Seminar on promoting EVS, in the frame of YEP project, 22nd-24th of January, Romania
The field action in YEP project started with promoting EVS. Between 22nd and 24th of January the Regional Association for Rural Development organized a seminar in Craiova, launching invitations to all the organizations working in the youth field from Oltenia region. The objectives of the seminar were: to promote EVS; to offer to the participant organizations the possibility to enroll in the network as a sending/hosting organization; to expand the regional partnership on EVS development; to set up the country database with organizations willing to get involved in trans-national volunteering.
The seminar had a particular structure as the participants were not only the organizations from Oltenia region but also teachers, directors of schools, coordinators of educational programmes in schools and coordinators of EVS projects, mentors, and volunteers. The idea of gathering these types of participants was on one hand to facilitate the cooperation, the partnerships between the organizations willing to get involved in implementing EVS projects with the educational institutions that are in need currently, in Romania to innovate their teaching system, on the other hand, the idea was to raise awareness on the need of respecting and insuring certain standards of quality in EVS and to raise awareness also on the complexity and on the responsibilities that an EVS projects requires. The seminar gathered about 60 participants.
The seminar comprised two main parallel thematic sessions:
- ,,EVS- Extracurricular education and active citizenship” – the first part of the session was focused on presenting EVS as a learning service and as a tool to perform changes in the educational system. It was also developed the idea that the organizations are the facilitators for the schools by implementing EVS and bringing volunteers to develop extracurricular activities. The second part of the session was focused on promoting EVS , in the frame of Youth Empowerment Programme among the organizations from Oltenia region that work in the youth field, and to present the opportunity for the interested organizations to enroll in the network of organizations that host and/or send volunteers.
- ,, EVS volunteer - substitute employee or free rider?” – this session focused mainly on the quality of the EVS service as it is perceived by the volunteers, pointing out the strong and the weak points that affect their performance.
The impact of the seminar was quite significant, judging by the feed-back received from the participants. The end of the sessions always left room for participants to express their opinions; mainly they talked about the connection between their activity and EVS projects, their plans for concrete activities that could be developed by volunteers. Several organizations showed a particular interest in learning about EVS by taking notes, asking for materials and for contacts to consult the members of ARDR or EPYD when needed concerning EVS projects. The organizations interested in EVS will enter in a data base of ARDR and will have the opportunity to communicate among them through an email group and through the official website.
Moreover, the results of the evaluation questionnaires applied to the participants at the end of the seminar showed a 90% of success of the seminar in terms of delivering new, challenging information.
The press was also present to the event: several local televisions filmed some scenes and took interviews; a local radio station took interviews too to the speakers and coordinators of the event.
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