MJC

Project Start: September 1st, 2018

Project End: August 31st, 2019

Project summary:

The MJC is a nonprofit organization , we promote a non formal education. Our main goal is the development of active citizenship for young people and adults through the implementation of social and cultural activities ,including entering into the fields of leisure, recreation and sports. Education and prevention.

We have many projects for a diversified public: children, young people and adults, we have different actions with educational, cultural or social aims. We have several educational activities for migrants ( lessons in French, promoting social and professional inclusion) . Our goal is to fight against exclusions. We work with the school to help students in their formal educational work and connect teachers and family – parenthood – and we organize cultural actions for families with fewer opportunities. We also work with young people, we organize many actions of support to their projects and the valorization of their initiatives and we support the engagement of the young people in the local action. We have important experience in the field of youth work and assist many young people in very different projects: social, cultural, educational and professional. Most of our actions concern the engagement of young people and we support them in their process of autonomy.

 Volunteer Tasks:

 The EVS volunteers could be involved in many project in the MJC including social, educational and cultural activities

  • Migrants program: French classes, cultural workshops and visits, social escorting
  • Leasure activities for children and teenagers during holidays or after school
  • Events: «Village des Sciences» (event promoting the discovery of Science), intercultural week, «Village des Associations» (event promoting local civil society), sustainable development week, initiative and citizenship week, International Volunteers day
  • Multimedia lab: access to Internet, office and video traineeship, games workshop, mobile computers, Web TV
  • Scientific, technological and environmental activities for children and young people: CNRS club, «small scientific» club, scientific or environmental animations within school or youth groups, organization of youth workshops
  • Support for the local civil society and development of initiative amongst the young people: help and advice for organization, training
  • School coaching: for children from the first year of kindergarten through primary and secondary school : help with homework, cultural and pedagogical workshops, introduction to English, educational outings and visits. Training, meeting and exchange days for the school coaches of the district. For families: links with the school establishments and familial outings
  • Web TV and video workshops
  • Administrative tasks as communication (flyers, advertisements, etc.)
  • Volunteers will be provided with French classes up to 4 hours per week during the project

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Profile of volunteers:

  •  Willingness to work on the subject of migration and with young people
  • Willingness to be actively involved in the project and in the community
  • Personal motivation and positive spirit
  • Personal contribution to the project – ideas and proposals for activities and enrichment of the project
  • Flexibility, readiness to work as part of the team / group
  • Desire to learn new things
  • Easily adaptable, sociable
  • Basic knowledge of French is recommended, but not mandatory

Accommodation:

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Elbeuf is a small town near Rouen, the center of the Normandy region. The MJC Youth and Cultural Center works in an area where approximately 50,000 people live.

Accommodation will be in an apartment, with volunteers sharing a dormitory with a maximum of one other volunteer. The apartment has common living and kitchen areas. Volunteers will be able to prepare meals by providing 7 euros per day for food. MJC interns will also be accommodated in the facility, which will encourage contacts with the French youth. The accommodation will be a reasonable distance from the center of the MJC, provided a monthly travel card throughout the Rouen Normandy metropolis, as they will have access to entertainment, shopping, leisure facilities or sports. Individual support: 180 € per month.

Deadline for applications:

As soon as possible up to June 30th, 2018

Contacts:

You can look at the organization’s website: http://www.mjc-elbeuf.fr/

Send CV and a motivational letter explaining which topic is most interesting to you and would like to emphasize during the project. Send the documents to international@mjc-elbeuf.fr.

If you have any questions or need for additional information, Natalia from our team will assist you. Her email is longterm@cvs-bg.org.

 Posted by Shirin at 11:43 EVS news Comments Off
 

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Project start: September 1 2018

Project end: July 1 2019

Project summary:

The Municipality of Bremanger have short-term and long-term goals in our EVS project., so the background for our participation is

Short – term : Local youth feel that something is happening based on their interests and desires.

Long term: Contributes to the development of  local youth work and our local community.

Our main goal is to increase activity and well being for children, youth and young adults age 10 – 30 years old and vulnerable groups in our social.

We are a depopulation municipality and wish our children and young people experience quality and fun activity  in their childhood environment. With a positive experience of their childhood years, we hope they come back after end education.

Also the working area of the organization itself deals with the non-formal and informal education, in this way the volunteers will have the opportunity to try out different working and learning styles, that will help them to acquire essential competences and will contribute to their personal and professional development.

We expect our project to have a high impact on innovative activities, especially in our focus area  youth work and inclusion of youth . We expect our participant to develop their physical skills in new and challenging situation, as well as exercising important social skills such as teamwork and leadership. We also expect that the project will provide great learning, motivation and commitment to us employees.

In the long term this will affect our communities and our local cooperative partners. To increased activity and well-being measures for children and youth it will  do our youth work more visible in the community. It will hopefully lead to better cooperation in all local child and youth work and in our organization lead to better cooperation between the sections.

As a host municipality we are looking for 4 EVS participant (1 from Bulgaria) age 18 – 30 years. Interested in our focus area child and youth work.

This work involves activities such as:

Work in the local voluntary service, library, school, youth club . All activity where our local people are involved.

  • Development of intercultural activities in the Youth Clubs and for the surrounding community
  • Daily work with the youngsters in the Youth Centre/ EVS apartment – to promote a “Meaningfull Lesuretime”
  • To promote non-formal education with youngsters with special needs
  • To create or to search for innovative materials to use in the Youth Centre
  • To plan – implement – evaluate activities
  • Develop workshop with focus on inclusion\involvement of youth Active Bremanger

Specially, we value:

  • willing to integrate actively, in the project and the community
  • Personal motivation and positive spirit
  • Personal contribution to the project. With ideas and suggestions of activities and enriching the project
  • flexibility, willingness to work as part of a group
  • willingness to learn new things
  • interact with people, to be talkative and outgoing.

Application documents:

  • CV in english
  • Motivational letter in english

Deadline for applications: 24 June 2018

Contact: Please send your documents to Natalia at longterm@cvs-bg.org

 

 Posted by Shirin at 16:03 EVS news Comments Off
 

A few days after the International Volunteer Day we are posting the EVS story of Vicky, who recently was our volunteer and project coordinator. She is currently EVS volunteer in SCI International Secretariat in Antwerp, Belgium. We re-publish her story for her first month there, which can only keep us warm and inspire for more happy volunteer stories and experiences. We are looking forward to her next ‘beer’ stories in her blog https://beersforpeace.wordpress.com/, where you can read the original article.

“December is a universe …”, a friend once wrote. Today, the first of December it exactly one month since I jumped into my EVS experience and  my life in Antwerp, Belgium, started. Cup of hot coffee, Beirut from neighboring computer and enough pent inspiration are a good opportunity to write a story. Or just to describe  what happened to me last month.

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It all started exactly a year ago when I decided that either I will study my dream master’s degree in Germany or I will find an inspiring EVS project to digest the coming year. I quickly gave up from my master (thanks to a number of reasons and circumstances), and the perfect EVS project came to me by chance in April. It was the second one for which I applied and was rather an exception, as I was involved in the activities of the organization along CVS-Bulgaria.

While volunteering with CVS and coordinating several projects last year, I had the opportunity to become part of the Bulgarian family of SCI and to fall inlove with the every single thing I did with the girls there. This is only a small part of the reason to be an EVS volunteer nowhere else, but in the International Secretariat of SCI. A great chance to improve myself in a different meanings. To learn and to create.

For those who don’t know SCI (SCI International) is an international network of organizations whose primary mission is to promote a culture of peace by organizing international voluntary initiatives and projects. CVS-Bulgaria is the Bulgarian branch and practically my project is like continuation of my work in CVS. The challenge here is that the projects are of international level, with a lot more work, communication and coordination. The Secretariat is that core that moves larger projects, supports partner organizations, dealing with finances, promotion of the network itself online and offline, attend meetings and support each working group within the SCI. What my job is, is one of the most common questions that encounter with regard to my project. The two main things that I do are communication and support of the Create a Climate for Peace Campaign, along which will participate in various meetings and seminars related to the campaign. The challenge for me as not-very-eco-oriented person who did it is curious to learn more and more and to make more conscious and informative choices in my life. At least when it comes to protecting the environment and our nature, yes. The second thing I do is again (surprise) communication and coordination of projects within the working group SAVA, which in turn is regionally oriented and deals with the involvement of young people from the Balkans. In general, all good things… and people (especially people). Besides all communication and coordination, and I have my own projects, I am enthusiastic and motivated to accomplish with the support of SCI. I will tell you more about them later.

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I already mentioned that I live in Antverpen – the last place that I thought I would live. A country which I had not even smelled. Few things that I knew were related mainly to Brussels – beer and chocolate, which I do not disregard, but believe me – Belgium is much more than its beers (for which I will write a separate post, fact!)

Antwerp is like a fairy tale decor. I’ve read and seen many things about the city before I arrived, but nothing is what your eyes see it live. Central Station is the most enchanting station I’ve ever seen. I can spend a lot of time just staring at her details. We live in the center in a romantic old house with creaky stairs and shacking floor under the streetcar. Our house is belonging to Oxfam Fondation. Entering the entrance you will meet shelf with old books and a few boxes of the same. The entrance passes the Oxfam bookshop, where so nice that no one is surprised when realize that there are working only volunteers (mainly elderly). Who would not want to spend their free time between books? Three floors up and 55 stairs are the exact distance to my attic room. Now I understand why Carlson lives on the roof. For a company of the opposite building protect us Spiderman mural. I feel absolutely at the right place. Going to work with bikes where you often “wake up” with the smell of chocolate as we have the privilege to work to the chocolate factory. Right, Charlie and the chocolate factory are a few steps away, and one of the first things you learn is where to go and ask for your boxes with free chocolate. Just saying “Hello, we are from the SCI office and looking for a chocolate” and suddenly the magic happens. I decided that every Monday will begin with chocolate of “laboratory”. In spite of all that hate-Mondays-attitude, mine Mondays will be always sweet and happy. Another reason to be a happy volunteer. And for you to be my guests. ;)

My bike – I have already mentioned it. I might not have a pet or dog or a cat, but the bike is definitely my most faithful friend (after Marta, my roommate). I got used to it quicker than I imagined and now I can’t live without my bike. There are trams, but never used them since I ride a bike. Those who know me, know how much I love trams…once I even wanted to make a documentary in the tram with all the specific and colorfull peope…
So, imagine my bike love. Fearless I drive slowly and very quickly. Sometimes I fall, but not fatal. Love at first sight.

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Precisely on bike and with short distances I start to get to know more and more the beauties of Antwerp. I already had its first moment that I wanted to get in a jar, to take it home, and to open it when I’m bored or just need something inspiring for my soul. It was the last week on Thursday, when we were in Ecokot – eco-oriented organization that deals with different things. They have nice colorful garden and from time to time organize some events. Every thursday at 19:00 they cook from the garden in order to raise funds for the organization. They have their own homemade organic beer, which is not bad at all, there is a bike doctor – that’s right! He can fix your bike for free. Ecokot is also a friendly bar with a lot of books, carpets on the ground, zen atmosphere, it is like you are in someone’s huge cozy living room with a small “stage” where musician could play whatever they want. The same evening a musician had played guitar, then others join him, they played djembe drums, trumpet and even (!!!) tambourine. One lady sang Nora Jones, Manu Chao… like is the only thing that you would listen before going to sleep.

Everything was so informal and unpretentious, and I was filled with emotion and farytail-ness. I think that was the moment when I felt the spirit of Antwerp. They said it’s “the country’s capital of cool” and they are not wrong. There are enough cafes and bars that you can go to a different one every day (as Ela said once before I arrive). The rover, MAS museum where you can see all the city lights from the top of it, street musicians, many galleries, fries and waffles on every corner, cycle paths, turkish area, chinese area, maroccan area, jewish area where you feel like in a movie. All the things that one newcomer needs to get used quickly with the life here. Antwerp is definitly a living city.

I have many ideas that I hope to realize during the coming months. Challenge myself with little things that so far I haven’t experienced or seen. Small challenges as spices. And, yes, I am lucky to live with Marta from Catalonia, with who we get along so well as we always knew each other before. She is one of the most sincere people here. We share food, beer, gossip, sometimes room when we have guests. She cooks tortillas, and I cook tarator. She makes risotto and I mishmash. Food connects, but to have someone with whom to share it is even better.

A month, and it is like much more. I will not stop repeating that to be an EVS volunteer is one of the best things that can happen to you. This blog is just to show (you) and tell all the stories all around. And maybe to inspire you.

 Posted by Victoria at 15:14 EVS news, Volunteer activities Comments Off
 

We present you with the story of Theodora Stankova, who was a volunteer with Nukanti Foundation in Colombia thanks to European Voluntary Service (EVS). Her project “Empowering young Colombians through Leadership and Participation” was for a period of one year – from the beginning of February 2013 to the end of January 2014 – and it was financed through the programme Youth in Action of the European Commission.

riding a horse

Riding a horse – or just posing for the picture :)

It all started in 2012 when I went to South America for the first time. My friend and I had only 3 months and a very ambitious agenda starting in Brazil and finishing off in Peru. This time I did not have the chance to visit Colombia, but I fell in love with another South American country, Chile, and for the first time started dreaming about spending more time in South America.

So when I got back home I started thinking of how I could go back to Chile with almost no money. I had been involved with a local NGO, CVS-Bulgaria, for about ten years and I knew that there was a great opportunity for young people to do long-term volunteer projects abroad, not only in Europe but also outside of Europe. This great opportunity was called European Voluntary Service (EVS), part of the Youth in Action Programme funded by the European Commission. I know that EVS was available for young people up to 30 years old, so it was my last chance to do it!! CVS-Bulgaria had never sent volunteers outside of Europe through this program but they decided to support me in this adventure. So now I only had to find a hosting organization in Chile!

happy birthday in Quinchia

A great surprise for my birthday in the headquarters of Nukanti Colombia :)

Well, I had no luck in this… But I managed to find an organization in Colombia and I said “Why not? It’s close enough!”. So I wrote to Nukanti Foundation, who were looking for English teachers in the Coffee Region of Colombia, and told them about the EVS opportunity, through which volunteers could have not only their food and accommodation covered, but also up to 90 % of their travel costs. Based on my experience we decided what kind of activities to include in the project and then I only had a few weeks to write the project, with the support of the EVS coordinator at CVS-Bulgaria.

So to cut a long story short project submitted in June and approved in October. Now when the dream was slowly becoming a reality I had to take care of a lot of details – organize my travel, visa and insurance, with the priceless help of Natalie Jivkova, my EVS coordinator. And so at the end of January 2013 I had my visa and ticket to Pereira, a town in Colombia that I had never heard of before. I would spend the next one year in Quinchia, a small village about 3 hours from the capital of the Risaralda department.

last English class with the children in Quinchia

My kids in Quinchia :) Five of the children from the children’s English group who were the most motivated and always came to the classes

The day when I arrived to Quinchia was my birthday and they had a great surprise for me. Everyone from Nukanti had gathered in the office to welcome me with a small cake and a sign saying (or at least trying to say!) “Happy birthday!” in Bulgarian. This day I met Leonardo, the director of Nukanti Colombia, my supervisor throughout the project, and Fernando, my colleague and mentor. I also got to know Orsolya, a Hungarian volunteer who had arrived about one month before me – I think the most important person for me during my stay in Quinchia. During the four months that we worked together we shared our daily lives, both work and leisure. I must say that it was a great

support to have another foreign volunteer with me in the first few months!! When you go to a place where everything is new – new people, new surroundings, new culture – having someone who shares the same fears and expectations, someone to support you and whom you can support, is always of great help.

With Orsolya, or Sol as we call her, we discovered that we had very similar experience and interests, so most of the time it was easy to work together. As envisaged in my EVS project we worked with youth from Quinchia and the surrounding rural areas, who have very limited access to after-school activities. We gave English classes and workshops on topics such as effective communication, team work, conflict resolution, public speaking, project management, etc. We also organized several cultural events in cooperation with the local House of Culture (Casa de la Cultura) in Quinchia. Another main activity was visiting kids and women in Naranjal, one of the nearby villages, and organizing activities with them. We also participated in the conmemoration event for March 8, International Women’s Day, and we organized a celebration of May 9, Europe Day – this was an interactive event with more than 50 participants!

English classes in Quinchia

One of the English groups in Quinchia

At the end of the first six months my supervisor and I had a meeting to discuss the project, the achievements and the problems, and we decided that it may be good for me and for Nukanti if I could go to a different place in Colombia and see if I could implement similar activities there with a different target group. Thanks to my previous experience in NGO work and work with youth and children I was pretty independent in my project activities, and I also felt that I needed a change of the environment. This is why I was offered to work with Nukanti in Cali, Colombia’s third largest city, which struggles with high rates of delinquency due to low education levels, high unemployment rates and marginalization of large, mainly black, populations.

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The youngsters from Santa Elena, a small village an hour away from Quinchia by jeep, really impressed us with their intelligence and willingness to learn – two qualities that are not very common for the local teenagers

So at the beginning of August I had to say goodbye to my friends in Quinchia and start a whole new adventure in Cali. Over there I would be more independent in my work and would work in close cooperation with Niousha Roshani, the Executive Director of Nukanti International. The first weeks in Cali I was together with Niousha, who presented me to different existing and potential new partners, with which I could work in the next few months. This time spent with my new supervisor was extremely useful in order for me to get to know Nukanti International better and gain useful knowledge about the specifics of the work with marginalized youth in urban areas in Colombia.

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A workshop to make martenitzas with a local indigenous community :)

Already in the first few weeks I made important contacts with two NGOs with which I would be working until the end of my project. One of them was Fundacion Paz y Bien with their project Casas Francisco Esperanza, a network of youth centers that operate in the Aguablanca district, one of the most dangerous and marginalized zones of Cali. These centers aim to provide meaningful free-time activities to youth at risk and most importantly support in dealing with the difficult situations they face on a daily basis and guidance in planning their future. My role would be to give English classes to the young people as well as organize other activities such as movie projections, discussions, art and sport activities. I must say that this task was sometimes challenging because of the specifics of the target group – these youth usually have difficulties to focus on one activity for a longer period of time, some of them have learning and behavioural problems, all of them struggle with aggression, violence and family problems on a daily basis. However, at the end of the project I really felt that I connected to the young people and could see a lot of potential in them. Unfortunately, Casa 6, which was the center where I was working, was closed at the beginning of 2014 due to insufficient funding.

One of the English groups in Cali - youth from House 6 in the Aguablanca zone, with primarily black population and very high rates of extreme poverty, unemployment and delinquency

One of the English groups in Cali – youth from House 6 in the Aguablanca zone, with primarily black population and very high rates of extreme poverty, unemployment and delinquency

The other important partner that I found in Cali was ACCR La Red (Asociacion Centro Cultural La Red), which functions as a community and youth center in Siloe, another problematic area of Cali. Over there I was also giving English classes and in cooperation with a local feminist organization, La Ruta Pacifica de las Mujeres, we organized weekly workshops on gender issues and women’s empowerment. This experience was also very interesting, although it is extremely difficult to talk about gender equality and women’s rights in Colombia in general, and even more difficult in the marginalized urban areas. This is due to the fact that Colombian society is highly patriarchal, and even women tend to objectify themselves and thus give way to the existing machismo. However, I believe that every experience is a valuable lesson to be learned and I now feel that I will be better prepared to organize gender-oriented activities with youth in these areas.

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The family of one of the girls from Casa 6. It is the grandmother that takes care of her and her sisters

On September 21, World Peace Day, Nukanti and ACCR La Red took part in the international campaign Peace One Day with a full-day event that included a football game, a workshop to make pinwheels for peace, a zumba class and a concert with presentation of different youth groups from Siloe and Cali’s biggest hip-hop band, Zona Marginal.

Parallel I was working under the supervision of Nukanti?s Executive Director on various administrative tasks for Nukanti International, including preparing and submitting project proposals for Colombia, coordinating team meetings, contacting new partners, etc. At the end of my EVS project I was also responsible for launching Nukanti’s internal mentorship program for children in a vulnerable situation and for recruiting new volunteers to complement the team once I would be gone.

And before I could fully realize it a whole year had gone by, soon it was my birthday again and I had made a second home in Colombia without even wanting it… It was a year full of experiences, sometimes good and sometimes not as good, but always interesting and carrying another lesson to be learned. By the end I was already feeling homesick and wanted to go back home at least for a while, but I knew that I had created a connection for life with this tropical country and that I would always want to go back... at least to visit my friends :) I had learned that you can never know a country profoundly without sharing the life of its people and opening your heart to their daily joys and pains. And that once you do it, you can never break this invisible thread between you and this place.

 

EU_flag_yia_EN-01This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This publication 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.

 Posted by Mira at 22:16 EVS news Comments Off