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AEVA - Associação para a Educação e Valorização dos Recursos Humanos do distrito de Aveiro


EVS Accreditation Details
EVS accreditation type
organisation_acctype: 
Sending
Receiving
Coordinating
EVS accreditation expiry date 15/03/2016
Location Aveiro, Portugal
Organisation topics
organisation_theme: 
Disability
Environment
Inclusion topics
organisation_inclusion: 
Educational difficulties
Social difficulties
Economic difficulties
Disability

EVS accreditation number

2013-PT-19

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

SPECIAL NEEDS :

In our organization we have a canteen where meals are served daily at lunch and dinner time. So, our hosted volunteers will have the possibility of eating there. On the other hand, we have families of many of our students interested in hosting young volunteers in their homes.

Our organization is well prepared for mobility difficulties with easy access inside and outside the building for everybody, and there is a lift.

In our organization apart from 46 fulltime teachers in all areas of studies, we have the following staff:

7 fulltime psychologists
4 fulltime trainees psychologists
1 fulltime occupational therapist
2 fulltime special education teachers
14 full time caretakers
1 sociologist
9 administrative / clerks
3 accountants
5 ICT technicians and software programming

Our organization deals with more than 150 SEN youngsters and many of the above mentioned staff work daily fulltime with this special needs population, developing several activities and projects promoting autonomy, initiative, quality of life, integration in the labour market, basic competences, etc.

We also have special facilities to work with these SEN individuals (see http://www.aeva.eu/nossasMarcas.php) and we promote inclusion and integration in all our activities. We include SEN individuals in all our projects.









PROJECT ENVIRONMENT:

The District of Aveiro is the 14th largest district Portuguese, with an area of 2808 km ² and, according to 2011 data, with a resident population of 390 707 inhabitants. It is the seat of a municipality with 78,463 inhabitants (2011) and 199.77 km ² in area, divided into 14 parishes.
The level of Education / Training infrastructures, apart from the network of Public Schools and the existence of some vocational schools, the district is also at a higher level, one of the best served in the country, boasting some of them the best classification in the national ranking (Aveiro University, the Portuguese Red Cross Nursing School at Oliveira de Azeméis, the School of Design, The Management and Technology Production of North Aveiro, the School of Technology and Management of Águeda, The School of Accounting and Administration of Aveiro, the Institute of Information Sciences and Administration, the Portuguese Institute of Marketing and Management, etc.)

From a socio-economic point of view, it is one of the most dynamic districts and of important growth in population, despite some asymmetry within the district.

The evolution of industry sectors shows, in large part, this trend, with the primary sector losing importance, the secondary sector stabilizing, and the tertiary one growing and diversifying.

Trade/commerce, manufacturing and construction are the most important economic sectors. Tourism is also one of the sectors of relevant activity, especially on the coast.

Sectors of activity such as metallurgy, footwear, cork, textiles, ceramics (red clay and white clay), papermaking, chemical, production and export of wines, molds, car sector among others, place the Aveiro District in the foreground of our economy, employing hundreds of thousands people from various social and professional areas.

Our organization is well served by public transports (buses and trains – bus stops and train station within 5 minutes walking distance). In what cultural activities are concerned, there is a large variety such organization of concerts, regular plays at the local theaters, conferences, sports events and very good sports facilities, including swimming pools, gyms, football field, tennis courts, museums, municipality parks, water sports in the river and sea, very good beaches at a distance of 8 km, etc.

The beaches are located about 8 km away and the Natural reserve about 60 minutes by bike and then ferryboat. (if by car and ferryboat, about 20 minutes). We also have some small forests in the area for picnics, camping, sports, etc.

Although our organization is situated in a city, Aveiro, most of our learners and the population we assist come from the suburbs and are from low socio-economic level households, etc. We have been receiving many immigrant adults too, from various European countries, which face some problems of integration.

On the other hand, all the groups we work with in the volunteering projects referred to above are people at risk of social exclusion, some with disabilities, some with drug / alcohol addiction problems, etc.

At our organization, many of our students (Youngsters and adults) courses have, in general, learning difficulties, not knowing how to plan their studying, resting and leisure hours. Situations of some physical discomfort such as pains, hunger, thirst or sleep (drowsiness) are common among these students. They are also unaware of the importance of having an appropriate silent, calm and well lit simple studying place; they have a lack of studying techniques and feel tired, anxious and afraid before an evaluation test.

The local immigrant population has also increased in the last past years. We are then used to work with people who have specific needs.

There are a lot of local institutions in need of volunteering work with whom we work regularly and with whom we have established a very good partnership. Most of these organizations we work with as volunteers are located in the suburbs, in a more isolated place.

In our region, there is a quite large number of retired people, still very valid and willing to cooperate, learn and share good practices and experiences. Also, the number of unemployed people has increased in the last years.

In our organization, volunteering work is very welcome in the area of the environment. We are an ECO organization and organize several activities and projects in the area of the environment and sustainable environment.









PROPOSED ACTIVITIES FOR EVS VOLUNTEERS:

The volunteers will have linguistic and cultural preparation at a regular basis (one hour a day) and a cultural programme for the whole period will be defined according to their interests. However, some trips to cities of national interest will also be organized.

Each group of volunteers will have a tutor/mentor who will assist them in any situation in need. The tutor is the person in the organisation who will be in charge of the preparation / support / follow-up of the volunteer. As a host organisation, the support given will be personal, social, cultural but also task-related; if necessary and depending on the activities, two different persons will be chosen as tutors for these two different aspects. The volunteers will have the contact of the tutor’s mobile phone for emergency or other type of calls.

The mentor has an important role for the success of the projects, they are the guarantee of the quality of experience the volunteers has been involved. The mentors will guarantee the continuous personal support and continuous communications among all the actors involved in the project and follow the volunteers during their personal and formative experience through facilitating the output of the present project.

The role of the mentors will be to contact volunteers, to keep in touch with their sending organisation, to ask for all information that is necessary for the volunteers to know, to provide all information to the volunteers, to encourage the outgoing and the incoming volunteers, to assist them at work but also at social/cultural activities, to monitor the volunteering activity, to keep in touch with the families of the volunteers and to participate in the follow-up activities.

The mentor will help the Volunteers in cooperation of the coordinator of the activities, in the evaluation process and in the regular meetings for clarification of questions, analysis of experiences gained, and eventual problems solving.

The volunteers will be hosted in families, whenever possible in a single room, but with the possibility of sharing a room with another individual of the same gender and age. During the week, they will have the meals at the canteen of the organization. At the canteen, they can choose between fish meal, meat meal or diet/vegetarian meal. The organization will cover for the cost of the meal directly to the enterprise responsible for the cooking. In what breakfast is concerned, the volunteers can choose whatever they want at the café of the organization and again the organization will pay directly to the enterprise responsible for the running of the café (average 1,30€). At weekends, they will have the meals with the families or will have the meals at a restaurant depending on the activities they have during that period. If so, they will paid for the meal after presenting the organization the respective receipt. Some pocket money will be given to the volunteers weekly for other / personal expenses (95€ per month).

In the project concerning the environment, apart from one hour of Portuguese language and culture lesson, the volunteers will be organized in groups and placed either on the local beaches or at the natural reserve or in the forests for the respective cleaning and identification of specific spots for picnics, relax, sports, rubbish bins, etc according to a plan that will be given to them. They will work rotationally in these three places. They will work 6,5 hours daily, the Portuguese lesson included.

In what the Disability project is concerned, apart from the Portuguese language and culture lesson, the volunteers will do some research and analysis on the urbanistic and architectural barriers faced by inviduals with motor disability and/or by blind and deaf people. They will do this in several buildings located in the region of Aveiro, in the streets, parks, etc and will propose solutions for the problems encountered. They will also organize activities, always with the help of the tutor and project coordinator, in kindergartens, to make little children aware of the problems faced by disabled people. Example of activities to be developed by the volunteers with children:

• Identification of differences in drawings/pictures related to good / bad practices concerning accessbilities to all.
• Domino game by connecting, for example, a wheelchair to a ramp, etc
• Using comic books on the children’s rights, specially the part concerning disabilities
• Playing the game of blind man’s buff, to show the children how does a blind person feels and the problems he/she finds
• Game using a wheel chair in order to make children aware of the problems encountered by motor disabled people
• Games of memory using cards

They will also work and develop activities together with SEN individuals of their same age and again, in group dynamics, helping at meals time, etc with the help of a tutor. They will work 6,5 hours daily, the Portuguese lesson included.











VOLUNTEER PROFILES AND RECRUITMENT PROCESS:

Not only AEVA but also the respective Europe Direct Information Centre of Aveiro (of AEVA’s responsibility) are going to work hard in the dissemination of the projects, not only advertising it at both webpages but also at the Centre itself and in the local press.

Selection criteria and process:

The most important requirements of a volunteer applying for a placement abroad are social skills and personal capabilities. We will have in mind the following:

• Being open-minded and flexible in general
• Being intellectually curious in terms of getting to know other people, discovering and experiencing different cultures, habits and behaviours
• Being socially competent, especially in communication with others, coping with conflicts and misunderstandings and expressing one’s own wants and needs
• Knowing one’s limits – nothing will be gained by physical or mental overstress
• Be between 18 and 30 years old. If it is a volunteer with fewer opportunities, he can be 17 or older and in this case, special support will be given to him/her. The fact of not having social skills will not be a reductive condition. On the contrary, he/she will be encouraged to interact with others and group dynamics will be developed with this specific aim in order to well include him/her in the group.

It will be important for volunteers to prepare in advance for the exchange and relevant information on the placement will be sent to the partner organization. Of course, the voluntary work description must match one’s own capabilities but the offered voluntary work must also be acceptable from a personal point of view.

Everybody is likely to work as a volunteer in our organization as soon as they show the characteristics mentioned above. So, our projects may involve volunteers with fewer opportunities and/or special needs and if so, adequate monitoring from our part will be provided to the volunteer.

The volunteers will be selected after analysis of respective CV, letter of intention and after an individual and group interview.

We would be willing to cooperate with youth organizations, institutions well connected to schools and/or schools.








NUMBER OF VOLUNTEERS HOSTED:

6








RISK PREVENTION, PROTECTION AND SAFETY:

During the volunteering period, at the hosting organization, the volunteers (both under and over 18) will:

• Have a preparatory session with the local mentor about the target group and about the activities assigned in a more detailed way
• Be given advice concerning local health structures
• Be introduced to past or other volunteers
• Get an introduction to the local culture, custom, law, tradition, belief and norms
• Be provided by a tutor or a contact person who apart from tutoring all the activities will be the one responsible for solving all eventual problems
• Be given of emergency phone numbers (the tutor’s, the project coordinator’s, the director’s)
• Be provided by an Insurance policy AXA for the whole period
• Be coordinated daily on the work to be done
• Be provided transportation during the project
• Write an interim evaluation report together with the tutor
• Have continuously assistance given by a tutor
• Be ensured and facilitated communication flow between the foreign volunteers and the local volunteers
• Be provided health care
• Have linguistic and cultural preparation with a native speaker so that these competences are improved locally
• Visit monuments and places of interest in the region with a local guide
• Project / volunteering work will include common work on intercultural issues, comparison of work places cultures, chances and challenges. Roundtable discussions during project meetings (that will be held regularly with volunteers and monitoring staff) and webpage will be important tools not only to gather facts but to discuss problems. Besides gathering facts about common and different aspects in different countries, there will be a focus on raising awareness about a general and suitable approach on how to deal with differences, stereotypes, entrepreneurial culture, dressing code, etc.

Motivation and EVS experience

Our organization is very much involved in European projects. Apart from many others (see enclosed list), we have developed a Grundtvig Senior Volunteering project and are now developing a Comenius Bilateral Project related to the subject of volunteering work with a partner school in Corfu, Greece. We host every year young and older volunteers who come here for a work experience, especially with our SEN students. We are very often invited to participate in several projects within the framework of Europe for citizens Programme and for most of them we need to be accredited in order to send or host volunteers. This is the main reason we want to be an accredited organization.

Description of the organisation

In the last years, AEVA has developed a great number of national projects and also transnational projects in the scope of LLP (Comenius, Leonardo da Vinci Mobility and Partnerships projects, Grundtvig and Comenius Projects, including hosting Comenius Assistants and Senior volunteers). Since 2001, many pupils have been placed in working training programmes in Spain, UK, France and Italy, under the cover of the European Program Leonardo of the Vinci Mobility. The pupils have been placed in companies of the area of their studies where they have developed and perfected not only their linguistic and communication skills but also their technical abilities in a transnational context. We also run a European Information Centre Europe Direct (www.europe-direct-aveiro.aeva.eu).

AEVA also holds a Vocational school, the Vocational School of Aveiro offering Educational and Training courses. It is a school that aims to fulfill the demands and expectations of students, guaranteeing the best performance and a high level of professionalism. The Professional preparation we offer intends not only to answer to the local education needs but also gives he students the capability of finding employment and the opportunity to obtain a professional qualification enabling them to contribute to the local development. The pupils in Professional School of Aveiro mainly come from a low socio-economic background. Our pupils, aged between 15 and 22, attend the level II and level IV courses, which give equivalent to the 9th and 12th year of Secondary Studies, respectively. Many of our pupils have statements of special needs (57 students), many have learning difficulties (147) and many others have social, emotional and behavioral problems.

However, we also have Adult Education and modular training for adults. We endeavor whenever possible to expose the pupils to international social and cultural culture through the development of European projects.

At the Professional School, we aim to maintain and develop further our international links. We feel that it is the best way to teach our pupils and adult learners about other countries. It is the best way of developing linguistic and cultural skills.

Although our school is situated in a city, most of our learners come from the suburbs and are from low socio-economic level. We have been receiving many immigrant adults too, from various European countries, which face some problems of integration.

AEVA – Escola Profissional de Aveiro is one of the main providers of adult education in the municipality of Aveiro, Portugal.

At the moment, we have altogether 850 pupils, 46 teachers (43 full-time and 3 part time) and 53 elements of non-teaching staff. In this group, we have including psychologists, therapists, etc..

Every class room is equipped with interactive boards with internet access. As an innovative project in the country, all EPA members (students, teachers and staff) have a laptop for scholar and personal use, with free mobile Internet access, both to develop and interact in the classroom, school or at home, thus, the main tool of work, based on e-learning platform. Every member of the school community has an institutional email address

We are also very interested in promoting entrepreneurial skills among our students and in the promotion of green jobs. This is an important matter in the preparation of our students for the labour market and for the work practices.

We work mainly with youngsters and but also with elderly people. We have retired people working with us on a volunteering basis and we promote intergenerational activities a lot.

Apart from the teaching sessions we organize several activities and projects in the areas of environment, active citizenship, youth employability, intergenerational learning, human rights, etc Below some titles of activities/projects developed in the last two years:

Clean Portugal
Prevention and safety at work
All different, all different
Diversity and equality
Development of local communities
Enhance and sustain
Creation of value
In addition to the tree, the forest
High Citizenship: solving problems
Ethics, values
Fundamental human rights
Transparency and trust
We and the Seniors
Summer Seminars on European themes
Journeys of the Environment
World Children Day
Plant a tree, breathe better!
Contest ools Contest – Green Euroschool
Participation in the event Movement 350.org

Contact details
Organisation name AEVA - Associação para a Educação e Valorização dos Recursos Humanos do distrito de Aveiro
Street Rua Dr. Francisco Ferreira Neves - Barocas
Postal code 3800-351
Town/city Aveiro
Country Portugal
Email address geral@aeva.eu
Website www.aeva.eu
Telephone number +351 234 373 060
Fax number +351 234 373 069

Last update: 18/03/2013