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European Youth Portal

Information and opportunities for young people across Europe.


"East-West Mutual Understanding" Social-Cultural Association

EVS Accreditation Details
EVS accreditation type
EVS accreditation expiry date 20/09/2015
Location Olawa, Poland
Organisation topics
Art and culture
Media and communication/Youth information
Inclusion topics
Social difficulties
Economic difficulties
Geographical difficulties

EVS accreditation number


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

A. Project environment:

Our organization focuses on three main centres, in which we conduct our activites with differentiated groups in Lower Silesia: the city Wroclaw (630.000 inhabitants), second the town Olawa (32.000 inhabitants) and third the village Gac (450 inhabitants). Also we are active in other towns and rural areas of Wroclaw region, including Olawa district and other neigboring districts.
EVS volunteers will live in Wroclaw or Olawa. In these places volunteers will also work. Sometimes some tasks of volunteers are to be placed in other towns and rural areas of Lower Silesia. Volunteers will be accommodated in Wroclaw or Olawa in rented flats or student houses/dormitories.
The Lower Silesia is a region located in south-west part of Poland. It borders directly with Czech Republic and Germany. The peculiar history and location of the region play an important role in shaping its cultural circumstances. Throughout centuries the region has been always an original juncture and crossroads of numerous nationalities.
Wroclaw is one of the largest Polish cities and belongs to the group of economic leader cities. The main advantage of Wroclaw is its good communication with other cities in Poland and Europe. There is the international airport nearby. The city has got exclusively interesting history being populated in the past by different nations e.g. Czechs, Germans, Poles and Jews.
What makes Wroclaw even more attractive is its one of the highest in Poland number of students, who come to study at local academies and universities. During the work volunteers will enjoy the contact especially with students living and studying in Wroclaw.
Olawa is well-infrastructured town, distanced 26 km from Wroclaw, connected with the last one by a lot of trains and buses. The town Olawa and Olawa district are relatively economically well-developed. Only over the last ten years significant number of big enterprises have been founded with economic-privileged zones. There is a lot of young active citizens of Olawa.
In EVS projects realized in Wroclaw and Olawa as well we predict significant and active participation of the local population representing local societies.

B. Proposed activities for EVS volunteers:

There are many activities taken by our staff, members and volunteers in our offices and in other places in Wroclaw region. So there is a wide range of activities that could be proposed to a volunteer. We will show what the non-governmental organization is and how it work in Poland.

The tasks proposed to offer a volunteer:
- planning and organizing events (seminars, debates, trainings, conferences, concerts, festivals etc.);
- co-operation in organizing different actions and projects;
- participating in promotion of volunteership, creating ideas;
- preparing and organizing interactive cultural-educational presentations about culture of volunteer’s origin country, targeted at the local society including the youth and aged population (for example: national and folk songs, multimedia presentation, poem-reading, cabaret show, short shows with the use of national motives, knowledge competition, folk dance show etc.);
- organizing different presentations (especially in the field of culture) for local people in schools, culture centres, nursing homes, welfare homes, common rooms, youth clubs and also in local cultural events (e.g. festivals, outdoor events, "Town Days" etc.);

- creating promotional materials, multimedia, stands, talking with young people about being volunteer etc;
- to give trainings to local volunteers, helping them to work with different people, showing how important it is to give them volunteer support (e.g. foreign languages, different trainings for seniors or kids etc.);
- organizing discussions about important values and issues (civil society, freedom of speech, democracy, youth participation, intercultural activities, self-governance etc.) for local youth organizations, local activists, journalists, local authorities, self-government representatives;
- organizing inter-generational events in the local society;
- editing and publishing notes, remarks, articles, essays and opinions in local or regional media;
- participating in meetings of organization’s staff, members and volunteers, proposing new ideas and conceptions, expressing views and opinions about our activities, suppor in making decisions about organizational issues;
- editing press releases and contact with media (press, TV, radio, Internet portals);
- editing and actualizing project blog and social portals’ profiles of the project;
- help with actualizing a website;
- leading "wall newspapers" about the project in the show-cases located in local area;
- helping with co-ordination of local volunteers, trying to find best local volunteer for offered job;
- spreading results of volunteer’s work (visibility and promotion of the EVS project in the local area and whole Poland and Europe as well);
- supporting organization in projects and everyday work.

Volunteers can learn/improve skills:
- team working;
- time management;
- creativity and self-reliance;
- public speaking;
- learning and understanding of Polish culture and mentality;
- language and communication abilities;
- self-confidence in unexpected or new situations;
- organizational skills (organizing different events);
- inter-generational communication skills;
- tolerance and respect for other cultures and the understanding of diversity;
- practical knowledge about activities of non-governmental organizations and participation in their projects;
- organizing and delivering trainings;
- editing of texts (e.g. press releases, essays);
- contact with media (press, TV, radio, Internet portals);
- promotion, creating image of organisation;
- understanding of role of volunteers in nowadays and future Europe;
- implementation of projects financed by different institutions.

The volunteers will conduct the work for the benefit of local society, among which they will live in Lower Silesia. The tasks are to be fitted to profiles of volunteers and will reflect their individual capabilities, needs and expectations tied with their learning process. Each of volunteers receives respectively individual support from the side of coordinator, mentor, and other people involved in the project possessing respective competencies. The representatives of the local society – residents of Wroclaw, Olawa and rural areas are expected to be the direct source of assistance and support for volunteers. Regular working meetings with coordinator and mentor are to take place.

C. Volunteer profiles and recruitment process:

The volunteer should have the motivation to serve as a volunteer, the ability to work as part of a team, be sociable and be able to establish personal contacts, to be creative. Also the volunteer has to be willing to learn and to gain new experiences.
We expect that the candidate will present in an application his personality and his experience he had got earlier doing social work. Moreover, we ask the candidate to prepare a motivation letter and his expectations in regards to the voluntary service at our organisation. Those information will be decisive during the selection of our volunteer.

D. Number of volunteers hosted: 15

E. Risk prevention, protection and safety:

The volunteer will discuss currently with his co-ordinator or mentor every important issue which concern essential and practical points of his EVS project. Moreover the volunteer will participate in Team's meetings since the beginning. It will be an opportunity to debate volunteer’s problems and questions concerned with his tasks.
The Mentor will be responsible for taking charge of the volunteer during his leisure time and he will help the volunteer with practical issues. He will also acquaint the volunteer with abilities how he can spend his leisure time in Lower Silesia giving a chance to rest. We plan that the volunteer will live in a flat together with other volunteers or in the student dormitory. In case of problems he can count on his mentor’s help.
Regular meeting and intensive support by the mentor as well as professional help of the co-ordinator might prevent crisis or solve problems. Those people will support the volunteer in case of conflicts, misunderstandings and doubts.

Motivation and EVS experience

We desire to develop the feeling of solidarity, the promotion of civil activity and mutual understanding among youth in Europe and in the world. A lot of cultural, educational and youth activities are being permanently held by our organization, especially in the region of Lower Silesia. Thereupon we have huge possibilities to organize valuable voluntary service projects for young volunteers from other countries.
The stay of foreign young volunteers at our place will undoubtedly enrich our region and local community with new, interesting intercultural experiences and skills and will bring lots of benefit to the local society, which we work for. We have noticed that such a face to face contact with various cultures is a priceless experience for local society educating them and widening their horizons as well. EVS projects in our local community will be a very valuable experience for young people and older people, as well as different age groups in our region.
Young volunteers will also help greatly in our organization. We need daily opportunities to share experiences with young people representing other nations, other countries, other cultures. We need to exchange experiences, opinions, thoughts, suggestions. Working with foreign volunteers will allow us to gain a lot of new experiences, as well as increase the horizons of our actions.
We believe that stay of EVS volunteers in our organization will also be a very good experience for them. This stay will allow them to learn new skills, improve their personal capabilities, get to know Polish culture, gain new experiences. We want that stay in our organization will be a great time for volunteers, during which they will learn a lot.
Our organization in recent years organized short-term workcamps for volunteers abroad financed in frames of different programs. Also in the past a lot of our staff members was EVS volunteers abroad.

Description of the organisation

The East-West Mutual Understanding Association is the non-governmental, non-profit organization, based in the region of Lower Silesia, Poland.
The main aim of our organization is the construction of mutual understanding, dialogue and solidarity among nations and the civil society in Poland and all round the world. We promote active civil and pro-social attitudes in Poland, Europe and several others regions of the globe bearing the youth in our minds. We act to promote the development and the activity of local societies. We support and promote the idea of volunteer service, the development of democracy and the self-governance. We are strongly devoted to idea of preservation of the cultural heritage, sustaining national and regional traditions, and safeguarding memory of the past. Moreover we deal with promotion of "little fatherlands" and regional culture. We hold strong contacts with national and ethnical minorities residing in Poland, and as Polish people living abroad too. We enable the establishment of informal relations between young people through organizing meetings of citizens from different states. In this way we aim at, what has been already stated, the construction of international understanding, dialogue and solidarity. Friendly relations between people we shape basing on the respect on peculiarity and identity of nations.
We undertake international cooperation on educational, youth, culture and science fields. We believe strongly in the cooperation with numerous NGOs, educational and academic centres, cultural institutions and local governments in Poland and abroad. Our organization keeps strong ties with partner organizations in Eastern Europe, EU countries, Asia and Africa. Mainly we cooperate with Eastern and Central Europe and Asia (especially: Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Kazakhstan etc.).
The target group of our activities is mainly the youth (in the age 16-30), nonetheless we do not exclude projects for children, younger adolescents, adults and aged people.
We organize educational and cultural projects for the youth at European and global scope. The majority of them is based on informal education. To our projects belong among others: intercultural social events (e.g. "The Days of Youth of Central and Eastern Europe"), cultural events in our region, youth exchanges in Poland and abroad, study visits in Poland for young leaders from other countries, youth volunteer service in Poland and abroad (including youth workcamps), training courses, conferences, seminars, workshops, debates in local societies for socially active youth and representatives of NGOs.
Our staff consists of 18 persons constantly involved in the current activities of the organization. Additionally, we cooperate with the group of 20 local volunteers, who assist us with some projects and activities.

Contact details
Organisation name "East-West Mutual Understanding" Social-Cultural Association
Street Kamienna 4/15
Postal code 55-200
Town/city Olawa
Country Poland
Email address pwz@pwz.org.pl
Website www.pwz.org.pl
Telephone number +48 603 176 186
Fax number

Last update: 18/10/2012