1. Why did you choose to be sending organisaation for an EVS project ?
Working with young people who want to participate in a EVS stage, I noticed that the motivation is different for each other. Most part of the participants wants to improve their skills, to acquire new skills, which will help them later in the career. Is very important for them to learn a new language and to improve or learn English, because usually English is the official language for communication in the project.
Many times the participants choose to make an EVS stage because they want, before to start their university studies or to find a job, prefer to have one year of experience in order to know themselves better and to reflect on their future. Making an EVS stage is also a very good opportunity for youth to travel in other country, to meet other culture and learn from their own experience.
Other motivation to participate in a EVS project is for young people to help the community where they are living, to offer something back to the humanity.
2. Why you must choose Romania as sending partner?
When young people choose a country where to make their stage, they have in their minds more reasons. One reason is the language spoken in that country that they want to learn or to improve. From my experience of representative of a sending organization, the motivation of young people to choose a certain country is the language. If is a language easy to learn or a language which can help them in the future career, they prefer these countries.
Another reason when choosing a country is the quality and the topic of the project. The young people are looking and applying usually for projects which are related with their hobbies, studies or future careers.
Also, when young people choose a particular country they take into consideration the main cultural points of interest that a stage in a certain country facilitate the discover of.
3. How we make the selection of volunteers ?
Young Romanian people who want to take part in an EVS stage are informed by local organizations about European Voluntary Service opportunities. At local level, our NGO organized more conferences and workshops where young people from the communities have been invited to participate.
Other method to inform the community is the workshops organized in high schools with the students from terminal years or in the university. After the program Youth in Action is done known, the young people interested to participate in a stage are preparing their CV and send it to the sending organization. Together with the sending organization, young people are searching for a project according to their needs, skills and interests. The sending organization is contacting the host organization and sends the CV and the motivation letter of the young people. The host organization analyze the CV and motivation letter of the candidate and decides if this candidate matches the needs of the organization.
4. What kind of pre-departure training we organise ?
When the candidate is chosen by the host organization to participate in the stage, as sending organization, we are delivering informative sessions for the volunteer. The volunteer is informed first of all about the activity agreement and is guided before to sign the agreement. The volunteer is informed about AXA insurance and are done some exercises about cultural diversity and communication.
5. Fears and expectations at the beginning of the EVS stage
The main fear of the volunteer before to participate in a stage is about his capacity to adapt to a new culture. Because in each country there are different foods, traditions, mentalities, sometimes the volunteer is afraid that will be very difficult to eat in other way than in his country, to spend time in different way and to meet people with mentalities different than his.
A big fear is about living for a long period without family. Especially for young people just graduating the high school or who never travelled abroad is very hard for them to imagine their life far from their families and friends.
The language is a reason of fear. Volunteers are afraid they will not be able to learn the language of the host country and thus will be impossible for them to communicate with people from the community, to make new friends and to integrate in the community where they have to live for the stage.
When young people participate to EVS stages, sometimes they have to share the accommodation place with other volunteers. Because of this reason they have fears about the communication and the relationships with the roommates, do not have conflicts or to much differences of mentality and conceptions.
The volunteer participates to activities established in the activity agreement but is also encouraged to have initiatives and to propose projects in which to use his skills and knowledge. Beside the activities described in activity agreement, the volunteer participate in language courses. The host organization provides the volunteer with language classes in order to be able to communicate in the language of the host country.
7. Activitati de formare in timpul stagiului EVS.
During the EVS stage, the volunteer participates in 2 trainings delivered by the National Agency of the host country. One training is delivered on arrival of the volunteer. There are sessions organized by National Agency where participates all the new volunteers. The host organization is in charge with subscribing for volunteer participation to the training. After half period of stage, for projects with a duration longer than 6 months, Nation Agency organizes mid term evaluation training. Again, host organization is in charge to organize the participation of the volunteer to the training.
8. What you can learn form an EVS stage?
During a stage, the volunteer learn to become more flexible, to cooperate and work, cohabitate with people with different background, different ideas and dreams. They learn to become tolerant, to be part of a team and together to achieve results. They learn to offer without receiving something back and they learn to work voluntary, in the benefit of the others. The most important they learn about themselves, which are their limits, what is changing for them and how to overpass the problems. They learn about other cultures values and what means respect for other cultures.
9. Advices for potential EVS volunteers
When a young people decides to participate in an EVS stage, is very important to think before which kind of activities would like to do. There are young people who apply for any project, without taking into consideration their skills or interests. This is the reason, as youth worker in charge to sending EVS volunteers, I would strongly recommend to young people to think which kind of project they are interested, which is their motivation to participate in an EVS stage and also is important to decide in which country they could live for a longer period. The volunteer has to make efforts to understand the culture of his host country and to adapt to it during his stay there.
10. Please add anything you consider useful to be add.
Is very important, during the EVS stage to be a permanent communication between the host organization, sending organization and volunteer. The sending organization have to understand that their role is not completed when the volunteer arrives in the host country. Sending organization has to support the volunteer until the end of the stage and in same time to be in permanent contact with his host organization.
Also, I would recommend to any young people aged between 18 and 30 years, to take the opportunity offered by EU through Youth in Action program and to participate in an EVS stage. An EVS stage is an opportunity to learn more about life, about people and the most important about yourself.
11. Pictures of one of our volunteer(Oana Mucea) during her EVS stage in Germany.