The Schuman Volunteers Theory
Date du début: 1 juil. 2014,
Date de fin: 30 juin 2016
The Schuman Volunteers Theory is a hypothesis formed by seventeen organizations from eight countries. Non-governmental organizations, youth information centers, special kindergartens and an informal group of secondary school students have come together to create the conditions necessary to carry out an experiment. Its goal is to prove our E=MC2 theory, where E stands for Europe, M stands for Mobility and C stands for Capital (both in its social and human dimension).
In the context of today's society, we intend to test in practice two components that contribute to the final shape of modern Europe(-an Union), i.e. Mobility and Capital, combined (free movement of volunteers and any person involved in the project who represent human capital able to create, share, multiply and spread social capital). The idea of mobility represented by the EU cannot be fulfilled without the appropriate capital, while the capital itself cannot be developed if it cannot move freely. These two interdependent variables cannot function separately if they are to amount to a greater common good, i.e. E = Europe(-an Union).
Twelve volunteers from seven countries (Germany, France, Italy, Ukraine, Belarus, Austria and Macedonia) will come to Poland and volunteer in five different organizations. They all are of different age and education. Coming from different social backgrounds, they have diverse skills and experience. Yet, they do have something in common: they all want to actively contribute to a more just society through volunteering and they are prepared to learn Polish to do so.
Two volunteers will be hosted in a non-governmental organization and will contribute to its mission of mobilizing Europeans to active participation and promoting the European integration. To this end, they will visit Polish schools, present their country and promote volunteering among pupils. Two volunteers will volunteer in a European Club in a Complex of Schools. They will activate pupils to extra-curricular activities, support them in learning foreign languages, while also implementing their own ideas. These four volunteers will also collect information about mobility possibilities for young people and will spread this knowledge. Eight volunteers will help out in special kindergartens for disabled children and youth. Two will assist visually impaired children in their pre-school learning, three will work with severely physically and mentally disabled children. One volunteer will motivate autistic children to adapt better socially, another one will support pedagogues in teaching children with various disabilities and one will assist physically and mentally disabled youngsters in daycare.
For the purposes of the project the volunteers will be provided with the necessary training, information and tools allowing them to collect, organize and further spread their observations, experience and knowledge regarding mobility and personal development opportunities. Volunteers will describe their activities and share them with general public, using social networks and websites of organizations. They will focus on changes they will help create and those that they will observe in their own development (language training, trainings in the respective organizations, presentation skills, website moderation skills, group animation skills etc.). The partner organizations will invest in volunteers and equip them with recognition and presentation tools useful to monitor and better present their learning results. Already known European tools like Europass and Youthpass will be used and further promoted. In order to influence the output of the project, volunteers are eager not only to follow instructions and fulfill the given tasks, but to participate in their planning as well.
Direct results expected from the project revolve around the two variables of the formula suggested in the project title. The project is to increase the mobility of both the volunteers and people they will come across, i.e. teachers, parents, students, etc. With proper guidance volunteers will gain valuable experience in specific fields of work (in the environment of NGOs, schools, institutions for people with special needs); learn to look for possibilities, recognize opportunities and make them available to others; influence their own learning process, verbalize the learning outcomes and use them in their favor in the future.
All these actions will help build up the long-lasting capital of the respective partner organizations (a greater cultural and personal diversity, input and development of teaching/learning skills), but first and foremost they will become the long-term personal capital of the volunteers themselves. The capital which may be used to their own advantage (e.g. in the labor market) and may also be further multiplied, carried and once again invested in any other part of Europe.
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