Duration 10 months – August 2018 to May 2019
Six experienced youth organizations “Jaunatne par” from Latvia, “Actio Catholica Patria” from Lithuania, NGO”Inovatoriu slenis” from Lithuania, “ASSOCIATION NATIONALE COMPAGNONS BATISSEURS” from France, “SOFDAGI GENCLIK VE SPOR KULUBU DERNEGI ” from Turkey and “Ookull” from Estonia came together to battle the social exclusion of disadvantaged youth. Although, early school leaving, living in a slum regions of the city and unemployment does not seem such a problem yet, with the time it might grow into social exclusion and lead to criminal actions, if the young person is not guided and encouraged by the professionals. One of the instruments of guidance and encouragement is EVS. Therefore, we had written a project entirely for disadvantaged youth and hosted them during the autumn, winter and spring in “Jaunatne par”. In September and October we hosted two mentally challenged girls from Tartu, Estonia together with uneducated, poor boy from racial minority from slum regions of Marseilles, France. In November and December we hosted very shy, unemployed and socially excluded girls from France and Lithuania together with young uneducated, poor Kurdish boy from large family in Gaziantep, Turkey. Last round in February, March we started with neglected orphan, who’s neglection had resulted in mental disability and unemployed and therefore depressed girl from rural area Taurage, Lithuania. They were later joined by Lithuanian volunteer from rural area, who had suffered in the fire. His body was covered by scars and after a couple years he was still trying to overcome the shock.
All the participants were found through the Sending organizations, except one Lithuanian girl, who “Jaunatne par” had found in the database. One month prior to departure to EVS the Sending organizations “Patria”- Lithuania, NGO”Inovatoriu slenis” – Lithuania, “ANCB” – France, “SofDagi” – Turkey and “Ookull” – Estonia provided daily guidance, support and information through the Reinforced mentorship and sending activities.
Also, during the 2 months of EVS activities in Latvia the disadvantaged volunteers were guided and assisted by experienced reinforced mentors – Sarma Brauna and Kitija Plume.
The volunteers without any social, international and work experience required 24 hours assistance, guidance, support and surveillance. Working together in the group with mentors and facilitators of the activities they discovered their talents, abilities and uniqueness, improved their skills and became more self confident. They were working with young offenders in The State Penitentiary of Adolescents of Cesis, with the young people from an early school leaving risk group in The Secondary School of Cesis City and with disabled children in The School – Rehabilitation Center of Raiskums. They helped to organize the Intercultural learning events, Green Thinking Workshops, Sports activities, Music club using modular synthesizer, Theatre club and Dance club. All the activities were aiming to raise the awareness of the own culture of the young people as well as to provide an international environment and emotional support to the target groups. The disadvantaged volunteers promoted European values, culture and opportunities, which gives the Erasmus+ and EVS.
Project partners made one dissemination seminar of the project results with friendly governmental and non governmental institutions in each partner country – Lithuania – Antaliepte, France – Rennes, Estonia -Tartu, Turkey – Gaziantep and Cesis -Latvia
The volunteers participated in the dissemination process. Our organization and Lithuanian “Inovatoriu slenis” shared the experience in our project with other youth organizations of Europe in European Youth Week. They shared their success stories in the meetings and seminars about the participation of young disadvantaged people in the EVS.
The partners of the project are convinced that social exclusion of young people in Lithuania, France, Estonia, Latvia and Turkey of different backgrounds has diminished. It has been achieved by hard youth work and encouragement of young disadvantaged people to take action in their own hands by raising their self-esteem, by helping to discover their talents and by improving their social skills.