EVS project by ELIX- Volunteering is in Our Nature! - 2014
Place: Athens, Greece
Profile of volunteer: 18-30 years, available for the full period of the EVS (6 months)
Host organisation: ELIX - Conservation Volunteers Greece is a non-governmental not-for-profit organization, promoting, since 1987, voluntary service and education. 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. Within this field, ELIX coordinates the following EVS programme which includes two separate activities:
Project description: The activity is hosted mainly in Athens, in the office of ELIX. Athens is a multicultural city offering many opportunities for social activities but also it is a city of social challenges. Against this backdrop, ELIX is trying to contribute actively, giving opportunities to young people for active participation. ELIX's office is an information center for thousands of volunteers willing to participate in volunteer projects, educational seminars and cultural exchanges in Greece and around the world. Moreover, ELIX's office is the main place where all the planning and coordination is done for various voluntary projects organized in local communities across Greece aiming to promote volunteering, active participation and new skills acquaintance within non-formal learning methods.
Each volunteer works closely with all the stuff members of the organization and has the opportunity to be actively involved in all the necessary steps of the organization of several voluntary activities and especially voluntary workcamps. This service enables the volunteer to have a significant experience within a voluntary organization active in sectors of youth and lifelong learning, acquire new skills, get in touch with volunteers of all ages from Greece and around the world and last but not least live in a multicultural environment. Most of the service takes place in Athens while during the summer months (July and August) volunteers will participate in voluntary projects organized across Greece.
The volunteer is going to work directly in our organization, which aims to raise awareness of the meaning of diversity and promote intercultural dialogue through voluntary actions.
Each volunteer will have the chance to develop his/her organizational skills by being involved in the preparation and implementation of different kind of volunteer activities, improve his/her sense of responsibility and initiative towards the tasks undertaken, work in a team in a highly multicultural environment, meet different people and cultures.
Besides that, he/she will have the opportunity to develop a social network and participate in seminars, trainings and other cultural actions of ELIX or partner organizations.
Finally, all the services and advantages that the volunteer has the right to enjoy will be provided, according to the YiA (action 2) Programme Guide.
The volunteer will support ELIX during the preparation, implementation and evaluation mainly of the international voluntary projects organized all around Greece as well as of different projects and activities such as youth exchanges, trainings etc.
He/She will work closely with an experienced staff member of ELIX
Tasks of the volunteer:
- Supporting the organization of international voluntary projects (preparation coordination evaluation)
- Active participation in exhibitions, festivals and awareness campaigns to promote voluntary activities and YiA programme (visit school classes, speak about volunteering)
- Supporting everyday function of ELIX office
- Involvement in the organization of 1- 2 day voluntary activities
- Participating in trainings and seminars dealing with volunteering and informal learning
- Cooperation with partner organizations of ELIX from all over the world
- Supporting the coordination of international voluntary projects in Athens and in local communities.
- Supporting the reception of volunteers in Greece (airport pick up, travel assistance)
- Supporting the designing of European projects
- Possibility of organizing his/her own voluntary project within the priorities of the organization
Volunteer candidates will have experience of environmental volunteering within their own country and are likely to have undergone placements within their sending organizations. Each volunteer will possess the following:
- a strong interest in environmental issues and volunteerism
- the ability to live and work as part of a European team of volunteers
- an interest in intercultural experiences
- a commitment to developing links with the communities in which they are placed
- a commitment to using the experiences and skills gained during the programme to benefit their own community
- the ability to work in a metropolitan city like Athens and also in isolated and remote villages
- good computer skills (word, excel, outlook, internet)
- excellent level of English
Candidates will complete an application form which will gather relevant information about their skills, suitability for the placement and commitment to the environmental, 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 organisations to select volunteers.
The two volunteers in the activity Volunteering is in Our Nature are hosted during the same period.
Youth with less opportunities, that we will be able to accept are those of financial or/and geographical difficulties, of discriminated culture. Our 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 them 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 receives a welcome pack upon arrival where he/she can find useful information, call numbers and emergency ones as well as info for his better integration to the local society. He/She will also fill every month an evaluation form that it will work as crisis prevention. After arrival he/she attends in the ELIX office for 1 day orientation session where among others he/she becomes aware of all the necessary instructions and measures for risk prevention for his/her safety in the house (house conditions, fire protection, use of electronic 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 he/she 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 his mentor, the EVS coordinator and the programme responsible that he/she 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 will work from Monday to Friday for a maximum of 35 hours, which means regularly from 11- 18. Weekends are generally free and in case of extra activities organized by ELIX, volunteer will take day off in return.
We will provide the following facilities and logistics:
- Accommodation: Volunteer will live with others volunteers in an apartment in Athens
- Office equipments: desks, computers, Wireless internet, Telephone, Greek mobile number
- Greek language course (basic level)
- Personal support - mentor, coordinator of work, coordinator of project.
- Pocket money – The volunteer will receive monthly pocket money on – 95 Euro (according to the guidelines of the “Youth in Action” – Programme)
- Food allowances - The volunteer will receive monthly food allowance – 145 Euro
- Local transport card
IMPORTANT NOTICES BEFORE APPLYING FOR VOLUNTEER
- It is very wise to save some money before coming to Athens. The pocket and food money is decent for EVS, but won’t leave you a lot of space to explore Greece. If you really want to enjoy your EVS, explore the country and meet up with other EVS volunteers in other cities we would highly recommend to have some other resources then the basic EVS allowances. The other fact for this advice is that your insurance on EVS is not paying for any healthcare in advance as long as you are not administered in the hospital. This means in practice that you have to pay in advance for your healthcare and have to wait some weeks before the insurance MSH is reimbursing the money to your bank account.
- 10% of your total travel costs are for your own costs.
- At the moment of applying you must have a sending organization