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10 years of EVS with VIEWS International Training Course

The project “10 Years of EVS”, organized by VIEWS International, took place from May 30th until June 4th 2016 in Liège, Belgium. The activity gathered young visually impaired people, as well as youth workers with or without visual impairment, engaged in EVS projects. More specifically, it was an Evaluation visit under Key Action 1, in the framework of the Erasmus+ Programme.

In order to give a little bit of context, our organization has been hosting young visually impaired people since 2006, with special attention to their specific needs. Moreover, at the European level, it has been 20 years since the European Voluntary Service was launched. The project, therefore, was devised to celebrate both these important events.

The countries participating in the project were Belgium (BE), Bulgaria (BG), Germany (DE), Finland (FI), Italy (IT), Poland (PL), Romania (RO), Spain (ES) and Turkey (TR). Each partner sent two participants, a young visually impaired person and a youth worker, both engaged in an EVS project and interested in the topic. The activity saw the participation of 20 people, as there were two partners from Turkey.

During the activity, all participants had the opportunity to evaluate our 10-year work with adapted EVS for visually impaired people. They also had the chance to share their experiences as sending and hosting organization for volunteers.

We would like to broaden our network of hosting/coordinating organizations, so that more young visually impaired people get the chance to partake in projects such as the EVS, and with a wider range of projects to choose from.

Objectives

  • To measure EVS's impact on the professional, personal and social life of the visually impaired volunteers, as well as the associations involved;
  • to increase the ability of European organisations to manage projects for VIPs and to exchange good practices on how to adapt EVS projects for them;
  • to gather ideas for the creation of a brochure for the organisations, with tips on how to manage such projects.

In order to achieve our objectives, we adopted a dynamic approach: we organized group activities, brain-storming sessions to share experiences, and an open-space presentation with stands, where everyone got the chance to present his work with EVS.

Brief description of the activity

On the 6-day activity, all participants got the chance to share their experiences. Former European volunteers, youth workers from sending organisations and other experts brought their knowledge and experience to the table. Moreover, the participants had the opportunity to visit some of VIEWS International's hosting projects.

During the activity, a very important question was asked: "What can we do to broaden our network? How can we improve in the future?". Rosaria explained very clearly what the whole matter was about.
Read her article on 10 years of adapted EVS
Read what some of the participants have to say.