I’M WITH YOU!

Infopack ESC Volunteering project

 “I’m with you!”

01.11.2019 – 30.06.2020

Marasesti – ROMANIA

Project description

School dropout is a complex phenomenon and is increasingly seen as one of the main problems faced by European societies. School dropout can have serious consequences not only for students and their families, but also for society in general because it leads to economic and social costs. The consequences of school dropout can be extreme because they reduce the chance for young people to participate in the social, cultural and economic environment of the community. The project will be targeted at children from Marasesti town.

The purpose of the project is preventing early school leaving of 235 pre-school children of Roma ethnicity and non-Roma in Marasesti, Haret, Ciuslea, Garoafa through non-formal education activities and leisure education activities.

The aim of the project is to prevent the phenomenon of school dropout among children from Marasesti, Haret, Ciuslea, Garoafa communities through non-formal education activities.

Main objectives:

1. Increasing the motivation of 235 children aged 3 to 7 years to participate in educational activities by the end of the project.

2. Awareness of the risks of school dropout among 150 families of the children involved in the project during the 12 months of the project.

3. Improving a viable and permanent collaboration between the School-Community-Local Public Authority over the 12 months of the project.

4. Building a range of necessary skills in the pre-school education sector among the 8 volunteers during the 8 months of volunteering stage.

5. Developing civic, social and intercultural competences among the 8 ESC volunteers, during the 8 months of volunteering stage.

The project will involve 8 EVS volunteers from 8 different countries.

Project activities: 01.11.2019 – 30.06.2020 (8 months) – 243 activity days + 2 travel days. 31 October 2019 and 01 July 2020 are travel days.

Venue: The project takes place in Mărăşeşti town and the rural areas Haret, Ciuslea, Garoafa.

Project activities

All project activities will use non-formal learning methods such as: workshops, brainstorming, role play activities, discussion circle, debate, galleries tour, photovoice, socio-educational animation and art-craft exhibitions. Athletic activities such as cycling, trotting, roller-skating or jogging in nature are basic activities designed to attract children to school and stimulate their interest in learning. The volunteers will be divided in teams of 4, two of the members being with fewer opportunities. From Monday to Thursday, they will go to the kindergartens, where they will spend 3 hours of activity, as planned by the teachers responsible for coordinating the volunteers in each school unit.

The aim of the activities in pre-schools will be to provide a neutral area to the children and young people from Marasesti, Haret, Garoafa and Ciuşlea to explore the deep causes of school dropout and the possible measures and actions to address them from a constructive perspective. All activities will be based on non-formal education and will be achieved through an interactive approach. Activities with children will be realized through group-work, teamwork.

The focus of the project is the direct participation of children and parents in the prevention of early school leaving, creating a warm and attractive school climate. Through the non-formal education methods used in this project, we want to promote social inclusion and equal opportunities, to contribute to the European cooperation in the youth field and to awareness of its positive impact through the active involvement of European volunteers, preschool children, teachers and parents as agents of prevention, while respecting the ESC principles of equal treatment, equal opportunities and non-discrimination, providing high-level quality activities with learning dimensions centered on personal development.

Expected learning outcomes:

By the end of the 8-month stage the volunteers will be able to improve/acquire:

• knowledge and experience in performing non-formal education activities;

• communication skills in English and his/her own mother language; knowledge of basic Romanian language;

• skills to work in an international team;

• skills in managing the relationship with disadvantaged children and youth;

• knowledge of the organization of NGOs, experience in volunteering and interculturalism;

• time management skills, team coordination skills, they will learn what it means to bring a change in the environment where they live and they will also develop the European and intercultural dimension;

• entrepreneurial skills – the volunteers will develop their sense of initiative and entrepreneurship by designing and coordinating project activities;

• coordination skills, teamwork, leadership, partnership management and project management, that serve them in future projects;

• the volunteers will also improve their social and networking skills and will become more motivated to engage in community life as a result of their working with children and youth during the project;

• knowledge about the Romanian culture, traditions, customs, gastronomy.

Other details:

Accommodation: The volunteers will live in two flats accommodation in Marasesti, in shared bedrooms, individual beds, with common area, shared cooking, washing, laundry and social facilities, free wi-fi included.

Food: Volunteers will receive a monthly food allowance of 150 Euro to buy food products and cook for themselves. They will also receive a monthly allowance of 90 Euro in form of “pocket money”.

Local Transport: The volunteers’ flat apartment is situated near the location of the activities, so the volunteers will walk to the place where the activities take place. For transport to the other schools in villages, volunteers will travel by minibuses, which run daily every half an hour. The bus tickets will be reimbursed.

Holidays: EVS volunteers will work 6 hours per day, 5 days a week, two consecutive days off per week and two days off per month.

National Holidays are also free days.

Travel: The volunteers together with their Support Organisations will be responsible for arranging their travel. The travel costs will be reimbursed at the end of the project according to the distance band limits imposed by the European Commission.

The budget for travel costs is € 275/participant.

The volunteers need to arrive at Bucharest – Otopeni (Henri Coanda International Airport). From Bucharest to Focsani/Marasesti there are regular buses every day directly from the airport.  We can arrange to book the bus tickets for you.

Training during the project

The volunteers will be accompanied and supported at all times during the activities by the teachers from classes and they will receive training at the beginning of their stage to become familiar with the way the activities will be implemented. They will receive ongoing support from activity coordinators, teachers and staff of our organization.

The volunteers will attend the On-Arrival Training and Mid-Term Evaluation, organized by the Romanian National Agency.

The volunteers will also receive Romanian language training for the first 3 months.

Other recommendations

Ø you should bring your regular clothes and personal hygiene products. Bed clothes, covers and towels are provided by host organisation.

Ø in Romania it is usually very cold in the winter and sometimes there is a lot of snow. During December, January and February the temperatures can go down to -15° below 0° Celsius), so you should also bring some warm clothes with you: a warm hat and gloves, boots, a winter jacket!

Project Environment

Mărăṣeṣti is a small town in Vrancea county, situated in the east of Romania. Mărăṣeṣti is known as a town with a great historical significance because here took place a major battle during the First World War. The Mausoleum of Marasesti, one of the most important memorial sites in Europe, was built in the place where, in the summer of 1917, great battles were fought between Germany and Romania. Nowadays, Mărăşeşti is the poorest town of Vrancea County, with a population of approximately 11,000 inhabitants on the decrease comparing to previous years.

The town is a disadvantaged area, with no economy and most of its inhabitants receive social security benefits or are in extreme poverty. Nevertheless, in this town there are 4 elementary schools attended by 1200 children aged 6-14 years old and one High School attended by 200 students who are facing the absence of positive role models and conscious leaders.

About us

Asociatia Voluntariat pentru Viata is an NGO, based in Romania, founded in November 2012 on the initiative of some specialists in the field of education, art, history, social assistance.

The mission of Asociatia Voluntariat pentru Viata is to promote volunteering and civic consciousness by developing activities that contribute to increased public awareness of the contribution of volunteers to the local community and to the society in general.

Asociatia Voluntariat pentru Viata performs the following duties:

– develops activities based on non-formal education aiming to enhance social functioning, integration and cooperation among young people;

– provides counsel, therapy and specialized assistance in order to prevent social marginalization.

In 2012, Asociatia Voluntariat Pentru Viata started its work in Marasesti town in order to support a sustainable local development. First, the Organization developed and implemented youth projects in the framework of Youth in Action programme (Youth Initiatives promoting cultural heritage and environment). Then, the Organisation started to develop European projects under the Erasmus+ programme.

A large part of the activities that we carry out are focused around supporting the disadvantaged children and their families to have access to education and involving young people, in particular, and community members in volunteering actions.

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