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From 2014 the new Erasmus program includes all programs + Education, Training, Youth and Sport of the European Union. One of the actions within the field of the Youth is the European Voluntary Service (EVS).
EVS offers the opportunity for young people across Europe to demonstrate their solidarity in another country, supporting from the beginning, the participation of young people with fewer opportunities; young people who for various reasons have a more complicated access to this type of experience.
Although the final decision about send or not young people with fewer opportunities is decided by the sending and the hosting organizations. The European Union offers this instrument for the European mobility but there must be motivation, preparation, professionalism and interest in all the organizations.
The support offered by the European Voluntary Service program is very wide: from better preparation and support before starting the project to an accompaniment of an educator for the early days or even for the whole project period.
For young people with fewer opportunities, the project duration is established by the organizations, both sending and receiving, as it must take into account the profile and status of the young volunteer. For young people who have made a short period is possible to repeat again participating in another EVS.
Inter Europa −Eurodesk local office in La Rioja−, an officially recognized sending organization, offers each year the opportunity to live this experience to an important number of young people. With an inclusive philosophy since we start in 2003, we have worked hard for young people with intellectual disabilities can also experience this enriching experience.
For three years now we have been cooperating with an Italian environmental association, Legambiente, in the south of Italy.
In this environmental project, one of the main activities is the cleanliness of the coastal area, the cleanliness of an area with archaeological rests of a great value and the promotion of environmental awareness and respect on the part of the tourists that visit those areas.
The EVS project, which last two weeks, combines three major activities:
- the volunteering cleaning activity above mentioned;
-the daily coexistence with the group of Italian volunteers, not only in the cleaning tasks, but also in the activities of logistical organisation, since the volunteers with intellectual disability cooperate also in the cooking for the whole group of volunteers
- cultural visits to the surroundings, where they visit museums, mozzarella cheese production farms, etc.
You can you see how well and how much they learn in this video. Undoubtedly, the experience is always worthwhile!
Written by Eurodesk Qualified Multiplier, La Rioja