© Sonja Pettersson
At the beginning…
We all came in contact with the partners via the volunteers who had used European Youth Portal and email to contact SKUNK. After some emails and some skype-talks SKUNK found Mykola Turko and Laurie Racineux whom would make a great team together with SKUNK. It was very important for SKUNK to have some volunteers who are interested in youth, culture and nature. Mykola speaks of learning new ways of thinking and inspiration to bring back home to Ukraine and he is keen on exploring the nature and culture of Åland Island. Laurie wish to work as a social worker in the future, to help others and SKUNKs non-formal work with young people is a great complement to the traditional social work.
The EVS project - project plan -
The volunteers join SKUNK to work with developing leisure time activities for teenagers in six small communities, Vårdö, Brändö, Sottunga, Kökar, Föglö and Kumlinge. On this geographical wide spread area there only lives 150 youths and due to the geographical obstacles it is very difficult meeting other people and doing different leisure time activities. This project will train two volunteers who will travel around the archipelago engaging youths in afterschool activities for the youths age 6-15 depending on the activity.
The EVS project is divided in blocks
EVS organisstionen har bett volontärer att göra en 2 min film här är våra volontärers bidrag.
SKUNK startar en EVS-byrå, meningen är att SKUNKs två egna EVS volontärer sköter byrån som ska infomera dig som är intresserad av att åka ut på volontär uppdrag om EVS möjligheten men också andra möjligheter.
VOLONTÄRER at SKUNK 2016/2017
Laurie Racineux 20 år från Frankrike och Mykola Turko 23 år från Ukraina.
Mykola skriver: ”Jag kan inte förstå att en ung kille som jag, från en liten by i Ukraina kan få chansen att vara del av någonting så fantastiskt. Det här är nog det bästa som hänt i mitt liv!”
Följ deras blogg:
The EVS project - practical aspect -
SKUNK prepare all practical arrangement on Åland Island together with the volunteers so we adjust for their needs. The preparation and training is organized by SKUNK according "Guidelines and Minimum Quality Standards of the European Commission" to address the needs of participants in terms of task-related, intercultural and possibly specific linguistic preparation. The training is hold in a form of on-line session.
We take in contact with our schools about cooperation and the possibilities with EVS and we also take in contact with other stakeholder on Åland so the volunteers can be involved in different activities at their own leisure time.
SKUNK will plan the program, arrange food and accommodation and travelling to the 6 archipelago municipalities and the 6 schools. As of safety, well being, mentoring and support SKUNKl involve the board of SKUNK as mentor-friend to make sure the volunteers are safe and as for insurance and social security this will be taken care of by SKUNK. The Youth coach are with the participants and volunteers through the year providing safety and mentorship for everyone. As of accommodation the volunteers live in an apartment close to SKUNK office in Mariehamn. When we are travelling around in the archipelago, we sleep in the schools or at friends´ home due to the lack of hostel or other accommodation in the archipelago. The lunch is giving to the volunteers when they are in school and at the office we all bring lunch with us from home or eat out at lunch restaurant. During the office days, they have their own bike to go to work or to the shop, otherwise they travel around the archipelago mostly by bus and boat.
What do the volunteers bring...
They contribute to reach the objectives of the organisation. They have met all 150 young people who live in the archipelago via the school and then meet them later on in different activities. Young people in the archipelago are marginalised due to the archipelago is such a widespread area where all participants have geographical obstacles and where it´s very difficult to using the public transportation to get around (most of the time there is no public transportation and SKUNK often have to use taxi and sometimes taxi boat). So, thanks to the flexibility of the volunteers, they can bring activities inside those excluded municipalities. SKUNK have chosen them because they have a genuine curiosity to do the work which is needed in our area. Also, both Laurie and Mykola has worked at summer camps and camps are an important part of SKUNKs work. It will be good to get new perspective of the method for both SKUNK and the volunteers as camps can be done in many ways.
Living in the archipelago it is ever so important to understand the possibilities of being a European citizen and the internationalization. The traditional working places are disappearing and we need to develop and train our entrepreneurial thinking to ensure the future of the rural areas, this is important for the young as well as the grown-ups and the politicians to see. This will be one of the impact EVS project SKUNK´s Craft of Project as well as learning more of other culture and practice language and social skills.
Also, the volunteers have created the EVS Office which mean that they create a place where the young people living in Åland can be informed of their right and opportunities. They will have a possibility to participate of an european project and travel in Europe to share their culture and skills with people, and finally, to bring new skills and knowledge to home. This program can indirectly improve the Åland society.
Thanks to that, I know how to improve myself and maybe my presence had helped some people to become better. I learnt new tools and new methods to work with this public. Today, I'm more confident to start my studies to become social.”
Laurie, EVS volunteer.
“It was really exciting year for me with full of everything. But the main thing that had happened with me it was of course my SKUNK EVS project. For that time I have been learning a lot of new stuff and about myself. New culture gave me so huge understanding your own being and you have nice possibility to compare good and not so nice side of your and other culture. Bring something new for you and share yours with everyone. The main new things that I had opened was the swedish principle of human being “lagom”. I would like to take it and bring it to Ukraine as well. It is kind of things in your life that are much worth than money or some stuff.
Also this year gave me to know a lot of new people. Even too much. Unfortunately, you don't have so much time to keep with them in touch. New understanding of teenagers life, how to survive in so small islands, how to trust everyone, how to be “lagom person”.
Mykola, EVS volunteer.
European volonteer Service; EVS och SKUNK
SKUNK har sommaren 2017 avslutat sitt första år med EVS volontärer och är jätte nöjda och glada över att vi ansökte och efter ett första försök fick planen godkänd.
De var ett sorgsamt avsked i juli när Lauri och Mykola reste hem, men vi kommer säkert på olika sätt ses igen.
Har man bara en anställd som kan arbeta tillsammans med och coacha volontärer så kan vi verkligen rekommendera andra organsitioner att ansöka. Under hösten och vintern kommer SKUNK ha en IVY volontär;
Interreg volunteer Youth kopplat till RIBS projektet.