Call for Participants – “EVERYONE MATTERS!”

Armenian Progressive Youth NGO suggests various opportunities for youngters, youth workers and trainers both in Armenia and beyond. All the projects are aiming at developing the skills of the beneficiaries and broadening their professional capacities. Here we offer another opportunity for youth workers, educators and trainers.

This time Armenian Progressive Youth NGO is organizing a training course called  “Everyone Matters! Development of Inclusive and Participatory Youth Work Practices in Eastern Partnership countries” that will take place in Yerevan, Armenia, from 07 to 15 of April, 2018. Currently we are looking for participants for the training course.

The training course will support 35 youth workers, educators and youth trainers who work or are affiliated with the member organizations of the consortium in incorporating inclusion and diversity-awareness in their work, making sure it exists both in the trainings, projects and initiatives of partner organizations. The project aims to empower youth organizations, youth workers, trainers and educators to develop inclusion and diversity orientation in their work with rural and unprivileged young people and build their competence in addressing the needs of marginalized youth.

Objectives of the Training

  • To empower 35 youth workers, trainers and educators to develop diversity orientation in their work with young people and build the their competence in diversity management;
  • To prepare youth workers to work with marginalized youth in their communities;
  • To support youth workers in incorporation of diversity into their working environment, thus, making their work more successful and inclusive;
  • To introduce key theoretical aspects, the glossary as well as the practical tools, methods and instruments to the youth workers who seek to work with marginalized youth in their communities;
  • To develop training and educational activities and tools on inclusion and diversity trying them out in the group of participants in order to use the tools back home.

Partner Countries: Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, Germany, Sweden and Belgium.

Who Can Apply
“EVERYONE MATTERS! Development of Inclusive and Participatory Youth Work Practices in Eastern Partnership countries” training course is for youth workers, youth trainers and educators who live in Armenia and are at least 18 years old.

How to Apply
In order to apply, please, fill out the application form by the following link: goo.gl/4bSWxG.
The deadline for the applications is February 25.

In case of any questions feel free to contact the Project Manager of Armenian Progressive Youth NGO Mane Papyan by the following email address: [email protected]

«Մեդիան որպես գենդերային հավասարության հանրայնացման գործիք» դասընթաց

2017թ. հոկտեմբերին մասնակիցների մի խումբ հավաքվեց մի դասընթացի համար։

Ծրագիրը նպատակ ուներ զինել երիտասարդներին գենդերային հավասարությունը մեդիայում տարածելու համար անհրաժեշտ հմտություններով։ Դասընթացը տեղի էր ունենում Վիեննայում։ Ավստրիայի մայրաքաղաքը հյուրընկալել էր Հայաստանից, Ավստրիայից, Վրաստանից, Ուկրաինայից, Լեհաստանից և Նիդեռլանդներից ժամանած երիտասարդության ոլորտի ակտիվիստներին։
Օրակարգով նախատեսվում էին տարբեր գործողություններ. սիմուլյացիոն խաղեր, դերախաղեր, խմբային աշխատանքներ, քննարկումներ, ներկայացումներ… Այս ամենը 6 երկրից ժամանած 24 մասնակիցներին հնարավորություն տվեց վերաբացահայտել գենդերի և սեռի հայեցակարգերը, ԵՄ և հարևան համագործակցող երկրների մեդիայում գենդերային կարծրատիպերը…
Խումբը հեռահար կապի միջոցով հանդիպում ունեցավ նաև Հայաստանից գենդերային հետազոտությունների ոլորտի մասնագետի հետ։
Ընդգծվեց մեդիայում գենդերային հավասարության կարևորությունը։ Դասընթացի ժամանակ հնարավորություններ էին ստեղծվել համագործացկության հաստատման համար։ Որպես արդյունք, մասնակիցները նախագծեցին մի քանի ծրագրեր՝ ուղղված գենդերային հավասարության զարգացմանը։
Մասնակիցներն իրենց ներդրումն ունեցան նախագծում՝ մեդիայի տարբեր տեսակների օգտագործման վերաբերյալ իրենց խորհուրդներով։ Միջմշակութային երեկոյի ընթացքում մասնակիցները կիսվեցին իրենց ազգային ավանդույթներով, խոհանոցով և երգուպարով։
Օրակարգով նախատեսվում էր նաև միջազգային ծրագրի նախագծում… Մասնակցիները միասին զարգացրին մի քանի նախագծային առաջարկներ։ Դրանք ներկայացվելու են Erasmus+ ծրագրի օգնությամբ։

Ծրագրի մասին ավելին իմանալու համար կարող եք դիտել հետևյալ տեսահոլովակը՝


Դասընթացը ֆինանսավորվել էր Erasmus + ծրագրի և Ավստրիական Ազգային գործակալության կողմից (Jugend in Aktion 2014-2020)։

“Using Media as a tool for Gender equality promotion” training course

In October 2017, a group of participants met for a training course…

The project aimed to enable youth workers to promote gender equality in media. The TC was held in Vienna. The Austrian capital hosted youth workers from Armenia, Austria, Georgia, Ukraine, Poland, and the Netherlands.
Different activities such as simulations, role-plays, group activities, discussions, presentations were on the agenda… These activities gave 24 participants from 6 countries the opportunity to re-explore the concepts of gender and sex, gender stereotypes in the media of EU and neighboring partner countries.
The group also connected with an expert in Gender Studies from Armenia.
The importance of gender equality in the media was emphasized.  A space for networking was provided. The network members also developed projects promoting gender equality.

The participants contributed to the project with recommendations for different sources of media. Participants shared their food, traditions and dances in an Intercultural Evening.

International project writing was also on the agenda… The participants cooperated and developed several project proposals. These project proposals will be applied in the frames of Erasmus+ programme.

If you want to know more about the project you may check the video by the link below:


The training course is financed by Erasmus + Programme and Austrian National Agency (Jugend in Aktion 2014-2020).

Managing Diversity towards More Inclusive Societies

Have you ever had that feeling when you are in a crowd of like-mined people who have similar lifestyle and background? It‘s cool to be understood from half a word and easily fit in, isn‘t it? Many of young people have never felt that way.
Our education system, our family, the media and politics have developed certain patterns of our behaviour: fear of uncertainty, being judgemental, rejecting unknown and excluding differences. These are patterns that are often strongly connected to our societal habits and, therefore, can be changed. That‘s why the project “Managing Diversity” was born.
“Managing Diversity” project was born out of a concern that many young people in Europe have lack of opportunities and spaces to get involved and to express themselves. Being different from mainstream societies, many are being excluded and marginalized.
This is why 13 non-profit organizations have developed “Managing Diversity” – a long term project working with youth workers, youth trainers and educators, trying to develop their diversity management skills and support them in learning how to implement a culture of diversity in their working environments.
The project targeted specifically those youth workers and educators who are eager to professionally work against structural discrimination and under-representation of marginalized groups. 26 youth workers from 13 countries joined this multi-layer project in August 2017. The group has undergone a series of trainings and capacity building workshops in the Netherlands which were followed by implementation of small local projects back in home countries of the participants.
For about 2 month between August and October, participants have developed and executed 19 local projects reaching about 500 young people in 13 countries ranging from East to West of Europe. The local projects have worked and empowered young refugees, LGBTQI people, Roma youth, youth with disabilities and many other vulnerable and marginalized youth.
Through different types of projects our participants have worked on very sensitive topics. The activities ranged from an improvisational theatre involving Roma youth in Romania and Human Library in Macedonia to career orientation courses for youth with disabilities in Armenia; from a surfing workshop for people with disabilities and a multicultural football tournament in Portugal to a Forum Theatre with refugees in Germany. Many of the projects have targeted the most vulnerable youth, such as a movie projects promoting LGBTQI rights in Moldova or speaking up about domestic violence against women in Armenia.
All the projects were exceptional having in mind that they were implemented with 0 funding, purely organized through the resources of participants, networks of partner organizations and in kind contribution and support provided by local stakeholders in each respective country. The projects took place in home countries of the participants: Armenia, Belarus, Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Romania. All the projects were implemented through diversity glasses and tackled issues of minority groups living in participating countries.
Following the successful implementation of small projects, the project results were evaluated and presented to public in Yerevan, Armenia in October, 2017. The public event was attended by young people, representatives of NGO’s and international organizations, media and partners.

According to the Project Coordinator Ms. Nelly Paytyan, “Managing Diversity” was a good tool against widespread stereotypes in our societies. She thinks that “promoting diversity matters and will matter until young people in our societies face discrimination, ignorance and life burdens based on their nationality, ethnic, cultural and religious background, social status, as well as their gender identity and sexual orientation”.

“Managing Diversity” was organized by Armenian Progressive Youth NGO (Armenia) and Jongeren voor Uitwisseling en Begrip (The Netherlands). The project was granted by the Dutch National Agency under the Erasmus Programme of the European Union.

Managing Diversity: 500 young people reached through 19 local projects

After several months of hard work, series of trainings and local ground work, we have concluded our “Managing Diversity” project – a long term training course working with youth workers, youth trainers and educators. “Managing Diversity” involved 26 youth workers and educators from 13 different countries to develop their diversity management skills and support in learning how to implement a culture of diversity in their working environments.
Following the Introductory Training in the Netherlands this August, participants have implemented 19 community projects back to their countries during September and, finally, traveled to Armenia in the end of October to present the impact of their projects and their learning achievements.
Following the successful implementation of small projects, the project results were evaluated and presented to public during a Closing Event. The public event was attended by young people, representatives of NGO’s and international organizations, media and partners.
Nelly Paytyan, the Project Coordinator from Armenian Progressive Youth NGO believes that “Managing Diversity” is a good tool to counter widespread stereotypes in our societies: “Promoting diversity matters and will matter until young people in our societies face discrimination, ignorance and life burdens based on their nationality, ethnic, cultural and religious background, social status, as well as their gender identity and sexual orientation. I believe, everyone who joined this project agrees that embracing diversity, inclusiveness, sensitivity, equity and solidarity in our daily lives and work with young people matter nowadays more than ever”.
Karine Grigoryan, a trainee from Armenia, took part in all three activities of the project. Following the training in the Netherlands, she organized professional orientation activity for young people with disabilities. Karine says: “My desire of implementing this activity was based on my belief, that no matter the type of the disability, people can discover the satisfaction that often comes from realizing and using their strongest abilities and skills”.
Through her project Karine targeted young people with physical disabilities and learning difficulties. As she mentions, “the activity helped the participants to understand what kind of personality and qualifications they have, what they are good at, what they enjoy and what are the possible occupations they may have in the future”. Karines project helped the participants to improve their job searching and employability skills. In particular they learned how to write CV, learned about some job searching websites which they can occasionally browse and look for a job that fits their skills and abilities”.
Martijn Bergsma, the Project Coordinator from the Netherlands shared some information about how the partners and participants were chosen: “In the beginning we made an open call looking for partners who would be interested to join this project. After selecting the partners and approval of the project, we have also announced an open call for participants to make sure the project is inclusive and open for everyone involving those people who really need it”.

Fabio Di Benedetto, our participant from Italy have decided to work with young emigrants back to his hometown in Sicily. Fabio organized an Intercultural day that involved 8 local youngsters and 8 unaccompanied foreign minors. There are about 15.000 unaccompanied foreign minors in Italy, one third of them living in Sicily. They come mostly from African countries and due to very weak integration policies of the Italian government, they don’t have interactions with the local youngsters.
Fabio describes his experience with an excitement: “For the first time youngsters had a chance to talk to each other and get to know each other. They had various backgrounds but during the event they have found out that they are not so different”.

Another participant from Romania, Maria Carbunaru implemented an improvisational theatre in Romania involving Roma children. Maria says: “The Theater included Roma kids from poor families and orphanages. They spent a day by doing improvisational theater. In the end of the day they were happy and it made me feel good”.
Neel Klappe, one of the trainers from the Netherlands, thinks that it’s great that the project had concluded in Armenia. “It really makes project more powerful and impactful. I realized how you can do great things when you have a motivation. Through local projects we have realized what we can change and how many people we can reach. This makes me proud”, she says.
Rodrigo from Portugal says that the whole experience gained during the project can simply be put in one word – “memorable”. Rodrigo organized a small surfing event with children with disabilities. Currently, he is trying to design a bigger project. The idea is to have a training course on personal development and social inclusion of children with disabilities.
National minorities were not left out of attention as well. Carlos, from Portugal, has worked with representatives of different nationalities living in Portugal, organizing a joint football tournament. “I think I offer a space for the ethnic minorities to gain confidence and break some communication barriers helping them in their professional lives”, he says.
A journalist from Moldova, Tudor Arnaut joined Valentina Botnaru from Moldova to work on a documentary movie promoting the rights of LGBTQI people. The documentary focused on the lives of LGBTQI people in Moldova and has been screened for the first time during the Closing Event in Armenia.
Tudor says that during the preparation of the movie he got more information about LGBTQI people in Moldova and became more open-minded. “I had good feedback and now we want to continue with my partner, Valentina Botnaru, doing more beautiful documentaries. “Managing Diversity” was an eye-opening experience and now we are more self-confident to move forward with our ideas”, he says.

“Managing Diversity” was organized by Armenian Progressive Youth NGO (Armenia) and Jongeren voor Uitwisseling en Begrip (The Netherlands). The project was granted by the Dutch National Agency under the Erasmus Programme of the European Union.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

By Nelli Petrosyan

Youth Workers for More Inclusive Europe Training Course in Yerevan

Youth Workers for More Inclusive Europe

From the 19th to 25th June, 2017 the Armenian Progressive Youth (APY) NGO hosted an International Training Course “Youth Workers for More Inclusive Europe” in Yerevan. The project was organized in partnership with Youth Council of Valencia from Spain and supported by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ programme.

The Training Course was designed for youth workers and youth organizations, which are willing to play a greater role in the areas of migration and refugee crisis as well as youth de-radicalization as its main consequence. The project gathered 26 youth workers in Armenia who were coming from Belarus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Georgia, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Ukraine. Through the Training Course our participants learnt about existing practices and examples in the field of migration where NGO’s and active citizens have gone beyond their capacities to fill the gap left by national and regional authorities and to support people arriving to Europe. At the same time, participants also learnt how to be better prepared to contribute to the resolution of the refugee crisis and improve the policies of integration of refugees in European societies.

Many of the participants mentioned that the Training Course helped them to learn more about migration in the EU and non-EU countries and how to tackle hate speech towards refugees and migrants. According to the feedback received, we can conclude that the participants especially liked the meeting with Syrian-Armenian refugees and gained knowledge about the situation of asylum seekers´ and refugees in Armenia.

Gaining local knowledge about Armenia, the hosting country, was an added value to the project. Participants were especially interested to learn about the migration problems linked to the Syrian-Armenian community. They were thankful to be given more information and perspective about this topic thanks to the intervention of volunteers from Armenia who told about their experiences and provided inputs.

The entire Training Course and its activities have contributed to the knowledge of participants who have developed numerous skills, such as critical and creative thinking, analysing ambiguities around the controversial issues and improving problem-solving skills. First and foremost, the participants got in-depth knowledge on the concept of migration, thoroughly examining the main causes of hatred towards refugees and getting to know the current state of affairs in Europe. By using peer to peer learning approach, we have created a safe space for participants to learn a lot from each other.

The academic part of the project put forward crucial topics such as respect to human dignity, freedom, equality, respect for human rights, including the rights of refugees and migrants. Moreover, the acquisition of competences has been guaranteed by means of non-formal educational tools provided by the professional trainers throughout the project. Apart from the educational side, the project was comprised of cultural exchange activities such as the intercultural evening as a space to exchange national cuisine, dances, music and create a real multicultural atmosphere. To recapitulate, owing to the project, our participants have been armed with new skills to become more aware and active towards refugee and migrant integration in their own societies and to be actors of change who foster tolerance, solidarity and open-mindedness.

We really hope that our participants are empowered to be a multiplier of knowledge in their own country of origin and they will do their best to impact their peers either personally or through more structured presentations. Surely, this will motivate other young people to deal with similar experiences, to get to know the European programs, and in particular Erasmus+.

The first biggest gender-related international project of 2017


A Quest 4 Equality: Breaking Gender Barriers through Youth Work

Nowadays most countries recognize that equal rights, as a question of human rights, democracy and justice should exist as well as that gender equality represents a part of resolution to the challenges that our society is facing to. Albeit many have elaborated and set in motion regulations intended to fight discrimination and different issues, the gender equality situation both in the EU and the Neighboring countries, especially in Eastern Europe and Caucasus remains unsatisfactory.

Gender equality topic has been always considered to be one of the working dimensions of the Armenian Progressive Youth (APY) NGO, which is constantly expanding its boarders by hosting more and more gender-related international projects in Armenia. The first international training course of this year called “A Quest 4 Equality: Breaking Gender Barriers through Youth Work” was convened from the 3rd to the 11th of June in Yerevan. The 38 youth workers coming from Armenia, United Kingdom, Belarus, Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Moldova, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Russia and Turkey have been the integral part of a project aiming to develop and improve the participant’s knowledge and understanding on various concepts related to gender issues, analyze traditions, roles and perceptions of gender in different countries and societies.

Through the implementation of the international training course the youth workers and young leaders from diverse backgrounds had an opportunity to feel and reflect about the power of gender and gender roles by having space to discuss, debate and learn more about the topic that often remains undiscussed. Besides tackling the mentioned issues, the training course looked for solutions in our organizations and daily lives. The participation in different scale of activities as discussions, presentations, field visits let the participants exchange their skills and experiences particularly on gender mainstreaming, gender discrimination, gender violence and gender perspectives in different parts of Europe and know more about diverse realities in Eastern Europe and Caucasus region. Furthermore, thanks to the practical side of the training course, the participants focused on non-formal learning activities adressed for concrete target groups (school leaders, youth with disabilities, etc.), which will enable them to implement afterwards real projects on local or European levels.

This international gender-equality-related training course, unique with its vast geographical coverage and the contemporary topic, has been brought about by the conjoint cooperation between the Armenian Progressive Youth NGO and Nikola Arts organization from the United Kingdom, as well as by the funds of the European Union in the frames of Erasmus+ program.

Notwithstanding that the prevailing conservative, discriminating values in our societies are hard to tackle on account of clearly defined roles for men and women, gender stereotypes and issues with the expression of gender identity and sexual orientation, we believe that through non-formal educational activities we can spread awareness and look for solutions to the issues of our daily lives.

Community, cooperation, communication, co-existance – you will be able to discover your own meaning

 

VOLUNTEERING PROJECT IN LITHUANIA

WHERE – The project is volunteering in integrated school in the capital of Lithuania – Vilnius.

The school „Versmė“ („stream“ in english) has 544 schoolchildre   n from 6 to 18 years of age. It is primary and secondary school and is specified as an integrated school. They welcome children with mental and physical disabilities, as well as emigrants in their school and do a lot for integration in society. It is based on human and christian values. All teachers and administration tries to develop habits of tolerance, respect and solidarity. Non formal education takes place in their village house in country side near Vilnius – camping, day actvities, etc. There are different national and international projects going on at school and local community, so everyone is more or less used to work internationally, to welcome volunteers.

WHAT – the help of volunteers is needed during lessons of foreign language; during art, geograpghy lessons for children with special needs; in organising activities for children during breaks and while waiting for transport to go home; help in value education programm in the village house twice a year – create and organize the camp; and other possible activities such as helping students in Parliament acitivities, prepeare school feasts, developing school‘s website together with students, help prepearing different excursions, trips, activities, rallies, different help for students with disability in crafts, art and other lessons, etc. Maximum 36hours in a week, sometimes during the weekends, but then, having a day off on working day.

WHEN – 2017 September till 2018 July (10 months)

CONTACT[email protected] , [email protected]

 

Conflict vs Connection: A Training for Young Peace Builders in Armenia

Armenian Progressive Youth NGO (Armenia) in partnership with TeachSurfing (Germany) hosted 45 youth workers from 12 different countries; Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Moldova, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey. The country representatives were hosted in Yerevan from 10th to 17th of April in the frames of the international training course “Conflict vs Connection” funded by the Erasmus+ program of the European Union.

The objective of the training for Young Peace Builders was due to the existing conflicts in the region, which in their turn negatively impact both Armenia’s and the neighbouring countries’ development. The ambition to build peace has been among the political and diplomatic circles of the participating countries. However, many of the conflicts are still unresolved, influencing young people living in those countries. More often, young people are the ones who become victims of violent conflicts and wars.

The course focused mainly on the topics of conflict prevention, conflict resolution, peace building and conflict management, which are very relevant in the participating countries. The training has been conducted by 3 professional trainers by using lots of interactive exercises and non-formal educational activities, identifying the reasons of conflicts, possible solutions and the role that young people can play in conflict resolution processes. Apart from discussing the cross-border and international conflicts, they discussed also interpersonal conflicts and learnt about effective strategies to overcome them.

Except the academic part of the project, the participants had a chance to get acquainted with the Armenian culture and national cuisine during the Intercultural evening, excursion to Garni and Geghard, City Rallies initiatives. Moreover, the participants were able to present their national cuisine and culture as well, by creating a real multicultural atmosphere.

Within the project a public “Human Library”event has been organized, where many local and international participants, including 12 country representatives, had a chance to meet and talk to Muslims, Buddhists, people of different nationalities and groups, ask them about their daily life, ambitions, aspirations and concerns. Human Library worked as an ordinary library: readers came to the library, choose a book and read it. The only difference is that books are humans, and the reading is a real conversation.

The participants were willing to share their impressions and the outcome of the project with the readers below.

Maria Argyride from Cyprus talked about the importance of the project, “Through this training I learned a lot of practices and techniques that I can transfer to other people especially to children because I’m a teacher. I think, that now I understand how conflicts begin and can find the right way to solve it. And I feel so cool with knowledge, good feelings, positive energy thanks to your project.”

Viktor Petrov from Ukraine highlighted “I’m a youth worker and trainer, so this topic and this environment are pretty good for me, for my profession and personal development and also I’d love to contribute to peace-building and this topic is very important for me. The most important thing for me is that we gathered people from 13 countries here, different cultures with the same goal and this is the most important.
In our society there are many conflicts and I truly believe, that if we spread the information as much as possible, we can get closer to peace, so I’d love to continue the trainings and spreading information and knowledge I gained.”

“I learned many things in this project and the most basic one is that there is no such a thing “the big shark eats the small one”, we all can collaborate and become the winner in any kind of subject. Peace is an abstract term, for me at least, and in order to make it more substantial you need to work for it.  I think, if many positive people gather together they can do great, amazing things, but people being apart and fighting against each other is something terrible and we can see the results… because it happens centuries.” mentioned Giorgos Gkaraklidis, a participant from Cyprus.

2 EVS Placements in Belgium

Primary school De Appeltuin

(1-st Project)

Native City: Leuven

 

Activities and mission of the organization:

De Appeltuin is one of the 40 Freinet Schools in Flanders. The Freinet Pedagogical concept is part of the larger pedagogical project of Community Education in Flanders. Its aim is the total development of a person, with attention for the optimal development for each child personally. De Appeltuin is a kindergarten and primary school.

The aims of the school are:

  • to have a constant attention for natural learning, based on the experiences and world of interest of the child, keeping in mind the established development goals and school
  • to work together, based on cooperative and democratic consultation instead of one sided Children are one of the three stakeholder groups in our school. This way, we want to stimulate independency in children.
  • to experiment and learn-by-doing instead of applying rules and regulations, because the learning effect is much larger when a child can convert self-discovered material into new
  • to work usefully and Working useless in a school leads to following without thinking and a lack of satisfaction.

The groups of children are structured in a way that there are always 2 age groups together. This stimulates that older children learn from the younger ones and the other way around.

There is a lot a thematic approach – so called projects – especially in the kindergarten. Their kids can explore together different themes that are of interest in their world. In primary school, these projects are larger and more elaborated in time and space. The learning area of ‘world orientation’ is treated in these projects.

 

Sector of the organization: children – non-formal education

 

Location of the project: The school is located in the center of Leuven, at 20 min. walk from the train station. Leuven is one of the most popular cities in Flanders for students. It is one of the oldest university cities of Belgium and has a wide range of cultural and social activities. Students from all over Belgium and Europe live here during the academic year. Leuven has a very rich history, which can be seen in the many historical buildings and sites. Leuven has a small center but counts several parts, which are nearby and are more quiet and green.

Office environment:

De Appeltuin has a staff team of 23 people, which includes kindergarten teachers, primary school teachers, pedagogical support team, after care, administrative staff, coordinator,…

Another important factor in this school is the involvement of parents and thematic working groups within school the education of the children. This can be in the classroom (projects, practical work,..), class responsible, working groups in the school (reading support, logistics, music, communication,..).

 

Benefit from the volunteer:

The school sees project education as the important working method. Having an international volunteer could in this context be a perfect challenge for everyone involved to apply this form of non-formal education. The presence and cooperation of a foreign volunteer can mean a serious extra value in our school. One of our goals is to form our children to be active citizens with respect for every other human being, for nature and for other cultures.

 

Tasks of the volunteer:

The tasks of the volunteer will evolve from practical help in the classroom to the setting up of a specific project. The velocity of this evolution will depend on the growing language and practical skills of the volunteer. The volunteer will be assisting in classes of toddlers or primary school children, depending on the level of Dutch.

 

The volunteer will:

  • Assist in mainly one classroom (depending on the language level). This can be individual guidance of children who can’t follow the lessons as good as the It can also be to assist when the teacher is using a method where they need assistance, for example when they want to do an educational game to teach them something; then the volunteer can help in preparing this and guide it. It can also be to help with the classes when they are drawing, making something creative, or doing work-shops, such as drama and theatre or teaching them new songs.
  • Take part in out-door activities with the children: go swimming with them, excursions, thematical workshops,… For example, going to the forest in autumn to learn about this season, going to a museum and they have interactive workshops, going to a theatre or a movie and later in class having a de-briefing about it, going to the seaside and learn about the typical vegetation there, going for a week somewhere together…
  • Next to that, the volunteer will organize own activities and workshops, depending on the interests of the For example, to set up a project about her home country, to teach the children about the differences and similarities between cultures. A lot of time of the volunteer’s work will go to this aspect.

 

Working hours during a normal day:

The volunteer will do voluntarily work for 5 days a week from 9AM until 4PM (Wednesday only in the morning). School holidays are free.

 

Specific skills volunteer should have:

For De Appeltuin motivation and interest in the themes the project is working with, namely education and children, is the biggest criteria. The learning possibilities of the volunteer are also important. Since it is needed in the work with children, the volunteer needs to like to work with children and should have interest in pedagogical methods. We strongly advise volunteers to read about the Freinet-philosophy and educational methods before arrival.

 

Level of language skills: intermediate English and very motivated to learn Dutch

 

 Volunteer’s benefit:

The volunteer will be as an extra in the team of the teachers of the school. She/he will get the opportunity to assist in different classrooms (mainly one, but some others) and to get a close look on the educational tools and methods of a ‘Freinetschool’. The principles of the Freinet-philosophy are related to ‘non-formal education’ and ‘experimental learning’. This means that the children have to work on a variety of projects with different themes.

 

Steinerschool De Sterrendaalders

(2-nd Project)

Native City: Lier

 

Activities and mission of the organization:

Education for children between 2,5 and 6 years old (kindergarden) and children between 6-12 years old (primary school) based on the Steiner pedagogy. The Steiner pedagogy is focused on the personal and social development of children in a well-balanced and free environment. We provide education for children, irrespective of race, descent or philosophical convictions.

 

Sector of the organization:

Non-formal education – children

 

Location of the project:

The project is located in Lier at the border of the city center. The school is located next to a residential area.

 

Office environment: approx. 18 teachers

 

Tasks of the volunteer:

We are looking for a volunteer to be part of our staff in the kindergarten (21/2-6 years) and more specifically in the first class of kindergarten (21/2-3 years old). The volunteer will be actively involved during her/his whole stay. The tasks will all be related to the follow-up and supervision of the children during their school day. The following tasks will certainly have to be performed:

 

  • taking care of the preschoolers getting (un)dressed for the outdoor activities (we do a lot of outdoor activities even under bad weather conditions – in order to be able to do so, we’ve rain&mud equipement that our smallest children gradually need to learn to put on themselves, this is one of the skills they learn in the first class)

 

  • Recess duty: We have moments of free playing and directed playing, during both moments not only supervision but also observation of the development of the children is an important task of our staff. If interested it could be a possibility for the volunteer to prepare some directed play moments (with coaching of the class teacher)
  • Helping to prepare the fruit and soup meals: Healthy food is part of our education, Therefore our day starts with a fruit plate where the fruit is brought by the children and then peeled and shared between the pupils. 3 times a week we also prepare soup with fresh organic vegetables in our kindergarten classes together with the children.
  • Preparing and supervising the after lunch nap: We’re enthousiastic about the positive impact of a resting/sleeping moment for our kindergartners. Therefore until 6 years old they all have a moment of rest on their mattresses after lunch.

 

The volunteer could start a personal project under coaching of the class teacher. Eg of a possible project: Prepare and supervise a directed play moment where his/her culture is integrated in order to be able to share and transmit some of this to the pupils. This could be on a regular base (e.g. weekly), in order to create interaction and interest with the children towards this specific intercultural playmoment.

 

Working hours during a normal day:

 

The volunteer will work 5 days a week from 8.15 till 15.30. Monday afternoon and Wednesday afternoon is free. School-holidays are free.

 

Specific skills volunteer should have:

 

  • open minded
  • patient with children
  • motivation and determination to learn more
  • communicative and sociable
  • interest in Steiner philosophy: we advise volunteers to read more about the Steiner education method before arrival

 

Level of language skills: intermediate English and strong motivation to learn Dutch

Volunteer’s benefit:

You’ll get to know a vivid community of teachers, parents and children that will give you the space to experience our culture. With the contacts you make at our project, you’ll deepen your knowledge about our culture and our country also outside the workplace.