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"Araks Centre" Charity NGO


EVS-ACCREDITATIE
Type EVS-accreditatie
organisation_acctype: 
Receiving
Vervaldatum EVS-accreditatie 28/01/2016
Locatie Gyumri, Armenia
Werkterrein
organisation_theme: 
European awareness
Intergenerational activities
Integratiethema´s

EVS-accreditatienummer

2013-PL-35

Ga naar de rubriek Vrijwilligersactiviteiten op deze website voor meer informatie over vrijwilligerswerk en het Europees vrijwilligerswerk in het bijzonder.

Let op: informatie over organisaties en projecten is alleen in het Engels beschikbaar.
Project Environment

PROJECT ENVIRONMENT:
Most of the EVS activities will be held in Gyumri town. The EVS volunteers will run the European and cultural Clubs there for young people from the town and nearby villages (Artik, Maralik). Normally the office is open during 11-19:00 every working day. There are 2 staff members working at the office all the time. The organisation also has 7 other staff members (1 social worker, 1 cultural adviser, 2 lawyers, 1 doctor, 1 nurse, and 1 psychologist) who are occupied mostly out-of-office activities (visiting elderly people to their houses, visiting Artik and Maralik communities, etc.). Sometimes they also come to the office for some activities (healthy activities, consultancy, etc.). The EVS volunteers will work at the office in Gyumri 4 days a week. The office has all the needed facilities and equipments for organizing the European Club. Gyumri is the second largest city in Armenia and the capital of the Sirak Region. It is located around 130 km north of the capital Yerevan. The city has a population of about 120,000. It has an approximate height of 1550 meters above sea level. Gyumri has a semi-arid climate, characterized with extremely cold winters where the minimum temperature could fall down to â^’30 °C. On the other hand, summertime in Gyumri is relatively hot with temperatures could reach up to 36 °C. The economy of Gyumri is mostly depended on construction sector, tourism and banking services. The most important industrial activities are the production of building materials (tufa and basalt), yarn and textile manufacturing and food industries. Gyumri is home to Shirak Gyumri Beer Company. The EVS volunteers will also do some activities in 2 nearby villages Artik and Maralik. The volunteers will mostly help us in visiting the houses of elderly people with our activities and trying to involve the local young people in our youth activities, like European club. Life in Artik and Maralik villages is quite passive as well. Young people here need some motivation and encouragement, which we will try to do with the help of EVS volunteers. The volunteers will work 1 day a week in Maralik or in Artik. They will leave to the places mostly with the staff members of the host organisation using public transportation which leave to the villages regularly on fixed hours. It takes approximately an hour. The community of EVS volunteers will be the people in Gyumri, Artik and Maralik who are very hospital and friendly in general. Young people are very interested to have foreign friends and are curious of different cultures. This creates a positive and friendly atmosphere around the EVS volunteers. The Host organisation members are very understanding and have a high spirit. The volunteers work will mostly be in our office in Gyumri. The address is Gorky str. 104/28, Shirak, Armenia. They will run the European club there. The volunteers work starts at 11.00 and ends at 19.00 (including 2 hours of lunch break). Working week consists of 5 days. The volunteers will live in a rented flat near to the office of the host organisation (if it is not near the office, transportation will be provided). Each of the volunteers will have his/her own room. The rented flat is properly decorated and has sufficient furniture with cleaning, cooking, and washing facilities.


PROPOSED ACTIVITIES FOR EVS VOLUNTEERS:
The volunteer will have the following learning opportunities and services:
- learning Armenian culture from three generation sources (old traditions, new way of thinking among young people, preserving Armenian cultural peculiarities, etc);
- developing intergenerational dialogue/communication competencies and understanding the importance of it;
- developing project management skills while organizing various activities and assisting in organizing projects for the three generations;
- developing creativity and ways of cultural expression while presenting their cultures to elderly people and organizing leisure activities for them;
- learning various methods for working with elderly people;
- assisting and learning to run the European Club while raising their European Awareness and sense of Citizenship

The role of EVS volunteers will be assisting the host organisation in its activities. Most of the activities of Araks Center have been implemented for many years, and the volunteers will give to these activities refreshment, Intercultural and European dimension, and creativity and new ideas. The host organisation will encourage the volunteers to give new ideas to the activities of Araks Center and/or suggest any new activities that they would like to initiate in Gyumri. The below mentioned planned activities are flexible and will be final-tuned according to the interests and learning needs of the volunteers.

A. Thematic discussions of European Club (20%)
Our organisation has planned to open a European Club. The Activity duration will be broken into several different thematic months (like Month of European Cooperation, Month of Intercultural Communication, Month of Cultural Tolerance, Month of European Projects etc.). During these months sets of different thematic activities (exhibitions, action days, movie screenings, and round tables) are organized for and by young people. The volunteers will work together with the coordinator of the project and other staff members to identify the most topics that are of a high interest and concern for young people. The concrete tasks of the volunteers here will be:
- identification of an interesting discussion topic for young people of Gyumri;
- together with the volunteers and the staff of Araks Center preparing discussion materials/presentations for the club meetings;
- preparing and disseminating announcements of these activities for young people;
- together with Araks Center volunteers animating club meetings for young people and preparing short reports of these activities;
- to disseminate the printed and other promotional and information materials on European Youth programs and structures (in particular on Youth in Action Programme);

Opening of European Club was suggested by the supporting organisation ICIRLD. Another European Club has been already functioning at another hosting placement in Goris town (Tteni Cooperation – 2011-PL-29) and the effect and impact on local community, in particular youth is huge. Therefore, ICIRLD suggested opening a similar club here in Gyumri coordinated by Araks Center The volunteers/members who will coordinate this club have been already trained by ICIRLD and have proper knowledge on relevant topics and competence in running such a club.

B. General involvement in the work of the organization (70%)
Araks Center NGO provides support to the elderly people who live alone at home because of many reasons (do not have children, are forgotten by their children, etc). We support them through consultancy on their rights, organizing health and leisure activities, bringing the three generations together for dialogue, etc. The volunteers tasks will be:
- visiting the elderly people (who have difficulty in moving, walking out) to their houses and helping with daily chores and providing concrete services. (providing newsletters to keep elderly updated, assisting the social workers in consultancy on their rights, health, assisting logistics and communal services (taking documents to hospitals, government instead of them), etc). The volunteers will also organize some leisure activities for these elderly people who have difficulty in walking out (playing chess, reading a book, etc.),
- assisting in organising activities for elderly people in Gyumri, Maralik or Artik centers (leisure (playing chess, reading a book, excursions, movie screening), talks/discussions on interesting topics, etc.),
- assisting in organizing Meeting Club project for three generations: children-youth-elderly (discussions on various topics (sharing viewpoints of three generations on different topics), cultural evening (prose evening, singing-dancing, cooking old and new dishes, hand crafts, etc), discussions on rights of the three generations, etc),
- assisting the host organisation in organizing theatre activities together with three generations (in this activity children, youth, and elderly people rehearse and make performances in the public theatre),
- assisting in healthy lifestyle project which is held twice per week (doing gymnastics, teaching to cook healthy food, informing them on using medicine),
- presenting the cultures of the EVS volunteers using various methods of their interest (ppt presentation, theatre, singing and dancing activities, cuisine, etc.) to the elderly people;
- scheduled meetings with the mentor and project coordinator,
- having Armenian language course twice per week

C. The volunteers will also have time and space for initiating activities of their liking (10%)
S/he will get support for his/her personal project from the hosting organisation (materials, logistic arrangement, methodological support, etc.), as well as ICIRLD (in case of need) will provide constant supervision and support in particular to learning process during the volunteers personal project. The supporting organisation ICIRLD will constantly provide support and consultancy to the hosting organisation throughout the EVS service. There will be regular visits and evaluation meetings. Volunteer--Hosting Organisation--Supporting Organisation contact will be strongly kept.

Weekly schedule example
Monday (11:00 – 14:00 Preparation of European Club (identifying discussion/presentation topics and methods and preparing for that, designing the schedule, preparing and disseminating announcements); 14:00 – 16:00 lunch Break; 16:00 – 18:00 Implementation of European Club (animating club meetings and activities); 18:00 – 19:00 meeting with language teacher)
Tuesday (11:00 – 13:00 Assisting in Healthy Lifestyle project which (doing gymnastics, teaching to cook healthy food, informing them on using medicine); 13:00 – 14:00 meeting with the mentor (getting personal support); 14:00 – 16:00 lunch Break; 16:00 – 19:00 Assisting in organizing Meeting Club project for three generations: children-youth-elderly)
Wednesday (10:00 – 11:00 travelling to Maralik or Artik Village; 11:00 – 13:00 Aassisting in organising activities for elderly people in Maralik or Artik centers (leisure (playing chess, reading a book, excursions, movie screening), talks/discussions on interesting topics); 13:00 – 15:00 lunch Break; 15:00 – 17:00 visiting the elderly people (who have difficulty in walking out) to their houses and helping with daily chores and providing concrete services in Maralik or Artik Village 17:00 – 18:00 returning to Gyumri)
Thursday (11:00 – 13:00 Assisting in Healthy Lifestyle project (doing gymnastics, teaching to cook healthy food, informing them on using medicine); 13:00 – 14:00 meeting with language teacher; 14:00 – 16:00 lunch Break; 16:00 – 19:00 presenting the cultures of the EVS volunteers using various methods of their interest (ppt presentation, theatre, singing and dancing activities, cuisine, etc.) to the elderly people)
Friday (11:00 – 13:00 visiting the elderly people (who have difficulty in walking out) to their houses and helping with daily chores and providing concrete services; 13:00 – 14:00 meeting with the coordinator (getting task related support); 14:00 – 16:00 lunch break; 16:00 – 19:00 Time for personal project initiation)
This weekly schedule is flexible and will be finally adjusted with the volunteers taking into account their suggested activities and their learning needs.


VOLUNTEER PROFILES AND RECRUITMENT PROCESS:
There is no requirements of special competences. What is really important is the motivation of the volunteer to work with elderly people and run the youth clubs. In general the volunteer should be interested in:
- promoting European values in our region;
- working with young people and assist in running the youth clubs;
- intergeneration dialogue (children-youth-elderly);
- working with and helping elderly people;
We are also looking for open-minded volunteers who are ready to experience the real taste of a new and a quite different culture in a town which is not a capital city, and are equally ready to share and present the culture they come from. Russian language is a plus but is not a must. People in our communities speak more Russian then English as a foreign language. So, it would be easier for the volunteer in integration in the local communities and carrying out his/her activities. The supporting organisation ICIRLD will disseminate the project call through its international partner networks and www.youthnetworks.eu network to make the project placement more accessible. Then the application packages of the candidates will be sent to the our organisation where the selection of volunteers will be carried out by our staff according to candidates motivation and interests.


RISK PREVENTION, PROTECTION AND SAFETY:
Most of the issues related to the cultural differences between the volunteers country and Armenia (and especially Gyumri the subculture there is different from the one in Yerevan) will be addressed by the host and supporting organisations. This will give a possibility to avoid cultural shock and different kinds of cultural misunderstandings that might appear during the integration and local activities. For integration of local community a skilful mentor will be enclosed with the volunteers. The mentor is well trained by the supporting organisation ICIRLD and is able to support the volunteers during cultural shock and crises. The mentor of the EVS volunteers is an ex-EVS (sent by ICIRLD) volunteer who understands what it is to be an EVS volunteer and is able to provide proper personal and evaluation support to the volunteers. The volunteers will live in a rented flat. Each of them will have his/her own room. The flat will have all the needed facilities (cooking, heating, etc) for normal living conditions. All the necessary work conditions will be provided by organization. The volunteers will work together with local volunteers and members of Araks Center while visiting the elderly people and assisting in organizing activities for them. For the Youth clubs, the host organisation will provide with proper equipment, materials and a hall for creating safe working conditions. The Host organisation has all the needed safety conditions (first-aid kit, extinguisher, etc.) The task related support people are also trained by ICIRLD staff and are ready to provide proper support and create an utmost learning environment for the EVS volunteers. The organization will provide all necessary communication equipment in order the volunteers can freely connect with their relatives and/or EVS sending organizations. The volunteers will have AXA insurance, and in case of accidents or any medical need, the volunteers will be taken to proper doctors. The supporting organisation ICIRLD will organize an on-arrival introduction for the coming volunteers in Yerevan for 2-3 days before the volunteers arrival to their hosting placement in Gyumri. They will be trained on concrete cultural behaviours in Gyumri, their future EVS activities, Youthpass and learning advantages, etc. ICIRLD will constantly visit the hosting placement and provide all the necessary support to the hosting organisation and volunteers. The activities of the volunteers will be constantly reflected upon and evaluated during regular meetings organized by ICIRLD. As ICIRLD also supports other EVS hosting organisations in other towns, there will be also organized meetings with other volunteers and visits to other EVS hosting organisations where the volunteers, mentors, and support staff will exchange their experiences and address their main challenges. This whole process will help to assess the effectiveness of the volunteers activities, their learning process, organizing logistics and ensure quality support/supervision and mentorship for the EVS volunteers while constantly developing the competences of EVS support people. Araks Center will not be able to host volunteers who are under 18 years old.


The Araks Centre is able to host up to 2 EVS volunteers at the same time. The organisation is not going to work with short-term EVS group projects nor with volunteers with less opportunities.

Motivation and EVS experience

EVS is a very important and useful project for our mission. EVS volunteers can make our activities connected with intergenerational dialogue more intercultural and interesting. Youth-Elderly people dialogue will be enriched with the intercultural input by the EVS volunteers. The life of our elderly people will be more joyful. This will be of a great mutual benefit both for elderly people and EVS volunteers as EVS volunteers will learn to work with elderly and understand them. We are organisation mainly occupied with intergenerational dialogue (children-youth-elderly people). The European club which we will open and implement together with the EVS volunteers will create big opportunities for our young people. After having many projects with and for young people, we have realized that young people in Gyumri mostly are not aware of European mobility projects, and the European awareness is quite low, irrespective of the fact that Gyumri is considered to be the 2nd city in Armenia. After the Earthquake of 1988, Gyumri has become a sad and passive city in terms of youth activities. Many young people still have passive way of life, and the rate of youth unemployment is very high. With the help of EVS projects, we will develop the sense of volunteering and active way of life among the young people in Gyumri. This will be a great opportunity for our youth to raise their intercultural and European awareness. They will get to know European mobility projects, like EVS, and be encouraged to take part in such projects to develop their intercultural sensitivity and raise their employability chances. This is the first time that we will host EVS volunteers. But we have already experience in hosting foreign volunteers in our organisation. In 2006 we hosted 3 CESO volunteers from Canada who were giving professional consultancy to our beneficiaries.

Description of the organisation

Araks charity non-governmental organization of elderly people has been founded since 2000, having a goal to assist the lonely elderly people of Gyumri, to improve the moral-psychological states and to organize their leisure and occupation. In order to realize the activities and to gain the purpose, it was necessary to engaged in the strengthening of intergeneration connections, exchanging of experience and new information. As a result in 2005 the organization renamed as Araks Centre charity non-governmental organization. Our main focus is strengthening dialogue between three generations (children-youth-elderly).

Our mission is to protect the benefits and the rights of the members of society and target group to integrate them in the active life. Current work in Araks Centre NGO:
- Meeting Club project for three generations (children-youth-elderly);
- implementation, as a provider of different kind of services, information, consultation, philanthropically development, overcoming of social-psychological isolation, center for social progress;
- Close to Books cooperating with Shirak Region Library (newspapers, magazines, literature on laws, Human Rights);
- organize leisure activates (excursions, watching films, performances, choir, dance club, etc);
- seminars – round tables on to solving problems and social protection with participation of NGOs, local authorities, members of government;
-educational-cultural, physiological-moral, juridical, social education, intellectual, craft-art, social-psychological seminars and trainings;
- first aid medicine provision;
- celebrate state and church holidays integrating the three generations in the activities;
- periodically NGO professionals and home visits by volunteers organized by the beneficiaries, who are physically unable to come out of the situation, can not leave the house, require consultation, and home care.

Our target group is elderly people as well as young people and children who live in Gyumri, Artik, Maralik. We are interested in European Integration and Eastern Partnership. EVS is a starting point for us in further cooperation with European Programmes. Since January 2012, Araks Centre has been cooperating with the supporting organisation ICIRLD also within CAUCULT project (Caucasus Cultural Initiatives Network) funded by the European Commission under the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme. Our organisation is one of the 20 Key Dialogue Worker (KDW) member organisations within Armenian Culture Initiatives Network: www.facebook.com/caucult/info. Within the above mentioned project, the organisation has been trained on European Programmes and Structures, cultural event management, equipped with intercultural non-formal learning techniques and methods, and prudently examined the concept Cultural Diversity which is the main aim of the project. Araks Centre together with Georgian, Azerbaijani and other Armenian organisations (60 member organisations in the Network) are working together for preserving and developing ethnic, religious and cultural diversity across the South Caucasus. The Armenian Culture Initiatives Network is being coordinated by ICIRLD.

The Board consists of 7 people, volunteers, who are the founding members and the main decision making body. Araks Centre receives funding for its activities from USAID and constant support from local Authorities. Araks Centre implements its activities mainly in Gyumri, often visiting to Artik (once a week), and sometimes to Maralik (twice a month). We cooperate with Artik municipality which has a center in Artik with 2 employees designed to supporting our activities. And in Maralik we cooperate with employment office which provides us with their center to implement our activities. From April 2013 we will have our own center in Maralik which will be provided by Maralik municipality.

CONTACTGEGEVENS
N.B. de gekozen organisatie werkt samen met een andere organisatie voor Europees vrijwilligerswerk, die eventuele vragen afhandelt.
Naam organisatie International Center for Intercultural Research, Learning and Dialogue
Straat 52/20 Andranik Str.
Postcode 0064
Plaats Yerevan
Land Armenia
E-mailadres
Website
Telefoonnummer +37 46 05 21 212
Faxnummer +374 10 36 68 53

Last update: 15/03/2013