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EI Ref: RO-21-15-2009-R1

Duration of Service: 6 Months

Period of EVS Service: August 15th, 2009 – February 15th, 2010

Number of Volunteers:16

Project details Volunteers Activities Volunteers of the month

All volunteers are to be split up in teams of two, one from a Programme Country and one from a Neighboring Partner Country in such a way as to strike a balance in terms of competences, intercultural learning and European dimension.

Two main tools developed during the last three EVS programmes are to be used also during the current EVS project: EVS White Book, KIT on Community Youth Development and KIT on Social Animation Techniques.
Basically, all volunteers are to go through the whole process of Community Youth Development based on participatory processes, ranging from community discovery, community outreach, etc. and up to inter-community networking stages.  
On top of that, social animation is to be taught and used as a method to intermingle with local communities, organize a public meeting, negotiate conflict, etc. 
Support in the communities: thanks to the pilot programme Strategic Partnership for Local Active Citizenship, ARDR is benefitting for a wide local network comprising 15 communities. In each community ARDR has developed a Centre for Information, Counselling and European Cooperation- Euro House Centre that has the following support local group: one schools’ representative in the community working on extra-curricular education in conjunction with EVS volunteers and other community stakeholders, one young student working as information multiplier for youths, and one public administration representative working as contact person for ARDR for projects management. 

RuraLearn shall be implemented in Gorj County in the following sites:

Bâlteni, Baia de Fier, Rovinari, Bumbesti Jiu, Hurezani, Novaci, Târgu Cărbunesti, Tismana, Turceni.

Community Youth Development and European Active Citizenship

During the first two weeks, all volunteers are to be accommodated in a guest house in 2 bedded rooms with TV set and own bathroom.

After the two weeks, all volunteers will be distributed in pairs to the 9 different rural and small urban communities. The volunteers will live either with host families or share a living location together. The living location will meet decent living standards (private room, free access to kitchen and bathroom, current cold water with the possibility of providing hot water at least one hour/day, functioning heating system, clean and secure location). ARDR and YWB in cooperation with each hosting community will make all efforts to find the best accommodation location for the volunteers. All accommodation and utility costs (water, gas, electricity) shall be covered by the hosting organization.

Buying and preparing the food is to be the sole responsibility of the volunteers. For preparing the food the volunteers will have free access to an equipped kitchen.

In the case of volunteers staying in host families a solution will be to serve meals with the family. The hosting organization will provide each volunteer with a monthly food allowance from which they shall cover the alimentation costs. The allowance is enough for insuring a very good living standard (being much higher than the amount and average citizen from the region spends for food). However the allowance will not be enough for ensuring every day eating in a restaurant or bistro or leading a luxurious life.

The local transportation costs of the volunteers necessary for the activities implementation will be covered 100% by the association from the project budget.

The international transport of the volunteer from his/her home to the site of the project shall be covered 100% - two ways (Economy flight tickets and/or 2nd class train tickets).
The personal transport of the volunteers (local, national or international) will be not in the responsibility of the association.

Due to the importance of communication with the people from the hosting communities (most of them can not speak any foreign languages) will be of crucial importance for the volunteers to learn the Romanian Language at a good speaking level.

The volunteers will have the responsibility to attend all language courses according to the schedule as well as to make every effort in studying and learning the language.

The Romanian language lessons shall be provided by experienced language tutor. The content and structure of the language courses will be projected together with the volunteers, taking into consideration their learning abilities and needs. The language courses will be provided free of charge for the first two weeks on a daily basis and for 2 hours/week in their own community for the entire duration of the EVS project; in the hosting communities private tuition language classes are delivered by a local school teacher to each team of volunteers.

Each volunteer is entitled to receive a 60 Euro monthly allowance – pocket money, which they can spend as they choose/want.

* Stimulate the intercultural learning process and enhance the European Awareness and Active Participation within the hosting communities from Gorj County. 

* Provide the context and the opportunities for all volunteers to develop both personally as well as socially by acquiring and improving new skills and competences as well as boost their self- confidence. 

* Increase tolerance towards different cultures by learning and accepting the cultural differences. 

* Contribute to the community development by boosting the participation and active involvement of young people in their local communities. 

* Encourage the participation of youngsters with fewer opportunities 

* Widen and strengthen the partnership and co-operation relation in between all project promoters 

The project aims to involve the volunteers as community change agents, promoters and multipliers in order to spur European Awareness and active citizenship and establish bridges of communication in between sites in their home country and the areas they are established.

All the activities will be developed in 3 dimensions: personal development, development within the host organization and community development. The Communities where the Euro House Centers are established will stand as the main working headquarters for the volunteers. 

Therefore, there are three strands as the whole RuraLearn programme is designed onto:

1.Proceeding with community youth development - there are few communities where community youth work needs to be started from scratch- hardly anything has been done in terms of long term community youth work;
2.Designing, organizing, and implementing, in conjunction with local counterparts and youngsters from their hosting communities, a variety of activities such as: sports events , environmental activities, cultural camps, group games, thematic workshops, walks in the cities, visits to different sights and events, theatre and art creative workshop, music and dance, cultural awareness and learning activities, etc. 
3.Getting involved in other local/national and/or international programmes and activities developed by ARDR;
4.Advocating for community changes - local authorities are still close minded in terms of supporting youth actions in a structured way and give priority to youth affairs; hardly any finances for youth work, hardly any local action plan for youth affairs. Here, volunteers will be involved in advocacy events. 

1.Centrum Animacji Spolecznej HORYZONTY - Poland

2.VIA e. V. - Verein fuer internationalen und interkulturellen Austausch – Germany

3.Barcelona Voluntaria – Spain

4.Federation Youth Clubs of Armenia FYCA – Armenia

5.Civil Society Institue CSI – Armenia

6.PANOIPC – Lithuania

7.YMCA – Latvia

8.Jaunatne par iesaistisanos – Latvia

9.GAIA Alentejo - Portugal

10.GAIA Porto - Portugal

11.Youth Association DRONI - Georgia

12.Civitas Georgica - Georgia

 Meet a volunteer

Hello, I am Orlando from S. Joao da Madeira, Portugal. I finished sociology in Beira Interior University. I can't live without movies, I realy like to analyze them. Now I live in Targu Carbunesti, in quite nice town, where people are open-minded and nice, kids are curious and friendly, I think I have very good relationship with them. From this project I want to learn and discovered what I want to do in my life. Oh, I really don't like Romanian food.
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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.