The population of the countries from the old communistic block or under dictatorships, like that of Franco, is still influenced in the way it thinks by the principles of those political regimes and that is reflected in the generations that followed. The concept of volunteer work is relatively new in a lot of the countries from Eastern Europe and misunderstood in the European Union’s countries, but the necessity of an active and constant participation of the youngsters both in social and political areas is extremely felt.
The needs of communities that are hard hit by unemployment, like Tenerife in Spain, the poor countries from Europe, like Romania and Bulgaria, but also the countries of Eastern Europe, require a high involvement of youngsters in several fields in order to generate positive change and a sustainable development.
The exchange of ideas and good practices between youngsters from the European Union and neighbour countries, from Eastern Europe, to better understand the concept of active participation of youngsters in communities and the benefits of volunteer work in the personal, professional and communitarian development.
Period: 01.05.2015 – 01.01.2016
Location: Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, Spain
Direct Beneficiaries: 36 youngsters with ages between 18 and 30 years and 6 group leaders, citizens or residents of Spain, Romania, Republic of Moldova, Belarus, Ukraine, and Armenia
Youth Exchange, 17.09.2015 – 27.09.2015, where the participants exchanged ideas and experiences on the topic of volunteering, active participation and youth associativism, as well as made 7 short movies that promote the benefits of the Erasmus+ Program for youth.
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The Armenian team had two workshops about Erasmus+ and volunteering the 7th and 10th of November 2015, first in the Scouts Centre in Yerevan and then in the Armenian State Pedagogical University with members and students.
They played some teambuilding games from the exchange in Tenerife with them including “Neverland” before watching the videos that the participants made. They answered their questions and told how to find Erasmus+ programs in Armenia. There were twenty-three people from 16 to 27 years in the first event and seventeen students of 17-22 age in the second one.
The group made a Spanish intercultural evening at the organization’s office, where they shared their experiences and impressions of the project and Tenerife and how it is different from the rest of Spain. The participants also spoke about Erasmus+ and its opportunities and showed the videos they made during the youth exchange.
They shared the information about the event in their social network pages, such as VK, Facebook and Instagram.
There were about 15 people, all of them under 30 years old and about half of them had never participated in any non-formal or volunteer activities. They were mostly impressed by the videos and the fact that the videos were made by the groups at the exchange in a very short time.
The UNIT Center invited youngsters from eight villages of the Criuleni district for an activity on the 10th of October 2015. Three girls from Hirtop and five boys from the city of Criuleni aged between 14 and 18 years old participated. They started with energizers and team building games played in Tenerife, after the Erasmus+ program and its opportunities was presented and they discussed about youth participation and volunteering.
As the Moldovan team was impressed by the City Rally activity in Tenerife, they decided to do a similar activity in Criuleni the 1st of November, with twenty teens aged between 14 and 18 years old, the staff of the UNIT Center and an international expert in education.
Also, one of the participants of the exchange, Cristina, promoted the Erasmus+ program at her work, in a field visit to the Local Youth Council from Cosernita village, and her sister Irina, who also attended to the project, organized and involved the entire team in a TV show called Neata “Turism pe Divan” at TNT Bravo channel, where they talked about their trip to Tenerife and about the opportunities of attending to Erasmus+ projects. The show was broadcasted on the 12th of November.
In Romania there were also two events. On the 23rd of October the participant Dragoș did a short presentation at the Ștefan Procopiu High School (Vaslui) to seventeen students with ages between 17 and 19 years old, of the Erasmus+ Programme, with focus on the Key Action 1. He played some of the movies made in the youth exchange ACTive YOUth.
The same day, at the Center or European Studies in Iasi, the rest of the team prepared the same activity for twelve volunteers of two associations: Asociația Youth Alma and Asociația GISU.
The 13th of October the participant Daria organized a discussion with twenty-five youngsters from 17 to 20 years old studying in Donetsk National University. During the meeting, she held a short presentation of the movies made during our exchange, told them about key competences in Erasmus+ and shared her knowledge and experience acquired during the project.
On Friday, 16 of October, the participant Yevhenii gave a presentation of the Erasmus+ program in the office of NGO Dnipropetrovsk Development Youth Organization (DDYO). Nine people – all of them leaders and members of the NGO – were present. He gave a general description of the Erasmus+ program, shared his impressions of participating in ACTive YOUth and showed the videos taken by the members of the teams in the youth exchange.
On 8th of November, members of the youth NGO “MIKS” (Katya, Maryna, Tetiana) presented the results of the YE “ACTive YOUth” and volunteer possibilities within Erasmus+ programme for students of the sociological department of Dniprodzerzhynsk State University. Around twenty young people saw the short videos shooted during the exchange to get an idea what kind of project it was. Students were given contacts of web-sites where to search information about youth projects and contacts of “MIKS” in order to join local and international activities of the organization.
P.O.D. Association, together with the participants from the “ACTive YOUth” exchange, organized on the 21st of October 2015, in the neighborhood of San Antonio, an activity called “Active Wednesday with Erasmus+”, where more than ten youngsters with ages between 20 and 25 years old and 5 children from the neighborhood participated. Firstly on the playground there were done some activities about social inclusion and teamwork played in the “movIeT” and “ACTive YOUth” projects. We moved indoors to present Erasmus+ and some information about the work made by the NGO, and also to show some of the videos made by the participants. The audience was given some leaflets and notebooks and they were also encouraged to join a list for us to inform them about future activities.
Visibility online of the project:
Republic of Moldova
Informal Group from Romania Active Youth