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AFS Mezikulturni programy, o.s.


EVS Accreditation Details
EVS accreditation type
organisation_acctype: 
Sending
Receiving
Coordinating
EVS accreditation expiry date 18/10/2014
Location Prague 2, Czech Republic
Organisation topics
organisation_theme: 
Youth leisure
Other
Inclusion topics
organisation_inclusion: 
Educational difficulties
Cultural differences
Economic difficulties
Geographical difficulties

EVS accreditation number

2011-CZ-40

For more information about volunteering and European Voluntary Service in particular, visit the Voluntary Activities section of this website.

Please note, information about organisations and projects is only available in English.
Project Environment

Project environment:

The EVS volunteer will work in the AFS office, which is situated near the centre of Prague. However, the work will also include travelling around the Czech Republic, as we want the volunteer to help our national volunteer groups (we have 7 of them all around the Czech Republic). He/she would also get to know Prague well as he/she would help local Prague volunteers in different activities in Prague.
Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is definitely a very good place where one can spend his/her EVS time as it offers many things to do in free time. Prague is not only a very cultural city where there is a possibility to go to film / documentary / music / dance festival every month but there are also many sport activities including different after-work sport clubs (yoga, footbal, voleyball, etc.), parks for jogging, halls for ice skating or swimming pools. More information about Prague can be found here - http://prague-tourist.com/index.php, http://www.myczechrepublic.com/prague/, http://goout.cz/cultural-overview/.
During some travelling around and helping out our local groups the volunteer will have time to get to know many beautiful parts of the Czech Republic.
The volunteer will have an option to choose his/her type of accommodation – host family or shared flat.
Staying in a host family in Prague is a good way how to get to know the Czech culture and style of living. Volunteer will share family’s daily life and become a family member, not a guest.
Staying in a shared flat, volunteer will live with young people (not necessarily Czechs) and s/he will be responsible for buying the food for himself / herself.
In both situations, he / she will be receiving regular income for his boarding.
There are 7 staff members in AFS office who are all young and enthusiastic about working together with an EVS volunteer (one at a time). The working language in the office will be English as it is the second working language in the office (the first is Czech).





Proposed activities for EVS volunteers:

The aim of this project or the reasons why our organization wants to host EVS volunteer is to offer a young person from another culture possibility to spend limited amount of time in the Czech Republic, get to know the NGO environment we work in, learn about intercultural learning - our main topic, meet new people, learn about responsibility, work in team but also individually, become more independent and learn about him/herself. On the other hand, we hope to host a young person from abroad who can bring in our organization new impulses, new point of view from outside, new culture, opinions, information.

1)Support AFS volunteers
EVS volunteer will support all volunteers groups in AFS CZE, will take a part of strategic planning of volunteer groups (monthly meeetings). Will join the national pool of trainers which provide all trainings for AFS volunteers in CZE, will help with logistic issue of these trainings ( e.g. trainings on intercultural learning, strategic planning, leaderships)
Volunteer will help with the activities for hosted students – planning, preparing and of course taking part as an organiser at those activities and camps
a. local activities – we welcome any ideas which the volunteer will come with – sports, cultural events, cultural evenings which can promote AFS / EVS
b. national orientation culture camps – obligatory for the hosted students and also for students who will go on AFS program – help with planning, logistic, organizing

2)Promoting Intercultural dialogue and learning
EVS volunteer will be asked to prepare some PR activities for promoting EVS and AFS, intercultural learning and understanding. Volunteer can realize his own project which would support the ideas of EVS and AFS. (exhibitions, workshops, performace etc.) S/he will try to involve the local inhabitans to volunteering throught these activities. Volunteer will prepare workshops and guides of this topic to help the volunteers to develope local PR activities and will travel around the Czech republic to local public events for youth – festivals, castles etc.)

3)Support in the office
EVS volunteer will join Strategic planning / staff meeting every Thursday (10 – 12) and will spend some time in the AFS office – helping out the staff members (administration, visas, databases, searching in the internet, …)

4)Duration of the project and time schedule
The duration of the EVS will be up to 12 months. The approximate working hours would be up to 35 hours per week, 2 days of the week off. It will not always be Saturday and Sunday as many our activities take place during weekends (seminars, camps for students etc.). There will be two days off every month.

Example of the activities during the week:
Monday:
Morning – office – Meeting the responsible staff member, discussing the program of the coming week, evaluation of the last week, space for suggestions, ideas. Some administration, emails
Afternoon – office – Preparation for the upcoming event/activity (e.g. Intercultural Dialog Day) – sending invitations, communication with responsible volunteers, with guests
Tuesday:
Morning – outside of the office – Together with AFS volunteers - Workshop on high school on ICL, presentation of the ideas of EVS, of life as EVS volunteer in the Czech Republic, discussion with the students/teachers
Afternoon – office/outside - Last preparations for the upcoming event (together with responsible volunteers/staff members)
Wed nesday: Whole day - EVENT – Support, taking part in seminar/workshop
Thursday:
Morning - office – Evaluation of the event (writing article, comments on necessary improvement, comments on successful parts)
Afternoon – Meeting with mentor, language course
Friday:
Morning – Time for own projects, activities (e.g. writing the blog about EVS, preparation of own workshop)
Afternoon - free

Classes of Czech language will be provided in the local language school.

As our organization hold a lot of different trainings, volunteer will have a chance to participate in those which will be in English or later in Czech and learn more about different topics such as leadership competencies, intercultural learning, basic PR methods, first aid kit, conflict management, etc. The volunteer will be introduced to our AFS volunteers in Prague and other parts of the Czech Republic and will have a chance to cooperate with them on various of activities. These meetings are ideal opportunity for exchanging information about each’s culture and world view in non-formal way.

The volunteer will have a project leader who is a full time employee in our organization. The project leader will be responsible for logistics and technical part of the EVS. Also, the leader will have regular meetings with the volunteer about the work tasks and overall satisfaction with EVS and our organization. There will be also a mentor assigned to the volunteer who would represent the culture and social support to volunteer.

Volunteer can always turn to the leader or mentor for help and both of them would provide the volunteer with support during his/her stay, be it language courses, visa issue, accomodation, cultural differences, etc.





Volunteer profiles and recruitment process:

Main criteria is strong motivation to take part in acitivities of our organisation and to share the missions and visions of AFS (respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms without distinction as to race, sex, language, religion or social status). As the work is based on meeting different people we would appreciate a person with good communication skills, open minded, enthusiastic with strong affilation to people and willingness to help them. It is also important that the volunteer has a fluent English as he/she needs to communicate in this language with many people every day. Basic knowledge of Czech is welcome but not required.

The EVS position in AFS will be available in EVS database. The recruitment will be open and transparent. Anyone interested in position within our organization is welcome to apply.

The sending organization should work in the similar field as AFS does – it helps to understand each other reality better and there might be a chance for networking during the EVS or after. The main areas for us are intercultural learning, work with youth and world piece mission.





Number of volunteers hosted:

1.





Risk prevention, protection and safety:

The volunteer will be provided by our employees and his/her mentor with information on basic orientation in the Czech republic (transport, shops, prices, doctors, etc.). He/she will be in daily contact with Czech people who will give him/her ideas about how to behave in Czech environment and how to prevent himself/herself from any problems caused by misunderstanding of Czech culture.

At the beginning, the volunteer will have our assistance when opening a bank account in CZE, in contact with Immigration authorities, we offer him/her help with finding the suitable language courses, buying a SIM card, etc.

It is very important that both - the volunteer but also the organization - are satisfied with the conditions and the project. Therefore, to avoid misunderstandings or crisis, we plan to have regular meetings with the volunteer (once a week or once in two weeks) to have feedback from both sides and chance to discuss where is the project heading. In case of deep crisis, we can get in touch with the sending organization and seek help from someone from the same culture. Our organization does not have a psychologist who can assist the volunteer if necessary but there is psychologist help in our National Agency in any case.

On working environment side – volunteer will have his/her own desk in our office, will be provided with safety instructions (BOZP) and will receive emergency phone number which works 24/7 for our host students, sending and hosting families and also EVS volunteer.

Motivation and EVS experience

AFS promotes intectultural learning through its standard exchange programs providing learning opportunities for high school students. We strongly believe that intercultural learning through EVS experience is highly beneficial for all and correspond with the core values of our organisation, i.e. AFS enables people to act as responsible global citizens working for peace and understanding in a diverse world. It acknowledges that peace is a dynamic concept threatened by injustice, inequity and intolerance.

AFS understands EVS sending as a great opportunity for young people to experience different culture, learn the language, participate in local activities and start to feel as a global citizen. As AFS does exchange programs focused mainly on teenagers, EVS is a good way how to continue the long life learning process of intercultural learning. However, it is also a chance for those who could not afford or missed the chance to go abroad when they were younger. We feel that being an EVS sending organization completes our services to customers and offer them full service.

On the other hand, hosting an EVS volunteer in our organization, allows us (staff and volunteers) to meet new young people and help them and support them in their incultural learning, in becoming oriented, more tolerant and sensitive towards other cultures. The profit we get as a hosting organization is great as well. We expect the hosted volunteer to show us his/her own culture, methods of work, new ideas brought from outside, new points of view on our work but also our everyday life.

We are open to act as a Coordinating organisation as well and apply for a grant on behalf of more organisations. We are confident in giving the administrative support to other organisations too.

We have started to send on EVS in 2001 and so far we have sent several volunteers abroad. Since 2008 we have been hosting organization as well and we have hosted every year a volunteer so far.

Description of the organisation

AFS is an international, voluntary, non-governmental, non-profit organization that provides intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world.
Our two core programs involve sending high school students abroad and hosting students from all over the world in the Czech Republic. All students attend a high school and study in hosting country language. All students live in host families who host students without financial support. The programs run usually on trimestr, semestr or school year time.
AFS is volunteer based organisation, after the Red Cross one of the biggest ones. Our volunteer are the ambassadors of the intecultural learning which they mostly gained by participating in AFS exchange programs. Volunteers actively participate in day-to-day AFS life as well a in strategic plan on local, national or international level.
AFS Mezikulturni programy in the Czech Republic has got about 100 active members / volunteers / whose essential contribution to AFS life make the organisation grow. Our volunteers participate in implementation of programs activities (culture camps, support, help with integration to Czech culture, arranging the activities etc.), promoting intecultural learning at schools or supporting the staff with any help needed. Together with staff (6 -7 people) they promote AFS mission and its core values.

Our organisation is a member of European umbrella organisation EFIL (European Federation for Intercultural Learning) and Ceska rada deti a mladeze, CRDM (Czech Council of children and youth).

Contact details
Organisation name AFS Mezikulturni programy, o.s.
Street Jana Masaryka 44
Postal code 120 00
Town/city Prague 2
Country Czech Republic
Email address katerina.kahanova@afs.org
Website www.afs.cz
Telephone number +420 222 317 138
Fax number +420 222 520 944

Last update: 23/01/2012