“European Year of Volunteering 2011” – Annual operating grant

EACEA/19/10 – Action 4.1 Support for bodies active at European level in the field of youth (annual operating grants). Reference number: 513979 (RESEAU EUROPEEN DE CENTRES DE JEUNESSE). February – December 2011.

EU Grant: 30.684,86 EUR

  • Activity 1: Questionnaire / Inquiry
  • Activity 2 & 6: Interconnect youth groups and E-debates
  • Activity 3: Volunteer actions
  • Activity 4: Voluntary service catalogue / Database & Info day
  • Activity 5: Youth photo contest & exhibition
  • Activity 7: E-newsletters
  • Youth workers & Pool of trainers meetings – Final report

Youth workers & Trainers Meeting (08-11.04.2011)

Location: Corinthia – Greece;
Dates: from Friday 8th till Monday 11th of April 2011 (travel included);
Participants: 1 or 2 youth worker / trainer per participant organisation;
Profile of participants: be involved in youth work in their organisation – will be the co-ordinator of this project in their organisation.

E-debate: “European citizenship & Environment” (04/04/11)

“Environmental education aims to bring [environmental] questions to public attention, and to encourage greater care and respect for the natural resources of the world.” ( from COMPASS).

  • Date: On Saturday 04/06/2011 (in the frame of the World Environment Day).
  • Participants from: Bulgaria, Finland, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey.
  • Content:

Through this e-discussion young people to could reflect about:

  • the commitment that citizens have or should have towards the environment;
  • what we have in common and our differences regarding environmental matters as citizens of Europe.

Expert: Mr Kostas Papakonstantinou – teacher. He has been for many years president of the Greek Ornithological Society, and teacher at the Environmental Education Center of Akrata (Greece). In 2010, he has been elected at the Region of East Peloponese as representative of the Greek Ecologist party.

Photo contest (15.05 – 15.07.2011)

From 15/05 until 15/07 took place European Youth photo contest “Give a Hand! Volunteers for Inclusion.” with the following themes:

  • Inclusion: Voluntary services & inclusion;
  • Act of solidarity and voluntary services in my place; Inequality in our society;
  • What you understand by the term poverty?

The photos sent expressed the view of different young people from all over Europe around those themes.

Below are the winning photos:

Youth workers & Pool of trainers meetings – Final report (9-13.09.2011)

The Bulgarian organisation Open Mind, member of the Bulgarian network Major (member of ENYC), organized a seminar in the town of Burgas from 9th till 13th of September 2011. The title of the seminar was “Quality trainings: key for youth empowerment”. During this seminar the participating ENYC member organisations had the occasion to discuss about training needs, identify expertise among ENYC organisation and plan training courses in a mid-term view. One of the aim was the creation of a pool of trainers from ENYC organizations that can support the transfer of know-how between centre through European training courses. The participants were from Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, United Kingdom.

The outcomes of this meeting were:

  • first scan of training needs of ENYC youth workers,
  • listing of the training expertise,
  • proposal for quality criteria for an ENYC trainer,
  • draft calendar for training activities for 2012 – 2013.

Questionnaire / Inquiry (05-10.2011)

Survey about participation of Young People: a panel of 450 young people from 13 European countries have been inquired through a 25 questions’ questionnaire. This survey inquires about different aspects of youth participation:

  • participating locally,
  • participating at European level,
  • support needed for improving participation.

YOUTH VOICES: Proposals to youth centres of young people from ENYC countries

“What else do you think youth centres should be involved in?”

  • The view to the future based on the ideas of young people (18 years old, young man from FYROM)
  • In making decision on local level (24 years old, young woman from FYROM)
  • Creating thoughtful youth (22 years old, young woman from FYROM)
  • Intercontinental exchanges (16 years old, young man from France)
  • Excursions (18 years old, young man from France)
  • Health (17 years old, young man from France)
  • Methodological tools in order to find a job (22 years old, young man from Greece)
  • Psychological support (16 years old, young woman from Greece)
  • Everything! (15 years old, young man from Greece)
  • To support young people to get educated (17 years old, young woman from Slovakia)
  • They do what they can (16 years old, young woman from Slovakia)
  • Sport competition & Tournaments (16 years old, young man from Slovakia)
  • To involve more young people to their activities (16 years old, young man from Slovenia)
  • Fun activities (15 years old, young woman from Slovenia)
  • Dialogue between different cultures (17 years old, young man from Luxembourg)
  • Bicycle ride (15 years old, young man from Luxembourg)
  • Tolerance and respect (16 years old, young woman from UK)
  • Media projects (27 years old, young woman from UK)
  • More cooperation with formal education (20 years old, young woman from Finland)
  • Politics (18, 21 and 23 years old, young men from Italy)
  • Ecology (18 years old, young woman from Albania)
  • Socialisation of young people (22 years old, young woman from Czech Republic)
  • A lot! (18 years old, young man from Czech Republic)
  • Local self lead projects (20 years old, young woman from Bulgaria)
  • Help to choose a future job (18 years old, young man from Turkey)

Youth e-debate: “Voluntarism and Solidarity for European citizens” (08.12.2011)

Dates & Time: Thursday

  • 14:30 British time
  • 15:30 Czech, French, Italian, Luxemburgish, Macedonian, Slovak, Slovenian time,
  • 16.30 Bulgarian, Finish, Greek, Turkish time,
  • 18.30 Armenian time

Themes: Through this e-discussion we would like to bring young people to have a reflection about:

  • Different ways to offer one’s voluntary service in the society;
  • What we have in common and our differences regarding volunteerism of citizens of Europe.

Participants: from 10 different European countries

Invited expert: Antonios Sifakis is a practicing environmental lawyer and active volunteer in Service Civil International Hellas since 1989. He has been a volunteer in international volunteer projects (workcamps), coordinator of workcamps in Greece, volunteer trainer in conflict resolution, coordinator of EVS projects, has written applications for projects and has also been in the Board of the organisation for several years (www.sci.gr)

Some answers from the e-debate to the following questions:

“What means for you Voluntary Service / Voluntary work?”

  • “For me it is a philosophy, a way of believing and living, a way to help when needed, to be active and involved, to change myself and the world for better.” (Natalie – Bulgaria)
  • “Volunteering is a good opportunity both for the volunteer and the people they help, to learn new things about them self and the world” (Jessica and Ama – Slovakia)
  • “For me it is more thinking about myself first as I get personal self-development, get the chance to meet new people and the satisfaction of contributing to a specific project.” (Jona – Greece)
  • “I think, volunteering starts inside of the human being and then extend to community then the international level. So briefly it means feeling responsible self to the world.” (Ibrahim – Turkey)
  • “Volunteering is for me a state of mind, it is an act of giving without thought of remuneration set apart to be happy to help a person or even an animal that nobody support, it is already very important to me.” (Aurelien – France)
  • “Volunteering for me is an action of solidarity. Volunteering is a complementary activity to “activism” both of them express solidarity but in different ways: volunteering is organised, with continuity, you can see its results in the realisation of a specific project which should however be within a general framework of struggle for human rights equality rights, protection of the environment etc. Activism is more like “reaction”, volunteering is more like “action” this is how I see it.” (Antonios from SCI Greece)

“What would tell to a young person to encourage them to participate?”

  • I would say to a young person that as a volunteer she or he can be an active part of a change for a better future (Vasja – Slovenia)
  • It is a great experience, that you can not get anywhere else but you should choose a project which you have interested in.(Adrien – Luxembourg)

Volunteer actions

In the frame of the European Year of Volunteering ENYC has created an online database gathering voluntary service placement in several countries. Young people were be able to find placements dedicated to locals, and placement for international volunteers. The database was divided in countries and thematics:

  • social work
  • environment
  • education – children activities
  • free time – art & culture
  • humanitarian work – civil protection
  • youth activities

Volunteer Actions in 7 ENYC countries:

1.SLOVENIA – Youth Centre CEZAM

VOLUNTEER ACTION: Distributing flyers, promoting recyling and ecological awareness. The youth group doing this action was dressed as “Bees”

2. FINLAND – Youth Centre VILLA ELBA

VOLUNTEER ACTIONS: First action, was the cleaning of the beach and surroundings of  our youth centre. Second action is an activity day at local pension house took elders out and so on. The youngster participating to this action are a group of unemployed youngsters carrying out an inclusion project in co-operation with our center.

3. FYROM – Youth Organisation CreACTive

VOLUNTEER ACTIONS: Activities aiming at raising awareness about the environmental protection. The First day our volunteers organised workshops in the field of environmental protection in all the primary schools to the 7th and 8th grade, in the town of Kavadarci using the game methods. The second day, there were 5 activities which took a place close to the Playground “Jasmin stadium” where usually we organize our sport activities. The follow activities were organized:

  • Tie dye, workshop recycling old t-shirts by wrapping them up and putting them in a bucket with dye.
  • Sport: practicing javelin with recycled branches,
  • games: playing games where they used plastic bags of grapes,
  • planting seeds and decorating of the pots,
  • cleaning: the youngsters got garbage bags and gloves and had to clean the surrounding of the Playground “Jasmin stadium”.

The activities were led by our local young volunteers from the youth centre creACTive and our EVS Volunteers.  Around 100 local kids were involved directly. These activities were presented o the local TV station in Kavadarci.

The youth group of the Macedonian association CreACTive, organised workshops in the field of environmental protection in all the primary schools to the 7th and 8th grade, in the town of Kavadarci using the game methods. The second day, there were 5 activities which took a place close to the Playground “Jasmin stadium” where usually we organize our sport activities.

Youth VoIcEs:

  • “I really liked the workshop for Tye – dying at the day of the local action which took a place in my town. There were a lot of young people and we spent couple of hours and there was a lot of fun. These kind of action are really good for socialisation and raising the awareness and importance to keep our planet clean.”– Dime 
  • “I really liked the action with the collecting the rubbish from the playground, because afterwards we made a beautiful picture of the place where we spend a lot of time playing, having fun and gathering together. I enjoyed seeing the grass green again.” – Nikola –
  • “For this cleaning action we spent funny time cooperating to make our playground more beautiful place. We took participation in different sections like collecting the rubbish, playing competitive games, Tye dying, also the games where we should express our creativity. My opinion is that we should organise often actions like that having in mind that this is good for changing ideas and having lovely time together. Also, this action was broad-casted on the local TV station and sh owned others how important and how interesting is action of this kind for the raising the awareness for the ecology.” – Sredno –
  • “I took part as a leader of the group of cleaning section and was very happy that young people with a lot of fun and pleasure were cleaning the playground. In short period of time they collected the garbage and made the place totally different then before. But I think that we shouldn’t’t stop here. We should organise more actions like this in order to make protection of the nature as a habit.”– Aleksander 
  • “I am very happy that we had a lot of positive thoughts after the action. The actions lasted few hours but spent great time working together, having fun and making new friends. I think we should organise actions like this every month. This will help to keep our place clean, to show others that they should take care about the place where they live. It is not enough to organise action like this only where is a day of the Planet Earth, Day of the tree or similar event, this should be a part of daily life. But it was good idea to start, anyway.”– Sime Iliev –


VOLUNTEER ACTION: Flash-mob in the street of Issoire. It consisted in putting a plastic bottle on the ground near a trash can and waiting for anyone’s reaction. When a person put thebottle in the trash bin, we applauded at him and inform of our action by a banner. Flowers were given to the winner!

Youth Voices for the environment : FRENCH ACTION, AN ECOLOGICAL FLASHMOB

In France, the action corresponded to an ecological flash mob which was organized in the town of Issoire by its Youth Centre. It consisted in putting a plastic bottle in the ground next to a trash can in the street and waiting for anyone’s Eco-friendly reaction.
The first one which took place on Saturday the 28th of May 2011 was very quick.

After 10 minutes, a child decided to pick up the bottle and play with it but his father came to the trash can and told him to put the bottle into. After doing this, they were both applauded by the crowd which had been early informed. A banner with “Nature says thanks to you” was suddenly putting up and they were given a bunch of flowers.

The second flash mob took place on Friday the 2nd of June 2011, in bad weather and a lot of inhabitants were somewhere else because of the bank holiday. A woman who worked in a store decided to pick up the bottle after more than one hour of
waiting time! According to youngsters, different feelings can be exposed, five of them have been asked about themselves.

  • This is useful but people are used not to taking any wastes on the street, even I would not do it!– Florian, 19 years old young man –


VOLUNTEER ACTIONS: First action was the cleaning of the beach nearby our centre with a group of young immigrants. We gathered 7 bags of 70 liters each!! Second action was the creation of a “monster” out of recycling material; this monster is eating garbage to be recycled.

In the frame of the ENYC volunteer Action “Give a Hand! Volunteers for environment, a group of volunteer from Corinthia took part in a environmental volunteer actions on the 4th June 2011. The aim of the voluntary action was to integrate young immigrants to the local environment and remind them of the importance of respecting our Earth and life in all its diversity. The voluntary action was divided in two parts of activities.

The first action started on Saturday in the early morning with cleaning of a beach nearby our Youth centre with a group of young immigrants. After 3 hours of cleaning we gathered 7 bags of 70 litres each!! We, human beings, create such a lot of rubbish! Most of the stuff we throw away is made up of glass, metal, plastic and paper could be reused and recycled. Why are we, humans, devastating our place to live? During the cleaning action we have met with different kinds of reactions from native people going around and watching us. Not everybody was in the mood to enjoy our action.

The second following action was an art workshop using gathered recycled material. (re-use) The theme of the workshop was a creation of a “monster” tall around 2 metres (eating garbage to get recycled) out of a recycling material which presented the scare of the dirty environment and commination for all of us who keep forgetting the importance of protecting our environment. In this action participated besides volunteers and young immigrants also a small group of young boys. They enjoyed the creative activity a lot.

Every one of us can do something to help protecting our environment. We all have a responsibility for our environment. We must learn to live in a sustainable way and keep and protect the world in a good condition for our future generations.

  • We are happy that we could be a part of the ambition to help.Dimitri – Volunteer (The Greek volunteer team)

6. SLOVAKIA – Youth Centre JUNIOR

VOLUNTEER ACTION: Environmental cleaning of the surrounding of the future cultural centre in Banska Bystrica. This place is closely connected with special theatre in our city, at which they employ and take care of people with special needs, who also act as actors in play that they perform for the public. After reconstruction of the building, the place will also be used for performing shows of this special teathre troupe.

7. TURKEY – Youth Organisation System & Generation

VOLUNTEER ACTION: Cleaning action at a pic-nic area with an integenerational group: young people, children, parents, grandparents.

EVS newsletters (testimonials from volunteers):

1). DEJLA – My “Leonardo” experience in Greece

“It’s very hard to resume a stay of 2 months in few sentences. My name is Dejla I come from France and i arrived in Greece the 6th of june 2011 to stay here until the 12 of August.

What to tell you about my arrival? Greece is such a beautiful country where nature and civilization are perfectly united where past and present live in harmony. Sun, sea, mountain, new buildings, ancient ruins its a beautiful landscape who welcome you.

The crisis? You dont really feel it at first sight its only when you meet in the square some strikers spending all their nights debating peacefully about the society problems and how they can change it. You also feel the crisis when you speak to people in the evening in front of a glass of “frappé” or during the dinner time ( at what time you want because there is not time to eat here) talking with people eating “pitas” or “souvlakis” that you really understand that the country and the people are living bad times.

When i arrived i thought that greek people live beyond one’s means but i understand now that it’s not the case and the fact that they seem not to have problem is a strength they are showing that everything is ok and that life goes on even with problems they are still living going out at night to restaurant “tavernas” bars and night clubs.

Well lets talk about my experience now, so i live in Korinthos a city at about 80km from Athens well known for the canal.

I am here in the Leonardo Programm I am sharing the appartment with 2 french girls but turkish and british people will come soon. I asked before coming to have my training in the youth center to work directly with the staff who received me and it’s a very good experience with a very nice team. I worked with disabled people, with children , i participated in a paint exhibition, i have the opportunity to write this newsletter and more things are waiting for me i have one month again to enjoy life and work in Greece.”

2). NIKOS in F.Y.R.O.Macedonia: Cross-cultural feedback

Nikos Stratas, member of Yout Centre of Corinthia, participate to is first intercultural experience in FYROM in the frame of the trainin course  “Youth Centers – uniting young people” organised by CreACTive.

“Nothing is better than having a great time, meeting people and learning at the same time. I decided to participate at this training course in less than 1 hour and I have never regreted it. These 8 days were some of my best days of my life. I learnt a lot of things such as games which apart from entertain you can teach you a many things (meditation, teamwork, effective cooperation).

The seminar contained a lot of activities (visits, team games, karaoke nights, speeches by people involved with people with fewer opportunities) but the most important for me was the visit at the village of Drenovo. There we met people and mostly children aged 10-17 which were totally different with a definitely unusual behavior. Their parents were totally unaware of them and this was reason which caused their strange behavior. All the participants were speechless about children’s way of life.

The other participants were great. Each of them had his different personality, his different way of life depending on his origin. I learnt many important things about their cultures, their foods and their languages. We exchanged ideas about how we face people with fewer opportunities or how our country do this. The trainers knew very good their job and they were very friendly. They were coming with us at the nights for clubbing and this was very important for me because I came closer with the other participants thus I still have contact with them.

Finally, I want to point out that this seminar made me take one very important decision for me which has to do with my EVS. When I came back to Greece I immediately applied for my EVS in F.Y.R.O.MACEDONIA and I think that this is an eloquent testament for all I have mentioned.”

3). HANA in Luxembourg: “AUTUMN SHOTS”

Hana, youth worker at the Corinthian Youth Centres Network in Greece went to the Youth Centre of Eisenborn (SNJ) in Luxembourg for a 2 weeks job-shadowing (24.10-03.11.2011) where she could work and learn from the video workshop carried out by this centre .

“Who knows where the composer Joseph Kosma with Johny Mercer, Jacques Prevert took their inspirations for a Jazz standard song “Autumn leaves”, but they probably visited Luxembourg in the Autumn time, as me.

Nature was so charming, many colors were covering crowns of trees (various shades of yellow, brown, green, orange, red…) In one word, Beautiful. The right time to capture those moments with cameras. Of course, you need to know how.

For my Job Shadowing, I had an opportunity to visit The National Youth Service in Eisenborn, LU (Service National de la Jeunesse – SNJ) specialized on Video – making videos. My 10 days of Job Shadowing included different ways of shadowing / observation and learning. I could become familiar with their work activities by proactive observing/monitoring their daily work. I could understand their work rhythm, see making decisions for their activities, taking responsibilities, see their target groups that they were working with.

Since the centre is organizing video educational projects with schools and youth groups, it was a good chance for me to see them in the action.

Working on Video projects proved successful path for team-building activities for school-classes and youth groups with fewer opportunities. 
In few days, that they spent in the Centre place, they got involved in the whole video process, playing roles as actors, directors, screenwriters, cameramen. It was a very good experience for all of us and we had lots of fun.
Finally the finished movie and the presentation of their movie were their “fruits”.

Moreover I had a chance by myself to try the whole process of creating a video. From the basic preparation phase, for example how to stand in correct way a tripod, how to hold a camera, taking videos, editing, a video-cut, working with the special video programme “Final cut” etc.

You can’t become a video expert in 10 days, but it was a good start to get familiar with the basics and it opened a fictional door for me to a “video world”.

Hospitality, cooperation and the company of Adrien, Paul, Ivan, David and other nice people I could meet in those days were very nice, warm and friendly. My stay was very beneficial, rewarding for me and my work. Many thanks to Adrien Promme and his Boys´ team.”

The participating organisations, during this year, were: 

  • Major  – Bulgaria
  • National Institute of Children & Youth – Czech Republic
  • Finnish Youth Centres organisation – Finland
  • Corinthian Youth Centres Network  Greece
  • EURO-NET – Italy
  • Youth Centre of Eisenborn – Luxembourg
  • Ma-Ma network – Slovenia
  • CEZAM – Slovenia
  • JUNIOR – Slovakia
  • Regional Youth Center of Kosice – Slovakia
  • National Youth Agency – UK
  • System and Generation – Turkey
  • Association CreACTive – F.Y.R.O.M.
  • Youth Centre for Non-Formal Education – Creators not Consumers (CnC) – Croatia
  • JEF ALBANIA /Albanian Youth Council – Albania
  • Maison des Jeunes d’Issoire – France

“This project has been funded with the support from the European Union. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.”

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