VOLUNTEERING X-CHANGE

VOLUNTEERING X-CHANGE

FIRST POST: WHAT CAN WE TELL ABOUT IT

WHO are we ?

Hello, in this blog we will keep you informed about the Erasmus + project Volunteering X-change that will take place in Oudenaarde, Belgium from 02/08/2014 until 09/08/2014. We (the participants ) will make a daily post with some pictures, a movie, an interview or some text about what we did every day.

The project is organized by three organizations, The Outsider Club (BE), the host organization, PEEK  (UK) and Youth department of Helsinki (FI). The Outsider Club tries to create a strong youth policy for young persons between the age of 6 and 30. With social, cultural and mainly sports and adventurous activities that stimulate participation, growth and education of children and young people. PEEK , a charity based in Glasgow, which works with children and young people aged 5-25 living in the East End of Glasgow and North of Glasgow – giving them the motivation, self-confidence and skills they need to change their lives. In a typical week, they provide high quality, diverse & innovative arts, leisure and free play activities over 450 children and 70 young people. The last partner is the Youth department of the city of Helsinki, the mission of this organization is to support young people’s life choices and their sense of responsibility as well as to increase their participation. In the first place this means creating the prerequisites for moral and ideological growth; and thirdly it means shouldering responsibilities for young people’s social risks and place in society.

This exchange will be an opportunity for us to skill-share, to improve our communication and team working skills, to develop our facilitation skills, to broaden our horizon and to promote both local and international volunteerism. This project will promote intercultural learning and understanding and produce more active citizens. In the longer term, it is hoped that the project will continue in the UK and Finland in the following years.

THE EXPERIENCE OF ROBERT LINDSAY

When arriving in Belgium I didn’t know what to expect when meeting the group because I thought that it would be difficult to communicate because I knew no Dutch or Finnish whatsoever. I’m happy that wasn’t the case, I actually was able to communicate well with most of the group, although it was difficult for some of the Finnish group as their English was not as good as the others.

After the first day I had already made a lot of friends, this made my stay here more easier and more fun. I found it really refreshing learning about the different cultures of both the countries, Brussels was also a beautiful city.

For the first half of the week I had mostly bonded with the group from Belgium, but after the team-building exercises that only the Scottish and Finnish group took part in, I immediately hit it off with the Finnish group.

All in all, the week has been a complete success for me. I came here to volunteer which I done, I helped out a lot with everything. I came here to learn from the other 2 groups and I certainly did and I came here to develop myself personally, I personally think I have learned things about myself ie I learned that I am a leader and not a follower.  Robert Lindsa