of their own active citizenship and, at the same time, they will be actors promoting active citizenship towards local community. The project will have a twofold impact both on EVS volunteers and local communities involved. On the one hand, the involvement of young people from different countries and social and cultural backgrounds will help them to stimulate openness to the cultures of other nations, to increase their own visions, and break down potential prejudices and stereotypes. On the other hand, the great social value of the activities envisaged by the project will give volunteers the perception of their role in building solidarity and equal relationships among EU citizens. In particular, where beneficiaries of activities will be young people at great risk of social exclusion, both they and EVS volunteers will perceive how important is to be part of the European community, seen not only as an institutional integration, but also as a place of participation with a broader perspective than the local and national one. In the long term, the project will trigger a virtuous circle such that other young people in the local community will have an interest in being involved in social voluntary actions and in having experiences of international mobility. At the same time, the project will strengthen citizens’ perception of EU programmes as tools of social intervention, especially, for highly marginalised population groups.
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