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European Youth Portal

Information and opportunities for young people across Europe.


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Agape 4 Life - Solas Project


EVS Accreditation Details
EVS accreditation type
organisation_acctype: 
Receiving
Coordinating
EVS accreditation expiry date 01/10/2014
Location Dublin 8, Ireland
Organisation topics
organisation_theme: 
Youth leisure
Education through sport and outdoor activities
Inclusion topics
organisation_inclusion: 
Social difficulties
Economic difficulties
Geographical difficulties

EVS accreditation number

2011-IE-21

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

Solas Project is based in an area of central Dublin known as “The Liberties”. It is an area of the city with quite a wealth of history. Old redbrick terraced houses are a feature of the Liberties, Thomas Street is the main thoroughfare and centre of activity, where shops and pubs line the street. Other busy streets in the Liberties are Meath Street and Francis Street, Francis Street in particular has developed over the years in to Dublin’s main antiques quarter.

This pat of Dublin is very well known by locals and tourists alike, as it is home to a number of key attractions, from the Guinness Store House, to Christ Church and St Patrick’s Cathedrals. Two popular Dublin venues are also located in the Liberties, the Tivoli Theatre on Meath Street and Vicar St located on Thomas Street.

The Liberties has been home to both the prosperous and the poverty stricken over the years, and today it has something of a mixed social standing. Socially it has a rich history of settlement with a strong, indigenous community as well as more recent settlers a diverse mix of students, immigrants and young professionals. There is much need within the area, with many families struggling both financially and socially, and yet there is a positive community spirit that seems to prevail. Volunteer’s will experience life in the harsh reality of inner city Dublin, and will need to be quite “street-wise.”

Transport is regular and plentiful, and volunteers will find it easy to get around the city at all times of day or night.



As a host project Agape Adventures – Solas Project can offer a broad range of experiences to volunteers. The work in which the individual will be involved will enable them to grow personally in regards to their confidence, their work experience, personal self-esteem, and cultural awareness. The volunteer will work alongside a range of people from different social groups as well as a variety of cultural groups. They will learn to interact with all ages, and develop skills in communication, leadership and planning.

The volunteer’s role will focus on two of the key areas of work:

Solas Education: Volunteers will assist with the After School Programme – working as part of a team of staff and volunteers in running a dynamic after-school programme for primary school students (Aged 8-12). Tasks will include preparing and serving meals and snacks, assisting children with their homework, preparing and running various activities (including sports, arts/crafts, baking, games etc.), assisting in organising trips and outings.
Volunteers will also help with the Secondary School Support Programme – providing one-to-one academic and personal support (in a setting with several other volunteers and young people) to secondary-school students (Aged 12-16), working on the subjects they may be struggling with, helping them to develop organisational skills etc.

Solas Sport: Volunteers will assist within the Primary School Programme - preparing and implementing a tag rugby programme in eight local primary schools to include coaching the basics of rugby and teaching the “life lesson” for each session – preparing blitz at end of programme for each participating school. It does not matter if volunteers do not know much about rugby, the level of instruction is very low and they will be taught all the basics by the staff team.

In addition to these two areas there will be scope to get involved in the other aspects of the project's work should applicants wish. This will happen in discussion with the staff team once they have seen the volunteer in action in the key areas of project life.

The role of the volunteer during their time with Agape Adventures – Solas Project, will be to support the team in delivering the above mentioned programme of sports activities during the school terms, and assist with the planning, preparation & delivery of holiday camps during school holidays. They will also assist with the overall aim of the organisation to develop positive relationships with the children and local communities, providing the kids with a positive role model for them to look up to and be inspired by.

There would be plenty of scope for the volunteer to develop their own project within their work at Solas Project, and depending on their level of skill, to deliver their own team event or introduce a new activity within the after school programme. The staff team are very open and encouraging of those who join them, and the volunteer will be given all the support they need to help develop any ideas they have. If the volunteer has computer skills there may also be opportunity to assist the project in developing / updating their website and publicity.



We are looking for confident young people who have a passion to see children develop their full potential, and to encourage positive self-esteem and team spirit.
Given the nature of the work we are ideally looking for those with experience / skills in children’s / youth work and with sporting interests.
Agape Adventures works with a range of partner sending organisations, and is open to receiving applications from all interested volunteers. We will review applications on an equal basis, and as with all our recruitment methods – both in and out of EVS – we adhere to good practice standards and Equal Opoprtunities.
Solas Project has a Christian ethos, and whilst we do not require volunteers to have a Christian faith in order to apply, we do ask that they are sympathetic & accepting towards the ethos and founding principles of the organisation.
Volunteers must be aged 18 or over.



Due to the nature and scope of the work we would ideally like to host two volunteers.


Within all of our projects we work to high standards of good practice, and for each Irish project we personally check any accommodation provided for the volunteer to ensure that it meets our standards of comfort and safety.
We ensure that volunteers are not left to work alone in our projects, and at all times will have an experienced member of staff working alongside them. They will be trained in all practical aspects of their work, and provided with support for any areas where they may not feel completely confident.
The support provided for the volunteer will be split into different roles so that the volunteer is sure of positive and clear support at all levels:
A line manager is provided for support to the volunteer in project, they will guide the volunteer in their daily acitivities and ensure that all relevant training is provided in order for the volunteer to take on their tasks each week. The line manager will meet with the volunteer each day. They will work with the volunteer to ensure that they are getting as much experience as possible, and to encourage the volunteer to develop their personal skills base.
The mentor will have scheduled meetings with the volunteer at least once a month to discuss their personal development, their professional, emotional, and pastoral needs. The mentor will also be available for support as and when the volunteer requires – via e-mail, phone and face to face contact. The mentor will work closely with the volunteer to develop their Youthpass, & to ensure that the volunteer is developing their personal skills in intercultural experience, language development and organisation / time management etc.
In addition to the line manager and mentor, we also provide a regional support worker who is available for the volunteer to discuss their issues with someone outside of the organisation. The regional support worker enables the volunteer to talk openly about their feelings / frustrations and concerns without worrying they will offend anyone in project. They provide an additional source of support that some volunteers find useful and other volunteers do not use at all.
Whilst it is not possible to 100% avoid crises situations, we do work hard to ensure that clear communication exists, and policies are followed in protecting both volunteers and staff alike during situations of crises. All projects already meet their own sector’s standards of good practice in safety and risk-assessment, and are properly insured.
As part of our recruitment strategy we do not host volunteers under the age of 18.



Motivation and EVS experience

Agape Adventures is an Irish based organisation, which exists to provide volunteering opportunities for young people throughout Europe and worldwide, encouraging the concept of global citizenship. We seek to encourage the development of shared experiences, new friendships and increased understanding between communities through their young people.
EVS enables us to offer positive opportunities to young people who might otherwise be unable to participate in our overseas projects. We are keen to ensure that every young person can access quality-volunteering experiences regardless of their social or economical background.
We have worked extensively in the EVS programme over a period of ten years in the UK as part of a large coordinating organisation (TFG). Key staff members sat on the EVS task Group at the British Council for a number of years, and worked closely with those in charge of the Youth in Action Programme during their time in the UK.
Having seen first-hand the benefits which the programme brings both to the young people and the communities in which they serve, and also to which they belong, we are keen to establish and encourage similar opportunities for young people & local communities in Ireland.
The benefit to Solas Project in hosting EVS volunteers is that they will bring an intercultural element to their work, linking in particularly with families in the community who have moved into the area from overseas. EVS volunteers bring with them fresh enthusiasm, insight and new ideas which help to keep the work of the project fresh and inspiring.
We already have established partnerships with well respected hosting / sending organisations through Europe and will endeavour to widen this partnership base over the coming months.
We are also already accredited as a sending organisation for EVS.

Description of the organisation

Agape Adventures provide quality volunteering opportunities for people throughout the world, and have a vast range of experience in the recruitment, support and training of volunteers. We have a range of projects both in Ireland & overseas, and ensure at all times that our volunteers and projects alike are supported effectively. We are passionate about the process of volunteering and the impact that it has on the individual and on local communities, and we are keen to encourage & promote opportunities for people of all social / cultural backgrounds to experience the benefits of volunteering.
Solas Project is one of our key projects in Ireland, and their vision is to see local communities rejuvenated through education and sport by equipping and building up young people to overcome all limitations imposed on them by social and educational disadvantage through the adventure of discovering their abilities and self-worth.
The aim of the project is youth development with a specific focus on education & sport. The project specifically targets children at risk of early school leaving due to social and educational disadvantage, and aims to provide purposeful activity in a caring and secure home-like environment in an attempt to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the children.
The After-School Programme for primary-school children runs currently with 17 children, but will expand to 24 children in September 2011. Each day the team and the children have a nutritious meal together, then the focus turns to encouraging the children to complete their homework, and organising fun activities which are designed to develop the children’s abilities, self-confidence and social skills. They also organise regular trips and outings for the children and their families. The children are referred by their schools, and usually stay in the programme for four years, which gives the team opportunity to have a significant impact in their lives.
Once children become too old for the out of school programme they can move on to the Secondary School Support Programme. This part of the project will give one-to-one academic and personal support to older children as they make the transition to secondary school. This will take the form of weekly sessions where specific academic and personal skills will be worked on.
Solas Project also run a Primary School Sports Programme, using rugby as a source of engagement with the kids. Here the coaches are also mentors who help to create and sustain environments that will test and build the physical, emotional and spiritual capacities of children at risk of involvement in crime and/or educational disadvantage.
The Primary School sports Programme also uses rugby as an educational physical activity to provide an opportunity for participants to develop core values such as cooperation, teamwork, respect and discipline in a fun, dynamic and team environment. To this end they see each child develop in the areas of health, fitness, nutrition and education. All participants understand the importance of regular exercise and a healthy diet. They also develop the necessary tools to engage with their peers in a way that will equip them to contribute towards their communities as they get older.
Another area of development currently underway is the Probation and Prison Programme which again will use rugby as a vehicle of engagement and will have mandatory academic enrichment activities. The programme will act as a valuable, positive alternative to youth who need a way to appropriately extract themselves from the patterns of repeat offending. Participants will also develop self-confidence, self-awareness and leadership.

Contact details
Organisation name Agape 4 Life - Solas Project
Street St. Catherines Church, Thomas Street
Postal code .
Town/city Dublin 8
Country Ireland
Email address info@agapeadventures.ie
Website www.agapeadventures.ie
Telephone number 00353539367736
Fax number .

Last update: 11/07/2014