“F3: Foundation For Future”is a project in the programme European Solidarity Corps in which involved 1 volunteer from Germany - Sophia Kraus.
Title: “F3: Foundation For Future”
Preliminary date: 06/03/2019 – 06/03/2020 (12 month)
Project Number: 2018-1-EE01-ESC11-051164;
Project Venues: Tallinn (NGO Youth Club Active), Tammispea Village (NGO Youth Centre Vihasoo), Estonia
This project involves one volunteer from Germany to come to Estonian NGO Youth Club Active for a 12-month activity from 06/03/2019 to 06/03/2020.The long-term goal of this project is providing the volunteer an opportunity to learn and develop through working with children and youngsters in the youth organization, having a direct contact with local ethnic minority community and a possibility to impact them directly. Youth Club Active gives a volunteer plenty of opportunities in participating and taking initiative in carrying out activities and, through implementing her ideas in work with children and youth, to develop herself and skills for future life.
The objectives of this projects include:
- introducing the volunteer to the concept of non-formal learning through Solidarity Corps priorities;
- creating an appropriate timetable for her in accordance with her needs, expectations and skills;
- facilitating the process of self-assessment for both the volunteer and the youth;
- providing the participant with opportunities to develop a workshop routine to realize her admissions and aspirations, on a voluntary basis;
- promoting intercultural communication and diversity through involving the volunteer into life of a foreign country and its minority community;
- promoting tolerance, interculturality and equality;
- facilitating development of creative and communication skills, fostering intercultural learning, supporting mutual understanding between the volunteer and the youth of Estonia.
We intend this project to bring positive and stimulating influence on the volunteer herself, as well as on the youth she will be in contact with. We believe this project will facilitate personal growth of the volunteer, making her more independent and self-confident, ready to take initiative and bring her ideas to life. She will lead by her example and encourage local youth to become caring and active citizens of Europe.
This individual volunteering project involves one participant from Germany, Sophia Kraus, aged 21. She is an active member in her home organization (SO), participating in Erasmus+ activities both on local and international levels. We have previously met her in person during several projects. We aim to provide the volunteer opportunities to realize her own ideas and aspirations in action through working with the youth. Her main activities in our organization will include:
- Working with the youngsters and children in our NGO as well as our local partners (other NGOs and schools);
- Working in urban and suburban camps during school holidays;
- Teaching German language and leading events on introducing German culture to the local youth and anyone interested;
- Organizing and taking part in various projects, workshops, events, entertainment activities together with youngsters;
- Leading workshops on different topics, all developed by herself with help of NGO staff.
- Take initiative and realize own ideas in action (write own local project, organize event for children or other entertainment).
For a year now I’ve been part of the Active family and I realise more and more how it has been the best choice of my life to go take the adventure of being in a foreign country for a year without friends and family and adapting to another culture, new languages and people. Why Estonia? People always asked me before but also during my time here. The answer was always so easy for me, because there is just this really special connection to this country and especially to the people of Youth Club Active (in fact my first project was in Estonia from YCA and since then I fell in love with the organisation and Erasmus + in general) , that made this decision so clear for me.
Moreover, to talk about my EVS experience in Youth Club Active specifically I can say that, it is such a unique experience. They really trust their volunteers and give them the floor to initiate their own ideas, like workshops and events. Not only are they providing a huge support in every aspect you need help with but also a huge diversity of workplaces and tasks, so that finally I ended up having gained various experiences and insights. I was working in the social field with kids, youngsters but also with adults. Furthermore I have been taught many technical aspects, especially regarding the management or creation of a project. It has been so interesting, because my project was different from month to month. In the beginning I was mainly working in the office trying to create my own initial project and in the hobby school, where assisted the English teachers in their lessons with different age groups. Then I had my first experience with the Urban camp, which was challenging because the children spoke Russian and I knew only how to have small-talk conversation. In the summertime I was working both in Urban and Suburban camp. I still remember all the traditions, that I got to know there. It has been such an amazing time and thinking about now brings back just good memories. Also, I have been working in the Kindergarten with kids with special needs and I realised my own Youth Exchange. All in all, there a so many different things I’ve done throughout my time here in Estonia and all of them have taught me something, like how to be patient when it comes to the work with children, how to teach my native language to others within my German workshop or one of the most surprising things for me that I can be a leader in a group or activity.
The way to Estonia hasn’t been always easy but in the end every challenge that has encountered me before and during my project was worth it. This project has taught me so much and I am not even sure that up to now I am fully understand all the aspects and things. What I know for sure is that it made me stronger, more self-confident, independent and way more flexible. Along all those months I had a lot of challenges, new situations, I met so many new and amazing people and was confronted with so many different traditions, like for instance in the camp, where the people dance line-dances all together or have crazy camp disco evenings. Surely, it’s never easy being new to something and even more if you are the only one in those situations who is new to everything. It was sometimes really emotional and overwhelming, but in fact now that my project is about to finish, I am more than grateful to have been through all those new situations and challenges, because in the end all that matters is your attitude, how you act towards such situations and challenges, if you decide (like I did) to take every situation and see the positive side or as a learning aspect I can assure you it will also come back to you in a very rewarding way. For me it is like that, I am leaving Estonia a heart full of warm emotions and good memories. It is something I can recommend to everybody.
Thank you so much to everyone, who has supported and accompanied me in my EVS. I will always remember this amazing time here.