ARSP UK Coordinating Organisation 2015
Date du début: 1 août 2015,
Date de fin: 30 nov. 2016
ARSP has been active in the UK since German volunteers came to help rebuild Coventry Cathedral in 1961. ARSP works for reconciliation and peace, with a special interest in the meaning of history in contemporary society, together with individuals and organisations from countries that particularly suffered as a result of National Socialism and during the Second World War.
ARSP also organises four seminars for each generation of volunteers, offering the opportunity to meet and enjoy peer support, reflect on their inter-cultural experiences in a relaxed environment and to learn about and discuss active European citizenship and democracy, as well as how to develop a common vision of future European society.
This particular project aims to develop inter-cultural understanding, promote awareness of anti-racism measures and the importance of defending human rights, whilst also providing support for those often excluded from society. The activities of each partner organisation, regardless of their differing foci, enable each volunteer to connect issues of racism, discrimination and prejudice through providing support for people with fewer opportunities. Each organisation also has historical links, or is influenced by European history, helping volunteers to appreciate the effects of racism, discrimination and what can happen if people are excluded from society, a theme that very much remains relevant in contemporary Europe.
Volunteers at the Aegis Trust, Jewish Museum and Wiener Library contribute to pedagogical programmes, often with local, European and international school classes, contributing their own historical perspectives and views on contemporary Europe. The diverse range of groups involved with these three hosting organisations brings the volunteers into contact with young people from different social and cultural backgrounds, enabling them to demonstrate that a voluntary service is a very productive activity, regardless of where one comes from. The volunteers at the Jewish Museum and Wiener Library will also regularly work with and support Holocaust survivors, furthering their understanding of the effects of social exclusion and hopefully strengthening their commitment to civil society, tolerance and inclusion.
The themes of the voluntary services at the Southwark Day Centre for Asylum Seekers and Roma Support Group are very similar with the volunteers supporting refugees, asylum seekers and Roma on a daily basis, all people who have to endure very difficult circumstances, generally as a result of discrimination and racism, leading to exclusion from mainstream society. The volunteers can provide these people with invaluable support, helping them to integrate into life in the UK as smoothly as possible through providing language courses, preparing cultural activities or simply offering a hot meal everyday, amongst many other activities.
Three German volunteers will be involved in this project, all will be based in London, at either the Aegis Trust, Jewish Museum or Wiener Library.
Three Polish volunteer will also be in involved in this project, all based in London, with two at the Roma Support Group and one at the Southwark Day Centre for Asylum Seekers. All volunteers will stay for 12 months.
The bilateral nature of the project brings together young people from Germany and Poland for a period of 12 months, encouraging inter-cultural dialogue and exchange, in the process demonstrating many ways in which young people can become active in civil society and promoting tolerance and social inclusion. This project will use non-formal learning methods to aid the personal development of all volunteers, training them in inter-cultural learning methods designed to produce a lifelong commitment to participating in European civil society upon the completion of their voluntary service.
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