ELIX -Conservation Volunteers Greece is a non-governmental not-for-profit organization promoting, since 1987, voluntary service and education. ELIX main goal is the personal development of individuals as citizens of the world, through active participation. Environmental protection, cultural heritage conservation, culture promotion and social service are the main thematic fields of voluntary projects.
In the framework of the project "Lessons of Solidarity", ELIX cooperated with ELEPAP. In 2015 ELIX and ELEPAP decided to continue the cooperation in the framework of the European Voluntary Service Programme (EVS).
Hellenic Society for Disabled Children (ELEPAP) provides rehabilitation services to children since 1937. It cares for the functional rehabilitation of children with physical disabilities and developmental difficulties such as neuromuscular diseases, syndromes with accompanying motor disabilities, cerebral dysfunction etc., and at the same time provides support to their families.
ELEPAP offers a series of holistic intervention programs for infants, pre-school and school age children with motor and developmental difficulties in order to help them develop their functionality, independence, speech and communication, cognitive abilities, emotional and psychosocial adjustment, learning skills, education and social integration.
The EVS programme aims to form a group of volunteers in order to support and enhance the specialised care provided to some 400 children up to 6 years old that visit the centre on a daily basis. This active group of EVS volunteers will support the staff and the children in their daily therapy activities.
The EVS volunteers will be involved in the following activities under the guidance of ELEPAP professional staff:
1. Support the work of educators at the Department of Early Education and Therapeutic Intervention.
2. Escort/Transfer the children (on wheelchairs) from the Department of Early Education and Therapeutic Intervention to the Departments of specialized treatments (under the guidance of the staff).
3. Contribute to the process of learning and creative activities of the children e.g.: helping them learn how to dress themselves, put their shoes on, as well as in different art activities (as painting, doing crafts, etc), ergo therapy and speech therapy activities, etc.
4. Support the staff in the daily routine of the children (serving food in the dining room, collecting the dishes afterwards, tidying up classrooms etc.)
5. Help the children during the arrival and departure time at the therapeutic treatments.
6. Provide organizational/secretarial support to the departments of specialized treatments.
7. Promotion of volunteering in social institutions
Volunteers will be working from Monday until Friday from 8.00 until 16.00, having the weekends off.
On special occasions and events of the Centre (fundraising bazaars, etc.) as well as during the holidays (Christmas, Easter, etc.) volunteers may be asked to work different hours.
All the services and advantages that the volunteer has the right to enjoy, will be provided, according to the Erasmus+ Guide.
The Hellenic Society for Disabled Children-ELEPAP is situated in the area of Pagrati, a district that is part of the Municipality of Athens, about 1.5 km from Athens centre. There is a variety of transportation connecting Athens downtown to Pagrati (buses and trolleys). Pagrati is a central area of Athens with cafes, cinemas and many places around to visit in their free time such as the National Art Gallery, Kallimarmaro Panathinaiko Stadium etc.
The duration of this EVS programme is 9 months (from 01/10/15 until 30/06/16).
This is a wonderful and special project that is of much importance. Helping small children with disabilities to reach their potential and following their routine constitutes a life experience but can also be a challenge. Volunteers will return from the EVS project knowing that they helped make children's daily life better and brighter and that volunteers made friendships for a lifetime. The meaning of such volunteer work for the children, their families and the professional staff of ELEPAP is invaluable. It is important for the volunteers to know that they will work together with the staff of ELEPAP.
Candidates will complete an application form which will gather relevant information about their skills, suitability for the placement and commitment to the social, intercultural and community elements of the programme.
Applications are open to all, regardless of ethnic group, religion, sexual orientation or political opinion. We ensure transparency by providing a full description of the selection process to all candidates and by collaborating closely with partner organizations to select volunteers.
ELIX support will be basically psychologically and consultative in relation to their best integration in an environment, urban and developed, such as the city of
Athens. For instance, we are going to provide the EVS volunteers as many information as possible to be able understand how to move in the city easy, as well as propose options adapted to the volunteers budget. For these reasons mentioned, a special person-mentor will be there to assist them, in case any problem or difficulty occurs.
In order to prevent any crisis, ELIX believes that the info during the preparation of the volunteers plays a very important role. The detailed description on the activities, the possibilities for socializing, the accommodation and food and working conditions are very helpful for the volunteers in order to be orientated before their arrival. The volunteer before arrival receives a detailed info pack and a welcome pack upon arrival where s/he can find useful call numbers and emergency ones as well as info for his/hers better integration to the local society. S/He will also fill every month an evaluation form that it will work as crisis prevention.
Once s/he arrives s/he attends an orientation session where among others s/he becomes aware of all the necessary instructions and measures for risk prevention for her/his safety in the house (house conditions, fire protection, use of electronic or gas devices etc), transport rules and habits, travelling, health prevention and local everyday life. Regarding the working place, before any assignment given to the volunteer, we will be sure that s/he will have received the proper training and in the working place there will always be a responsible of the institution. The volunteer will be provided with mobile numbers of her/his mentor, the EVS coordinator and the programme responsible that s/he will be able to use them 24 hours /7 days. We consider that the best risk prevention is the clear prior definition of roles and tasks of all involved parts.
Volunteer candidates should have experience in social volunteering within their own country and are likely to have undergone placements within their sending organizations. Each volunteer should possess the following:
1. a strong interest in social issues and volunteerism2. maturity and motivation driveness
3. excellent communication skills, flexibility and be completely reliable
4. interest in people and have the confidence and ability to develop relationships with a wide range of people
5. ability to inspire confidence and trust in the people s/he is working with
6. self reliance, independence and ability to amuse him/herself
7. willingness to work with children with disabilities is essential as well as being cheerful and friendly.
8. commitment, patience and resistance to psychological stress
9. eagerness to help with smile, love and creative proposals
10. the ability to live and work as part of a European team of volunteers
11. an interest in intercultural experiences
12. a commitment to developing links with the communities in which they are placed
13. a commitment to using the experiences and skills gained during the programme to benefit their own community
14. the ability to work in a metropolitan city like Athens
15. good computer skills (word, excel, outlook, Internet)
16. excellent level of English
Previous experience with disabled children is not mandatory; however, special training on logo therapy, ergo therapy and physiotherapy for disabled children is highly desirable and will be given priority. Working language is English (Greek knowledge is welcome).
A Skype talk between the volunteer and ELIX will take place before the final selection.
Upon selection volunteers have to provide a Certificate of Good Conduct.
Volunteers should be aware that the use of illegal drugs or excessive alcohol consumption whilst on the placement could affect his/her participation to the program and in this situation volunteers would be asked to leave the program. Volunteers who do not smoke will be given priority.
ATH Athens international airport "El. Venizelos"
Hellenic Society for Disabled Children-(ELEPAP), Pangrati, Athens, Attica, Greece.
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