Vacancy Announcement – Research Expert

Job Title: Research Expert
Aim of the Position: To develop a Handbook on Inclusion of Youth from Rural and deprived Urban areas in Armenia
Location: APY (Yerevan office)
Reporting To: Project Coordinator and Executive Director
Duration: 6 months
Probation Period: 2 weeks
Starts: 01 April 2018
Finishes: 01 October 2018
Workload per week: 20 hours (50%)
Contract: Fixed Term until October 1, 2018

Purpose of the Job:

APY, a non-governmental organization based in Yerevan, Armenia, is looking for a Research Expert who will develop a Handbook on Inclusion of Youth from Rural and deprived Urban areas in Armenia. We are looking for an enthusiastic and proactive individual to become a member of our growing team as a Research Expert and oversee preparation, research, collection testimonies and best practices, conducting surveys and interviewing the beneficiaries of our EU financed “Youth EN.P.ACT (Entrepreneurship, Participation, Action) Lab” project.

The project

Youth EN.P.ACT (Entrepreneurship, Participation, Action) Lab is one of the current projects implemented by APY aiming to empower young people in rural communities of Armenia to become more active both on the grass-root level and on national and international programs, benefiting from educational opportunities as well as mobility programs of the EU in the field of Education, Training and Youth.

General Responsibilities

The research expert will develop a “Handbook on Youth Inclusion in Rural Armenia”, for youth trainers and young people in rural areas of Armenia as a methodological source and guidelines for incorporation of inclusive and needs-based approaches which can be used in their activities for the community development. The handbook should include the testimonies of the participants we have worked with and stakeholders we have met.

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Organises, manages and carries out research targeting the youth policy stakeholders and providing concrete recommendations of youth policy development based on the principles of inclusion and empowerment of youth from rural areas through;
  • Develops a handbook as a methodological source and guidelines for incorporation of inclusive and needs-based approaches which they incorporate into their activities for the community development.
  • Conducts research though various means, such as focus groups, surveys and interviews;
  • Records and analyses the results of the research using statistical techniques and packages;
  • Prepares written summaries, contributes to research publications and puts together oral or poster presentations;
  • Conducts impact assessment of the EN.P.ACT project, interviews it’s beneficiaries and partners;
  • Carries out interviews in Armenian and English, manages the collected data as well as prepares publications;
  • Analyses data using data analysis software and writing reports and publications;
  • Develops Power Point presentations based on the outcome of the conducted researches.
  • NB: Taking into account the evolving nature of the project, some minor changes may occur to the roles and responsibilities of the Research Expert

    Competencies

    Functional Competencies:

  • Develop effective handbook with special focus on inclusion of youth inclusion and youth social entrepreneurship in rural areas;
  • Demonstrate good understanding on youth development and social entrepreneurship;
  • Strong analytical capacities and strong ability to communicate and summarize this analysis in writing;
  • Demonstrate good oral and written communication skills with proven ability in report writing;
  • Generate information and documentation;
  • Network effectively with stakeholders to develop effective implementation plan.
  • Core Competencies:
    Ability to manage relationships with a diverse range of stakeholders and incorporate diverse points of view;
    Help create an enabling environment for open communication;
    Demonstrate fairness and transparency.

    Required Skills and Experience

    Education and experience:
    Background in social science, public policy, development, and political science;
    Demonstrated knowledge (education, publications, etc.) of youth development and/or social entrepreneurship is desirable.
    A minimum of 3 year of professional research experience;
    Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office and of project management tools;
    Being detail-oriented and possessing strong communication skills;
    Ability to work independently and take on a wide range of tasks;
    Having the ability to solve problems and manage time effectively,
    Being able to work in a multicultural team and work as a part of a team, meeting the deadlines;
    High computer literacy, with good knowledge of social media tools;
    Strong networking abilities.
    Language:
    Written and oral proficiency in English and Armenian is required.
    Strong oral and written skills in Armenian and English languages;

    Salary:

    The Research Expert will work 20 hours weekly having a flexible schedule and not having to be based at the Head Office of the organization. There might regional trips and overnight stays on weekends and during the week which will be additionally paid. Regional trips as well as overnight and weekend work will be paid separately as a daily allowance in the end of the month. The salary envisaged for this position is 120.000 AMD gross (taxes and social security expenses are included in the mentioned salary).

    Application Process:

    If interested in this position, please: (1) write a motivation letter not exceeding the 500 words, (2) summarize the questions/topics you will cover in the handbook and suggested structure and (3) send the CV to [email protected] by mentioning the Job Title and Name/Surname in the Subject (example: Research Expert — Simon Simonyan).

    Deadline:

    The motivation letter and application should be sent by 20th of March 2018 in the same email. Any application presented after the deadline above will be automatically disqualified.

    Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for a panel interview scheduled on 21-23 of March.

    Call for Participants — “EVERYONE MATTERS!”

    Armenian Progressive Youth NGO suggests various opportunities for youngters, youth workers and trainers both in Armenia and beyond. All the projects are aiming at developing the skills of the beneficiaries and broadening their professional capacities. Here we offer another opportunity for youth workers, educators and trainers.

    This time Armenian Progressive Youth NGO is organizing a training course called  “Everyone Matters! Development of Inclusive and Participatory Youth Work Practices in Eastern Partnership countries” that will take place in Yerevan, Armenia, from 07 to 15 of April, 2018. Currently we are looking for participants for the training course.

    The training course will support 35 youth workers, educators and youth trainers who work or are affiliated with the member organizations of the consortium in incorporating inclusion and diversity-awareness in their work, making sure it exists both in the trainings, projects and initiatives of partner organizations. The project aims to empower youth organizations, youth workers, trainers and educators to develop inclusion and diversity orientation in their work with rural and unprivileged young people and build their competence in addressing the needs of marginalized youth.

    Objectives of the Training

    • To empower 35 youth workers, trainers and educators to develop diversity orientation in their work with young people and build the their competence in diversity management;
    • To prepare youth workers to work with marginalized youth in their communities;
    • To support youth workers in incorporation of diversity into their working environment, thus, making their work more successful and inclusive;
    • To introduce key theoretical aspects, the glossary as well as the practical tools, methods and instruments to the youth workers who seek to work with marginalized youth in their communities;
    • To develop training and educational activities and tools on inclusion and diversity trying them out in the group of participants in order to use the tools back home.

    Partner Countries: Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, Germany, Sweden and Belgium.

    Who Can Apply
    “EVERYONE MATTERS! Development of Inclusive and Participatory Youth Work Practices in Eastern Partnership countries” training course is for youth workers, youth trainers and educators who live in Armenia and are at least 18 years old.

    How to Apply
    In order to apply, please, fill out the application form by the following link: goo.gl/4bSWxG.
    The deadline for the applications is February 25.

    In case of any questions feel free to contact the Project Manager of Armenian Progressive Youth NGO Mane Papyan by the following email address: [email protected]

    «ՄասնակցուՄԵՆՔ» սոցիալական ձեռնարկատիրության և ակտիվ քաղաքացիության ծրագիր — Պրակտիկա հյուրընկալելու հայտադիմում

    Քաղաքացիական հասարակության կազմակերպություն կամ սոցիալական ձեռնարկատիրությո՞ւն եք։ Ցանկանու՞մ եք 2 շաբաթով ձեր գրասենյակում հյուրընկալել երիտասարդ աշխատակցի, ով կներգրավվի Ձեր կազմակերպության աշխատանքի մեջ, կօգնի և կաջակցի, միևնույն ժամանակ ստանալով մասնագիտական զարգացման հարցում աջակցություն ձեր կազմակերպության աշխատակիցների կողմից:

    Եթե այո, ապա սա հենց այն հնարավորությունն է, որը փնտրում եք։

    «Հայ առաջադեմ երիտասարդություն» ՀԿ-ը «Դիլիջանի երիտասարդների համագործակցության կենտրոն» ՀԿ-ի և «Կայուն զարգացման և ակտիվ քաղաքացիության ԷկոԼաբ հիմնադրամ»-ի հետ համատեղ իրականացնում է «ՄասնակցուՄԵՆՔ» սոցիալական ձեռնարկատիրության և ակտիվ քաղաքացիության ծրագիրը, որն ուղղված է ՀՀ մարզերում բնակվող երիտասարդների հմտությունների և կարողությունների զարգացմանը։

    Ծրագրի թիրախային խումբը ՀՀ 10 մարզերի 25 քաղաքային և գյուղական համայնքներում բնակվող 18-28 տարեկան երիտասարդներն են, ովքեր հետաքրքրված են ակտիվ քաղաքացիության, համայնքային մասնակցության և ձեռնարկատիրության ոլորտներում կրթական և մասնագիտական պրակտիկայի հնարավորություններով:

    Ծրագրի շրջանակներում դիմորդներից ընտրվելու են 60 մասնակիցներ, ովքեր մասնակցելու են մի շարք դասընթացների և հնարավորություն են ունենալու պրակտիկա անցնել քաղաքացիական հասարակության կազմակերպություններում կամ սոցիալական ձեռնարկություններում՝ դասընթացների ժամանակ ստացած գիտելիքները գործնականում կիրառելու և ամրապնդելու համար։

    Դիմում-հայտը լրացնելու համար հետևե՛ք հետևյալ հղմանը՝ goo.gl/ThGEBY։
    Պրակտիկայի տևողությունը՝ 2 շաբաթ։
    Հայտադիմումների վերջնաժամկետը՝ 2018թ․ փետրվարի 19-ը։

    Ծրագրի շրջանակներում 20 ընտրված կազմակերպությունների մեկական աշխատակից հնարավորություն կստանա անցնել մենթորության և քոուչինգի դասընթաց, որը հնարավորություն կտա նրանց դառնալ մենթորներ և քոուչներ «ՄասնակցուՄԵՆՔ» սոցիալական ձեռնարկատիրության և ակտիվ քաղաքացիության ծրագրի 60 մասնակիցների համար՝ մասնագիտական պրակտիկայի ընթացքում։


    «ՄասնակցուՄԵՆՔ» սոցիալական ձեռնարկատիրության և ակտիվ քաղաքացիության ծրագիրն իրականացվում է «Հայ առաջադեմ երիտասարդություն» ՀԿ-ի կողմից «Դիլիջանի երիտասարդների համագործակցության կենտրոն» ՀԿ-ի և «Կայուն զարգացման և ակտիվ քաղաքացիության ԷկոԼաբ հիմնադրամ»-ի հետ համատեղ։
    Ծրագիրը համաֆինանսավորվում է Եվրոպական միության կողմից և իրականացվում է «Աջակցություն Հայաստանի Հանրապետության քաղաքացիական հասարակության կազմակերպությունների կարողությունների հզորացմանը» ԵՄ կողմից ֆինանսավորվող ծրագրի փոքր դրամաշնորհային նախագծի շրջանակներում:

    EVS opportunity with APY in Italy

    APY offers a fantastic 6 months EVS opportunity at our partner organization AMBECO’ in Italy.

    Project title: Growing awareness for the environment
    Start date: 01 March 2018
    Duration: 6 month
    Where: Coop. AMBECO’ – Avezzano (Aq) — Italy

    Aim of the project is to involve the volunteer in the realization of information and sensitization campaigns addressed to citizens and students related to sustainable development through environmental education.

    The volunteer will be involved in the planning of activities and projects, in the participation, organization and management of environmental education activities and events. The volunteer will be involved in communication activities, preparing articles, updating the website and social media, will support AMBECO’ in its weekly activities and ongoing projects.AMBECO’ guaranteed that the volunteer will receive assistance from a working, educational and social point of view during all phases of his / her stay. It is very important that the volunteer learn new things, improve their skills in foreign languages.

    Location: The organisation AMBECO’ is in Avezzano, a town of 40.000 citizens, in the Abruzzo region. We are about 100 km from Rome. Our offices are in the center of Avezzano and the volunteer will stay in an apartment, on the top floor of our offices.

    Here you can find more information about the location and the staff: Foto accreditamento SVE

    APY and AMBECO’ have certain requirements to the volunteers:

    • Good command of English
    • Experience and interest in Erasmus+ projects
    • Sensitivity towards environmental issues
    • Knowledge of web 2.0 tools (for creating and sharing content online)
    • Promoting AMBECO’ activities in social media (fb, instagram, youtube etc)
    • Supporting AMBECO’ in its weekly activities and ongoing projects
    • Developing own initiatives and implementing them

    Check www.ambeco.info/ for more information about AMBECO’.

    If you are interested please send your CV and Motivation letter to the following e-mail address [email protected] until 15 February, 2018.


    The project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.

    Managing Diversity towards More Inclusive Societies

    Have you ever had that feeling when you are in a crowd of like-mined people who have similar lifestyle and background? It‘s cool to be understood from half a word and easily fit in, isn‘t it? Many of young people have never felt that way.
    Our education system, our family, the media and politics have developed certain patterns of our behaviour: fear of uncertainty, being judgemental, rejecting unknown and excluding differences. These are patterns that are often strongly connected to our societal habits and, therefore, can be changed. That‘s why the project “Managing Diversity” was born.
    “Managing Diversity” project was born out of a concern that many young people in Europe have lack of opportunities and spaces to get involved and to express themselves. Being different from mainstream societies, many are being excluded and marginalized.
    This is why 13 non-profit organizations have developed “Managing Diversity” — a long term project working with youth workers, youth trainers and educators, trying to develop their diversity management skills and support them in learning how to implement a culture of diversity in their working environments.
    The project targeted specifically those youth workers and educators who are eager to professionally work against structural discrimination and under-representation of marginalized groups. 26 youth workers from 13 countries joined this multi-layer project in August 2017. The group has undergone a series of trainings and capacity building workshops in the Netherlands which were followed by implementation of small local projects back in home countries of the participants.
    For about 2 month between August and October, participants have developed and executed 19 local projects reaching about 500 young people in 13 countries ranging from East to West of Europe. The local projects have worked and empowered young refugees, LGBTQI people, Roma youth, youth with disabilities and many other vulnerable and marginalized youth.
    Through different types of projects our participants have worked on very sensitive topics. The activities ranged from an improvisational theatre involving Roma youth in Romania and Human Library in Macedonia to career orientation courses for youth with disabilities in Armenia; from a surfing workshop for people with disabilities and a multicultural football tournament in Portugal to a Forum Theatre with refugees in Germany. Many of the projects have targeted the most vulnerable youth, such as a movie projects promoting LGBTQI rights in Moldova or speaking up about domestic violence against women in Armenia.
    All the projects were exceptional having in mind that they were implemented with 0 funding, purely organized through the resources of participants, networks of partner organizations and in kind contribution and support provided by local stakeholders in each respective country. The projects took place in home countries of the participants: Armenia, Belarus, Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Romania. All the projects were implemented through diversity glasses and tackled issues of minority groups living in participating countries.
    Following the successful implementation of small projects, the project results were evaluated and presented to public in Yerevan, Armenia in October, 2017. The public event was attended by young people, representatives of NGO’s and international organizations, media and partners.

    According to the Project Coordinator Ms. Nelly Paytyan, “Managing Diversity” was a good tool against widespread stereotypes in our societies. She thinks that “promoting diversity matters and will matter until young people in our societies face discrimination, ignorance and life burdens based on their nationality, ethnic, cultural and religious background, social status, as well as their gender identity and sexual orientation”.

    “Managing Diversity” was organized by Armenian Progressive Youth NGO (Armenia) and Jongeren voor Uitwisseling en Begrip (The Netherlands). The project was granted by the Dutch National Agency under the Erasmus Programme of the European Union.

    Managing Diversity: 500 young people reached through 19 local projects

    After several months of hard work, series of trainings and local ground work, we have concluded our “Managing Diversity” project – a long term training course working with youth workers, youth trainers and educators. “Managing Diversity” involved 26 youth workers and educators from 13 different countries to develop their diversity management skills and support in learning how to implement a culture of diversity in their working environments.
    Following the Introductory Training in the Netherlands this August, participants have implemented 19 community projects back to their countries during September and, finally, traveled to Armenia in the end of October to present the impact of their projects and their learning achievements.
    Following the successful implementation of small projects, the project results were evaluated and presented to public during a Closing Event. The public event was attended by young people, representatives of NGO’s and international organizations, media and partners.
    Nelly Paytyan, the Project Coordinator from Armenian Progressive Youth NGO believes that “Managing Diversity” is a good tool to counter widespread stereotypes in our societies: “Promoting diversity matters and will matter until young people in our societies face discrimination, ignorance and life burdens based on their nationality, ethnic, cultural and religious background, social status, as well as their gender identity and sexual orientation. I believe, everyone who joined this project agrees that embracing diversity, inclusiveness, sensitivity, equity and solidarity in our daily lives and work with young people matter nowadays more than ever”.
    Karine Grigoryan, a trainee from Armenia, took part in all three activities of the project. Following the training in the Netherlands, she organized professional orientation activity for young people with disabilities. Karine says: “My desire of implementing this activity was based on my belief, that no matter the type of the disability, people can discover the satisfaction that often comes from realizing and using their strongest abilities and skills”.
    Through her project Karine targeted young people with physical disabilities and learning difficulties. As she mentions, “the activity helped the participants to understand what kind of personality and qualifications they have, what they are good at, what they enjoy and what are the possible occupations they may have in the future”. Karines project helped the participants to improve their job searching and employability skills. In particular they learned how to write CV, learned about some job searching websites which they can occasionally browse and look for a job that fits their skills and abilities”.
    Martijn Bergsma, the Project Coordinator from the Netherlands shared some information about how the partners and participants were chosen: “In the beginning we made an open call looking for partners who would be interested to join this project. After selecting the partners and approval of the project, we have also announced an open call for participants to make sure the project is inclusive and open for everyone involving those people who really need it”.

    Fabio Di Benedetto, our participant from Italy have decided to work with young emigrants back to his hometown in Sicily. Fabio organized an Intercultural day that involved 8 local youngsters and 8 unaccompanied foreign minors. There are about 15.000 unaccompanied foreign minors in Italy, one third of them living in Sicily. They come mostly from African countries and due to very weak integration policies of the Italian government, they don’t have interactions with the local youngsters.
    Fabio describes his experience with an excitement: “For the first time youngsters had a chance to talk to each other and get to know each other. They had various backgrounds but during the event they have found out that they are not so different”.

    Another participant from Romania, Maria Carbunaru implemented an improvisational theatre in Romania involving Roma children. Maria says: “The Theater included Roma kids from poor families and orphanages. They spent a day by doing improvisational theater. In the end of the day they were happy and it made me feel good”.
    Neel Klappe, one of the trainers from the Netherlands, thinks that it’s great that the project had concluded in Armenia. “It really makes project more powerful and impactful. I realized how you can do great things when you have a motivation. Through local projects we have realized what we can change and how many people we can reach. This makes me proud”, she says.
    Rodrigo from Portugal says that the whole experience gained during the project can simply be put in one word — “memorable”. Rodrigo organized a small surfing event with children with disabilities. Currently, he is trying to design a bigger project. The idea is to have a training course on personal development and social inclusion of children with disabilities.
    National minorities were not left out of attention as well. Carlos, from Portugal, has worked with representatives of different nationalities living in Portugal, organizing a joint football tournament. “I think I offer a space for the ethnic minorities to gain confidence and break some communication barriers helping them in their professional lives”, he says.
    A journalist from Moldova, Tudor Arnaut joined Valentina Botnaru from Moldova to work on a documentary movie promoting the rights of LGBTQI people. The documentary focused on the lives of LGBTQI people in Moldova and has been screened for the first time during the Closing Event in Armenia.
    Tudor says that during the preparation of the movie he got more information about LGBTQI people in Moldova and became more open-minded. “I had good feedback and now we want to continue with my partner, Valentina Botnaru, doing more beautiful documentaries. “Managing Diversity” was an eye-opening experience and now we are more self-confident to move forward with our ideas”, he says.

    “Managing Diversity” was organized by Armenian Progressive Youth NGO (Armenia) and Jongeren voor Uitwisseling en Begrip (The Netherlands). The project was granted by the Dutch National Agency under the Erasmus Programme of the European Union.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

    By Nelli Petrosyan

    Everybody Counts: Rural Youth Empowerment in Eastern Partnership Countries

    Low level of youth participation in rural or deprived urban areas remains one of the key issues across the Eastern Partnership countries. Specifically in Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine there is a clear lack of youth participation structures in rural areas. At the same time, young people are not able to join the decision-making processes on youth issues at a local level because of the absence of youth consultative bodies or youth councils in the municipalities.

    Recognizing the above mentioned problem, “Everybody Counts: Rural Youth Empowerment in Eastern Partnership Countries” project pursues the aim of fostering the integrationand participation of young people from rural and deprived urban areas through:
    — Raising awareness on youth participation opportunities,
    — Providing job preparation, digital and mobility trainings,
    — Developing opportunities and an ongoing conversation with participants on civic engagement/participation.

    Most importantly, the project mainstreams rural youth participation issues into state youth strategies and policies among the stakeholders in Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine and encourages the state authorities to put specific efforts in regional and rural youth policy development and implementation.

    The project outputs include, but are not limited to the following:
    — Empowerment of young people and youth workers through workshops and trainings,
    — Summarizing the findings of online research on youth participation and involvement.
    — Supporting the development of youth participation structures in rural areas through grass-root work and dialogue with official stakeholders responsible for youth,
    — Mainstream youth participation issues into state youth strategies and policies through preparation of a package of recommendations on youth policy,
    — Development of a handbook on Inclusion of youth with fewer opportunities.

    On December 29th in Yerevan, Armenia an International Youth forum was organized as a part of the effort of mainstreaming youth participation issues. The forum brought together rural youth, the actors from civil society and the state to create and offer to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports the package of recommendations Strategy of the State Youth Policy for 2018-2022.


    “The project benefits from the support through the EaP CSF Re-granting Scheme. Within its Re-granting Scheme, the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) supports projects of the EaP CSF members with a regional dimension that contribute to achieving the mission and objectives of the Forum. The donors of the Re-granting Scheme are the European Union and National Endowment for Democracy. The overall amount for the 2017 call for proposals is 290.000 EUR. Grants are available for CSOs from the Eastern Partnership and EU countries. Key areas of support are democracy and human rights, economic integration, environment and energy, contacts between people, social and labour policies.”

    Youth Workers for More Inclusive Europe Training Course in Yerevan

    Youth Workers for More Inclusive Europe

    From the 19th to 25th June, 2017 the Armenian Progressive Youth (APY) NGO hosted an International Training Course “Youth Workers for More Inclusive Europe” in Yerevan. The project was organized in partnership with Youth Council of Valencia from Spain and supported by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ programme.

    The Training Course was designed for youth workers and youth organizations, which are willing to play a greater role in the areas of migration and refugee crisis as well as youth de-radicalization as its main consequence. The project gathered 26 youth workers in Armenia who were coming from Belarus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Georgia, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Ukraine. Through the Training Course our participants learnt about existing practices and examples in the field of migration where NGO’s and active citizens have gone beyond their capacities to fill the gap left by national and regional authorities and to support people arriving to Europe. At the same time, participants also learnt how to be better prepared to contribute to the resolution of the refugee crisis and improve the policies of integration of refugees in European societies.

    Many of the participants mentioned that the Training Course helped them to learn more about migration in the EU and non-EU countries and how to tackle hate speech towards refugees and migrants. According to the feedback received, we can conclude that the participants especially liked the meeting with Syrian-Armenian refugees and gained knowledge about the situation of asylum seekers´ and refugees in Armenia.

    Gaining local knowledge about Armenia, the hosting country, was an added value to the project. Participants were especially interested to learn about the migration problems linked to the Syrian-Armenian community. They were thankful to be given more information and perspective about this topic thanks to the intervention of volunteers from Armenia who told about their experiences and provided inputs.

    The entire Training Course and its activities have contributed to the knowledge of participants who have developed numerous skills, such as critical and creative thinking, analysing ambiguities around the controversial issues and improving problem-solving skills. First and foremost, the participants got in-depth knowledge on the concept of migration, thoroughly examining the main causes of hatred towards refugees and getting to know the current state of affairs in Europe. By using peer to peer learning approach, we have created a safe space for participants to learn a lot from each other.

    The academic part of the project put forward crucial topics such as respect to human dignity, freedom, equality, respect for human rights, including the rights of refugees and migrants. Moreover, the acquisition of competences has been guaranteed by means of non-formal educational tools provided by the professional trainers throughout the project. Apart from the educational side, the project was comprised of cultural exchange activities such as the intercultural evening as a space to exchange national cuisine, dances, music and create a real multicultural atmosphere. To recapitulate, owing to the project, our participants have been armed with new skills to become more aware and active towards refugee and migrant integration in their own societies and to be actors of change who foster tolerance, solidarity and open-mindedness.

    We really hope that our participants are empowered to be a multiplier of knowledge in their own country of origin and they will do their best to impact their peers either personally or through more structured presentations. Surely, this will motivate other young people to deal with similar experiences, to get to know the European programs, and in particular Erasmus+.

    Community, cooperation, communication, co-existance – you will be able to discover your own meaning

     

    VOLUNTEERING PROJECT IN LITHUANIA

    WHERE — The project is volunteering in integrated school in the capital of Lithuania — Vilnius.

    The school „Versmė“ („stream“ in english) has 544 schoolchildre   n from 6 to 18 years of age. It is primary and secondary school and is specified as an integrated school. They welcome children with mental and physical disabilities, as well as emigrants in their school and do a lot for integration in society. It is based on human and christian values. All teachers and administration tries to develop habits of tolerance, respect and solidarity. Non formal education takes place in their village house in country side near Vilnius — camping, day actvities, etc. There are different national and international projects going on at school and local community, so everyone is more or less used to work internationally, to welcome volunteers.

    WHAT – the help of volunteers is needed during lessons of foreign language; during art, geograpghy lessons for children with special needs; in organising activities for children during breaks and while waiting for transport to go home; help in value education programm in the village house twice a year – create and organize the camp; and other possible activities such as helping students in Parliament acitivities, prepeare school feasts, developing school‘s website together with students, help prepearing different excursions, trips, activities, rallies, different help for students with disability in crafts, art and other lessons, etc. Maximum 36hours in a week, sometimes during the weekends, but then, having a day off on working day.

    WHEN – 2017 September till 2018 July (10 months)

    CONTACT[email protected] , [email protected]

     

    Conflict vs Connection: A Training for Young Peace Builders in Armenia

    Armenian Progressive Youth NGO (Armenia) in partnership with TeachSurfing (Germany) hosted 45 youth workers from 12 different countries; Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Moldova, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey. The country representatives were hosted in Yerevan from 10th to 17th of April in the frames of the international training course “Conflict vs Connection” funded by the Erasmus+ program of the European Union.

    The objective of the training for Young Peace Builders was due to the existing conflicts in the region, which in their turn negatively impact both Armenia’s and the neighbouring countries’ development. The ambition to build peace has been among the political and diplomatic circles of the participating countries. However, many of the conflicts are still unresolved, influencing young people living in those countries. More often, young people are the ones who become victims of violent conflicts and wars.

    The course focused mainly on the topics of conflict prevention, conflict resolution, peace building and conflict management, which are very relevant in the participating countries. The training has been conducted by 3 professional trainers by using lots of interactive exercises and non-formal educational activities, identifying the reasons of conflicts, possible solutions and the role that young people can play in conflict resolution processes. Apart from discussing the cross-border and international conflicts, they discussed also interpersonal conflicts and learnt about effective strategies to overcome them.

    Except the academic part of the project, the participants had a chance to get acquainted with the Armenian culture and national cuisine during the Intercultural evening, excursion to Garni and Geghard, City Rallies initiatives. Moreover, the participants were able to present their national cuisine and culture as well, by creating a real multicultural atmosphere.

    Within the project a public “Human Library”event has been organized, where many local and international participants, including 12 country representatives, had a chance to meet and talk to Muslims, Buddhists, people of different nationalities and groups, ask them about their daily life, ambitions, aspirations and concerns. Human Library worked as an ordinary library: readers came to the library, choose a book and read it. The only difference is that books are humans, and the reading is a real conversation.

    The participants were willing to share their impressions and the outcome of the project with the readers below.

    Maria Argyride from Cyprus talked about the importance of the project, “Through this training I learned a lot of practices and techniques that I can transfer to other people especially to children because I’m a teacher. I think, that now I understand how conflicts begin and can find the right way to solve it. And I feel so cool with knowledge, good feelings, positive energy thanks to your project.”

    Viktor Petrov from Ukraine highlighted “I’m a youth worker and trainer, so this topic and this environment are pretty good for me, for my profession and personal development and also I’d love to contribute to peace-building and this topic is very important for me. The most important thing for me is that we gathered people from 13 countries here, different cultures with the same goal and this is the most important.
    In our society there are many conflicts and I truly believe, that if we spread the information as much as possible, we can get closer to peace, so I’d love to continue the trainings and spreading information and knowledge I gained.”

    “I learned many things in this project and the most basic one is that there is no such a thing “the big shark eats the small one”, we all can collaborate and become the winner in any kind of subject. Peace is an abstract term, for me at least, and in order to make it more substantial you need to work for it.  I think, if many positive people gather together they can do great, amazing things, but people being apart and fighting against each other is something terrible and we can see the results… because it happens centuries.” mentioned Giorgos Gkaraklidis, a participant from Cyprus.