Udruga Volim Volontirati - "VoVo"
They are Here !
Erasmus+ Youth Exchange; Stomorska, Croatia
VoVo bring to the end very successful youth exchange under Erasmus+.
We all have our life goals and wishes that we are ready to dedicate our self to a certain extreme in order to make them come to be; fulfilment, success in work, love, game, science… These all pale with the wish for a better and safer life, and that wish is currently herding millions of people from their ancient homes in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southwest Asia towards us, towards Europe! These people are our reality no matter our stance on the matter and we should all be aware that they are already here, among us, working, living and hopefully integrating, an undeniably two way process. The best we can do, whether we are for or against their immigration, is to strive towards achieving a functional co-existence which will benefit both sides. This very notion, that far from developing a solution to the issue during the project which is a silly notion, we should seek to understand it and raise our and other people’s awareness of migrants and their background reasons through workshops, discussions, exchange of ideas and viewpoints and hearing the other side. This all has the goal of empowering us as individuals so that we may approach this topic as informed and responsible citizens of the EU.
VoVo and our partners “Forme” from Italy, “Mostar Friedensprojekt e.V.” from Germany, “Asociacion Mundus – Un Mundo a tus Pies –“ from Spain, “Asociacija ``Aktyvus Jaunimas” from Lithuania and “Fundacja Europejski Instytut Outsourcingu” from Poland organized a youth exchange in Stomorska, on the Croatian island of Šolta, with 39 young people from their organisations on the topic of migration. During their stay in sleepy Stomorska they attracted the attention of the local populace and enjoyed the pure nature and the Mediterranean sun. This proved as an ideal surround for the exchange of ideas and opinions which the project promoted since it facilitated peace of mind, thought and discussion, with a healthy dose of Adriatic Sea and sun of course. Our participants envisioned and created multiple activities with the aim of raising their and others awareness about the migrant issue; they conducted a very successful flashmob on the Riva (waterfront promenade) of Split, the second largest city in Croatia, where they attracted the input of hundreds of passers and the gaze of many more that strolled past during high noon. They also created their own theatrical play about immigration in which the spectators played their own role as immigrants crossing the border. This was played during the ending concert event we organized in Stomorska and during it a sum of donations for the Croatian Red Cross was collected by the inhabitants of Stomorska and the participants.
Enriched with new skills, competences, knowledge and experience as well as a sense of success and accomplishment with a project well done, the organizers and participants left Stomorska with a heavy heart. Stomorska gave us a warm reception, the locals received us humanely and logistically, they provided us without charge with their Old school, repurposed for social events and exhibitions, it now adequately fulfilled the role of a Erasmus+ project venue, and we hope it will again in the future! We thank all our local partners in Stomorska for facilitating our stay, the head of the municipality of Šolta Mr. Cecić-Karuzić, the Pelegrin sports and fishing society with mr. Koludrović, local NGOs Help Split, Rusmarin and Buđenje and all others who worked with us during our stay in Stomorska.
This youth exchange created great results and the participants had an interesting introduction to Croatia and we hope they will return to us in the future again. There shall always be problems in our societies which have to be taken seriously such as the migrant tsunami and we will always have a perfect setting to address them and think on them in Stomorska. Our participants learning process is, however, not over. There is still the post-project phase where we will take the spark of awareness we generated on the youth exchange back to our local communities. We will organize workshops, presentations, lectures, public events, flashmobs etc. at home and use the competences we gained and the results of the project as means to raise awareness in our own fellow countrymen, for those arriving seek that above all, to be our fellow countrymen also…
Compound social media campaign:
The days of written media as the main means of disseminating information are past. We live in a modern, interconnected world where the lifeblood of our societies, information, flows through virtual veins of the internet. Therefore, there is no better way of reaching out to others, especially young people, than by means of social media, the foremost of which in the West is Facebook. Our participants revived the group generated during our earlier awarded Erasmus+ training course “Stop disCRIMEination” in Zagreb and compounded on the existing thousand members soon to be an equal amount of new ones. We will use this platform as one of the principal ones for reaching out to our target audiences with the project outputs and thus achieving our aims of bettering our societies through responsible citizenship and critical thought. We are sure that our current results of over 200 new likes and 1870 clicks in the first week will be expanded even more in the future!
Photo and video products:
We talked about migrants with local community and asked them for their opinion, here is collage of thoughts.
During the migrant crisis, the greatest impact on our opinions and feeling have always been the videos and photos of human tragedy. The most significant by far being the infamous image of young Alan Kurdi face down in the beach sand where there would usually be crowds of joyous tourists. Truly, the picture tells a thousand words and equally amount of feelings, the video serves the same purpose, 24 times per second more. To view the two gives context and feeling to a story and we wanted to show our story to all those interested. The world is not black and white, and that’s why we stand for a colourful world.
Participants did video interview, here you can watch it !
Flashmob in Split – “Paint for a colourful world”:
A colourful world, a dream of common prosperity and peaceful coexistence, an idea worth living and dying for. This was the background of our “Paint for a colourful world” manifestation in Split during which the participants created a Flashmob in which they invited the local community to leave their mark on a great white sheet with the slogan “Paint for a colourful world”. They left their mark in the form of a colourful handprint on the white background, a vivid reminder that we all leave the same mark, no matter which colour it is…
The crowd involvement surpassed our expectations and the sheet filled up very fast so we concluded our Flashmob successfully within just an hour! Many of the participants wished to continue so they did so on their own initiative as they spread out throughout the city centre of Split. Of great aid was our local partner, HELP Split, which invited us to prepare for the Flashmob in its own quarters and showed us around the city.
The Flashmob was a resounding success and many of the people that participated inquired about our project, our mission, our background and discovered not only their interest and opinion about migrants, but also an awareness of our European dimension, our joint citizenship and responsibility to work together on a bright future which is Europa.
Go PRO !
If you want to go further you have to Go Pro!
Between 6-13 of March 2016 VoVo took part in Partnership Building Activity ‘Go Pro!’ in Krakow, Poland, hosted by Institute for Eastern Initiatives.
The main aim of the project was to bring together representatives of non-governmental organisations from 12 European countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, France, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain - to share their professional knowledge, experience and good practices in the field of youth work and to develop reliable, long-lasting partnerships for international projects. The first half of the week has been spent introducing our NGOs and mapping out possible fields and frames for mutual cooperation. We have been working from the bottom up to establish basics of the organisation for reliable partnerships to be able to move on to developing specific projects in the second half of the week. The second half of the project was devoted to developing new ideas and plans for further cooperation. An addition to the project will be soon-to-be-published professional toolkit of project management for everyone to use: a collection of tips and tricks and well-working practices shared by all participants.
Excited to see new ideas becoming more and more real !
International Women's day
Everyone - men and women - can pledge to take a concrete step to help achieve gender parity more quickly, whether to help women and girls achieve their ambitions, call for gender-balanced leadership, respect and value difference, develop more inclusive and flexible cultures or root out workplace bias. Each of us can be a leader within our own spheres of influence and commit to take pragmatic action to help include and advance women. Share amongst your friends, social networks and communities and encourage them to make a pledge as well. Together, we can accelerate the clock.
Gender parity is linked to economic prosperity. It's an economic imperative. Women’s advancement and leadership are central to business performance and economic prosperity. Profitability, ROI and innovation all increase when women are counted among senior leadership.
Zero Discrimination Day
Discrimination continues to affect the lives of millions of people around the world. On 1 March, Zero Discrimination Day, people from all corners of the world unite under the theme of Open Up, Reach Out in order to celebrate diversity and reject discrimination in all its forms.
Zero Discrimination Day is annual worldwide event that promotes diversity and recognizes that everyone counts, the global movement of solidarity to end discrimination, which remains widespread. Millions of women and girls in every region of the world experience violence and abuse and are unable to exercise their rights or gain access to health-care services, education or employment. Discrimination at work, school and health-care and other settings reduces people’s ability to participate fully and meaningfully in societies and provide and care for themselves and their families.
“Discrimination is a violation of human rights and must not go unchallenged,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “Everyone has the right to live with respect and dignity.”
VoVo invites you to Open Up, Reach Out, using social media channels (https://www.facebook.com/stopdiscrimeination) to tell the world what zero discrimination means to you. People have shared songs, poems, thoughts and activities inspired by the butterfly, the transformative symbol of the campaign. People are also calling on their governments to make greater efforts to realize and protect human rights and eliminate discrimination. Make your own contribution in making world better place.
They are here !
From 27th April till 07th May 2016 VoVo will organize 9 days long Youth Exchange under Erasmus+ on theme of migrants. It will gather 36 participants from 6 countries all over the Europe. Participants from Croatia (organizer), Italy, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Spain will together work on tasks, share knowledge and work on future projects.
All humans share the Earth as their home despite living thousands of kilometres apart from each other, our connection to each other is equal to our connection to the earth itself and as we strive to preserve the nature, so should we strive to preserve humanity, our family! It is a sad sight to see so many of our brothers and sisters leaving their homes in search of a new one amongst us in Europe and this has certainly been the main political, geopolitical and humanitarian topic during the last year and it promises to remain in the focus for an indefinite time in the future.
The immigrants and refugees among us and the ones yet to arrive are our reality and as youth workers and civil sector organisations it is our duty to involve this new demography into our target groups where applicable and, where our mission moves us to do so, help integrate them into our societies. Many of these people are young people choses in the community for their strength to make the difficult trip and they carry a heavy burden of responsibility which has to be acknowledged and respected. Despite this, there is always the other side, the welcoming or sometimes simply, the receiving side whose input cannot be side lined in search of a prosperous coexistence.
With these problematics in mind we set forth to creating a youth exchange which would tackle them from a young person’s perspective, further moved by the everyday sight of the human river moving through our nation. We will approach the topic with non-formal education methods in a remote location on one of the most beautiful islands in Croatia, Šolta. This island has a long history with migrations, mostly emigration of the young. We will provide the sleepy island community a glimpse of Erasmus+ and the great opportunities for mobility it offers.
WE look forward to the youth exchange and all the positive things it will offer to our participants, to our partners and to the local community. See you in Šolta!
All interested parties can apply on following link:https://docs.google.com/.../1JrSSXoLmdwM4BD1VdBZ.../viewform
VoVo had presentation of Good practices, awarded project on Erasmus+ info days organized by Agency for Mobility and EU Programmes (Croatian NA)
We are very glade that Croatian NA recognized our dedicated work and gave us opportunity to present our work as an encouragement for other NGOs in Croatia to upgrade their quality of participation in the field of youth in Erasmus+.
It was honor to participate on info days with most respectful Croatian experts in the field of youth specially with honorable dr.sc. Vlasta Ilišin from Institute for Social Research in Zagreb and Morana Makovec from Ministry of Social Politics and Youth in Croatia that we all have to learn.
Two years have passed since three enthusiastic students came together to form "VoVo" and ever since that eventful morning we have been fulfilling our mission with dedication and sacrifice. In this time the name "VoVo" has become associated with success, quality and impact as our modus operandi has ever been quality over quantity. Our projects are our tools with which we build a better society as underlined by our initial goals and motivations and the tool is only as good as the person wielding it! By means of creativity and proffessionality we have achieved outstanding results in a surprisingly short timeframe. The feedback of the National agency has been a great source of quality control and we revere their suggestions and seek to implement them in our future work since this is a resource of experience that can otherwise only be gained through years of hard work.
That is why it was to our immense joy and pride that the National agency bodies above it have recognized and acclaimed our work as an example of good practice to others. This had further impact on the annual conference organized by the Croatian National agency where our Mia Mardešić, the executive director of "VoVo" and in many ways our creative driving force and the author of the project that received the award, gave a lecture and presentation to the gathered civil sector workers during the conference.
We hope that others will draw inspiration and motivation from our hard work and further apply themselves towards creating a better society for ourselves and those that come after us!
As always, we invite all willing potential partners to cooperate with us and share our vision, dedication and proffessionality. This is only the beginning and ahead of us is a long and important path.
Tuesday, 01.December 2015
Activity; World AIDS day 2015.
For almost half a century HIV has proven to be an elusive enemy of humanity and medicine, yet at the same time, deadly. That is why soo much attention is given to prevention and protection against it and othet STI's which is promoted every year since 1988 throughout the world on the first of December in order to raise public awareness of this affliction and ways to prevent it. The same is true for Croatia and in many of our cities there have been activities organized by CSO's such as VoVo did with our partners, HELP and CROmsic in Split this year.
Our volunteers participated in the annual AIDS day activities organized by HELP Split, a respected partner organization which defines its field in many ways. We held posts behind improvised stands offering passing citizens information about HIV and other STI's and stealing their attention with informative and provocative posters, while at the sime time approaching young people and inviting them to involve themselves in youthwork and volunteerism, while also handing out free preservatives.
Our volunteers from Zagreb got a chance to interact with their colleagues and peers in Split from HELP and VoVo, while our Split volunteers got a chance to meets their colleagues from Zagreb. This activity was a great example of how youthwork can help further all our lives and raise awareness about important topics such as HIV AIDS and volunteerism as well as foster partnership between civil sector organisations. We thank all our and our partners volunteers for their time and dedication during the World AIDS day and we hope to see you again next year!
BE POSTIVE, STAY NEGATIVE!
VoVo is embarking on a project called; "EU fondovi pokretači mladih" Its purpose is to empower youth for writing EU projects, project organisation, coordination and implementation.
VoVo will be employing within the programme „Mladi za EU“ (Youth for EU) and will help its employees achieve competence in the fields of project imagination, creation, setting project goals and aims, developing a problem overview and predictions as well as problem management. The employee will furthermore learn how to fill an project application form, budget projections, budget management, preparatory activities for projects, dissemination of project results, preparaing and fulfilling final evaluation forms and final reports. The employee will also conduct terrain activities for the organisation such as scouting the terrain for project implementation, they will facilitate contact with partners and managing mandate letters. The employees work will be managed and coordinated with the help of a mentor. VoVo will employ all together two qualified persons of (qualifications sought; social work, psychology, defectology, economics).
We invite all interested to send us their CV to email@example.com under the subject: EU PROJECT MANAGER until the 26th of October 2015 at 12:00.
The selected candidates will be notified on the 27th of October about the second level of selection which will be done on the 28th and 29th of October 2015.
Partnership project; Policy rules - Villacañas, Spain
VoVo members visited Villacañas, a municipality located in the province of Toledo, Castile-La Mancha in Spain a place where the Erasmus+ Youth Exchange project held from 15th to 23rd of September 2015. The project had 38 participants from 6 different countries: Poland, Romania, Croatia, Lituania, Italy and Spain.
The topic of the project was "Policy rules". In the project we had many activities for exchanging experiences on the subject. Everybody made a brief presentation about the political situation in their country, and then we tried to find out how much citizens of each county are able to influence politics; by being a member of the political party, voting or similar.
Besides that main workshop we had many other activities based on non-formal education and learning by participation. We have also been visited by Villacañas authorities; representative of local politicians who held a speech about how local government is trying to solve a problem of unemployment due to economical situation.
Moreover, we had a cultural sightseeing in Toledo the seat of government of the Province of the Toledo, as well as former capital and also known as the “city of the three cultures”. It is called that way because Christians, Muslims and Jews lived together there for centuries. After the formal part of Regional Parliament building where we learnt more about the political situation in a region and Spain in general, we had free time for sightseeing of monuments, museums, churches and of course we had an opportunity to try Toledo's traditional cuisine.
As usual at youth exchanges, every evening each of the participating countries had their cultural evening, which consisted of presentation and a party. During these, the presenting teams would show their country’s traditions, culture, music, dances as well as cuisine.
Social Entrepreneurship as a Tool for Social Inclusion,
project under Erasmus+ ; Zagreb, Croatia
The principle motivation behind this project is the need to raise awareness about alternative approaches to the economy, society and life in general. One of these alternative approaches is social entrepreneurship which combines the issues of social responsibility, inclusion, awareness, active citizenship, fair trade etc. with a business model which creates special market conditions in which social entrepreneurship may and may not be in an inferior position compared to regular businesses, all depending on the level of awareness of the consumers.The social mission which separates social entrepreneurship from normal entrepreneurship represents an extremely potent method for social inclusion, a general tool which can be translated to other private and public ventures if given chance.
That’s why through this project we explored the theoretical background of business models, funding methods, community outreach, case studies, success stories and concrete local examples of social entrepreneurship and its aspect of social inclusion. The participants received ample theoretical input from professional trainers and social business managers which enabled them to brainstorm and creatively imagine ideas for future social entrepreneurships which they might one day conduct.
Through this process we compiled a booklet which summarizes the competences, methodology and knowledge generated and used throughout the training course which will serve as a tool and guidebook to future social entrepreneurs and civil sector organizations that seek to create projects of their own about similar topics and to educate potential entrepreneurs.
This was achieved through a combination of non formal and formal education methods undertaken by professional staff during 8 days in Mirkovci, near Zagreb, Croatia which was chosen for the venue since it is located in a degrading rural area which could benefit allot from social entrepreneurship but also because it is nearby successful examples of Croatian social entrepreneurship companies which all owed us to take the participants for a tour of an actual business where they interacted with the employees and learned first hand what it means to be an social entrepreneurship, it was the crown to the previous days of theoretical work. The results of the project are disseminated on social media platforms and websites. The entire outcome will serve as a basis for future cooperation among participants who will find potential future partners working in the same field of interest.
Photography with encouragement line
It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, the validity of that claim we wont test but that there is some truth to it is undoubted. A good picture can transfer the emotion of the moment and the message much better than a word can and that is why to reinforce our message and make it more understandable and sympathetic we employed photo and video methods during our project and dissemination activities.
The photographs themselves are accompanied by encouragement lines which support the pictures message and make improve its impact on the viewer. The pictures have all been created, selected and edited by the participants with help from professional video and photo qualified trainer. Their message is meant for all to consume and digest with the intention that they raise awareness, promote responsibility and popularize social inclusion and social entrepreneurship within the society.
The booklet itself is the central intellectual output of the training course. Its aim is to equip the reader with the tools needed to start working on the topic of Social Entrepreneurship with the local youth in their communities through providing example of sessions with a wide range of objectives and methods. The guiding principle that this booklet is based on are the principles of Non-formal education, more specifically its central tenet; participation through which the participants improve their learning process and increase the collective added value of the activity.
The booklet and its content is always structured so that it firstly allows for theoretical input from professionals so that the participants may grasp the issue and gain a basic understanding before proceeding to the second part which is the practical application of the previously gained knowledge. These methods range from brainstorming, debates, simulations, case studies, round table discussions, group work, teambuilding etc.
The intended users of this booklet are youth workers, youth leaders, trainers, educators, entrepreneurs etc. and in line with that the end target group is youth interested in (Social) Entrepreneurship, though no prior formal or other knowledge of the topic is necessary.
To download booklet, materials for workshhops and read more visit our web page of booklet !
Booklet Social Entrepreneurship
Aftermovie of the project
The second visual method used to reinforce the learning process of the participants and the impact on the target groups and all other stakeholders was a video project. As was the case with the photograph project, the video has been conceived, filmed and edited by the participants with the aid of the trainers. It summarizes the project in a short video meant to allow other stakeholders a glimpse of the participant’s work, learning process, their results, hopes, new competences and, most importantly, the message this project is meant to transfer on the community; social inclusion, responsibility, common European values, multiculturalism and youth participation in an interesting 4 minute package.
Visit to social enterprise Humana Nova
The project authors envisioned the learning process to be incomplete without the participants being given a chance to see in practice what social entrepreneurship means and what is its relation to social inclusion. Therefore, we included in the project a tour of a local Croatian social entrepreneurship which employs people with fewer possibilities in its everyday work. The organization that was chosen was Humana Nova (geographic proximity, compatible social mission, successful example). The director of Humana Nova told the participants what it means to run such a business, what are the obstacles encountered, how to tackle them, suggestions and motivation etc. after which the participants had a chance to ask the manager questions through which they tested the competences acquired during the previous days. This visit was crowned with a guided tour of the facility and opportunity to interact with the employees and support Humana Nova through purchasing their goods, recycled textile merchandise.
This visit was organized for one of the last days so that the participants might better organize their theoretical skills and temper them with the raw experience and input of the Humana Nova director before they engaged into their practical part of the training course, brainstorming and envisioning examples of social entrepreneurship with the social inclusion mission.
Read more about visit in following link:
Booklet: Social entrepreneurship as a tool for social inclusion
VoVo is very proud of our booklet made on topic of social entrepreneurship that is applicable from youngsters, youth workers, decision makers to experience entrepreneurs.
What is this booklet for?
The booklet you are reading aims to equip you, dear reader, with a set of tools to start working the concept of Social Entrepreneurship with the youngsters of your local community. In other words, in this booklet you will find a whole set of sessions to make your target group familiar with the principles and essential tools of Social Entrepreneurship.
The training proposal you’ll find in this document is deeply rooted in the principles of non-formal education (NFE). Therefore, the methodologies used throughout the whole activity, in each and every session, are always based on participation. Another key feature of the training course is the focus on practice. The heaven of ideas is always worth to visit but is on the earth of everyday life where we are. A theoretical input is always followed by a practical approach to the topic. Learning by doing is the motto.
These two main features are translated into the sessions in a large variety of methods such as brainstorming, debates, simulations, case studies, round-tables, role games, etc.
Profile – Target Group
The proposed training course is aimed to youngsters and young people willing to become familiar with Entrepreneurship in general and Social Entrepreneurship in particular. No prior knowledge on finance or accounting is required, since it’s an introductory training course.
Two main blocks can be easily distinguished in the proposal. The first one, under the name essential competences for Entrepreneurship explores, as the name clearly states, the main competences in order to successfully start and run an enterprise. Firstly, it offers an outlook of those skills and attitudes commonly agreed as essential for employability. In the second session, out of the nine competences pointed out previously two of them have been selected to be explored thoughtfully: teamwork and effective communication. It’s clear that many other competences would deserve a similar treatment but time restraints prevent us from doing so.
Teamwork is, needless to say, quite a broad concept, with many different dimensions and related competences. In this proposal, the stress is given on a key and time consuming aspect of every organization, meeting management. Effective communication can be also explored from many different points of view, the one chosen for our proposal, it’s connected with conveying our ideas in a clear and concise way, the so-called elevator pitch. The second block goes into the roots of Entrepreneurship, putting aside abstract reflections on the concept and providing instead a clear practical approach.
The starting point is the Business Model, a key tool to bring ideas to the ground. Out of the many possible business models, two of the will be carefully studied: Canvas and the Business Plan. Canvas has become an extremely popular tool to represent on a single document the essentials of a business idea. On other hand, the business plan as detailed as it can be, is required for many agents, ranging from financial institutions to business angels or entities organizing awards and competitions.
Once the business idea has been represented is time to start thinking of implementation. At this stage, funding and support are most needed. That’s why two sessions are devoted to explore the funding opportunities and the support structures available to entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs. The last block of sessions, the Case Study aims to apply in a practical way all the learnings gained in the previous sessions. Participants will be asked to go through the process of designing a business idea and present it briefly to their colleagues.
Out of the sessions belonging to the two blocks above mentioned in the proposal you can find more sessions scheduled in the training course. They provide the required framework to develop an effective learning space, dealing with aspects like improving participants capabilities for team work or setting the activity groundbase rules, and give space to evaluate the activity.
How to use it?
In the booklet, as it was said, you will find a complete set of sessions structured under a logical framework that goes along five working days. You can choose between implementing the training course as it’s given or to pick those sessions you’re interested the most. Although they follow a logical sequence, you can rearrange them or work only on certain topics. It’s up to you.
Social entrepreneurship as a tool for social inclusion by NGO VoVo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://www.vovo.hr/#SocialEntrepreneurshipBooklet.
Materials to download:
ESSENTIAL COMPETENCES FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Monday, 7. September 2015
VoVo got “Good practices” award for "STOP disCRIMEination!" project !
If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. That is the premise behind our work and motivation, quality over quantity. In all our project we invest ourselves to the limits of our possibilities with the aim of creating the best projects possible. This is the simplest way of explaining our work ethic and far from degrading ourselves into pointless self praise we strive to deduce the deficiencies in our work so that we may attain even higher levels of quality in the future.
Therefore, it was to our great joy that our dedication was recognized by supervising bodies for our work. The project “Stop disCRIMEination!” has been declared as an example of good practice and inspiration for others in its field by the VALOR Dissemination Platform.
We will continue to strive for emulating this success in all our future ventures no matter the topic, aim or context.
Visit of NGO VoVo to social entreprise Humana Nova under Erasmus+ project "Social entrepreneurship as a tool for social inclusion"
Social entrepreneurship represents an uncharted region in our society. A region of idealists and dreamers incompatible with the modern doctrines of the uncompromising free market capitalism. The results of that we can observe all around us through bankrupt factories and a huge unemployed workforce. But the truth is different, it is possible to conduct business successfully and be socially responsible and aware!
We have witnessed first-hand the work of Čakovec textile firm Humana Nova which is the personification of all the altruistic notions of social entrepreneurship while at the same time proving that is possible to survive and thrive on the free market alongside a social mission that may, but also might not represent a hindrance to successful business.
Humana Nova works with textiles, they recycle them, repair them, fashion new articles from old ones etc. and do all this while employing persons with disabilities in their everyday work. Their social mission motivates them for working on no matter the difficulties. That is exactly the meritum of social entrepreneurship; maintaining the social mission despite the difficulties that arise on this noble journey!
Participants from ten different countries on the training course „Social entrepreneurship as a tool for social inclusion“ within the EU programme Erasmus+ financed by the Croatian National Agency visited Humana Nova and were taken on a tour of it by the manager, Ivan Božić. The participants had a chance to ask questions, communicate with the employees, see first-hand the everyday activities and finally, buy Humana Nova products and thus help out themselves.
This study visit represented the pinnacle of the long term theoretical and practical work during the project under the supervision and guidance of our professional trainers Alberto Garcia Garcia from Spain and Vergiliu Grosu from Moldavia.
We would like to thank Humana Nova for accommodating our request to visit them and receiving us with such hospitality during their working hours. Their experience and knowledge was indispensable for our learning outcomes. We hope that Humana Nova will have lot of business and social success in the future and that it will serve as a example to others!
YOUth TIME, magazine
Looking at current events in the EU, UK considering leaving the EU, the economic crisis in the EU and other factors that influence our daily lives VoVo under Erasmus+ made and now presents you magazine done at the project.
In magazine you can look at how these impact youths in the EU, how these important issues impact the EU and its stability and our standing as EU Citizens. Looking at these problems allows us to understand the fundamental principles of the EU and how youth are affected by these outcomes and how young people can influence these outcomes or changes in the EU. Young people believe that they are insignificant in the EU and that they play no role in policy reform or any change. This has become more apparent with the degree of difficulty seen when trying to approach policy makers and stakeholders. The system is almost designed to exclude the input of youth.
Topics in YOUth TIME:
"Go abroad, go cultural"
There are many opportunities waiting you abroad. The freedom of youth mobility is an opportunity that all EU youth can benefit. Do you know that you have access to projects funded by the EU? According to European Commission, Erasmus story during the academic year 2012-13, the 3 millionth student went abroad with Erasmus this year, and the number of mobile academic and administrative staff broke the 350 000 barrier. You can join Erasmus, Jean Monnet Scholarship Program, Leonardo da Vinci, EVS (European Volunteering Service), Comenius, youth projects and benefit from grants and funds.
"Human rights in EU"
The Human Rights are based on Peace, equality, democracy and freedom. The main human rights are right to life, freedom from torture, freedom from slavery, freedom of speech, freedom of thought, conscience, religion, freedom of movement. People have right to a fair trial, right to welfare and collective rights. Other important rights are freedom of sexual orientation and gender identity, right to water and minority rights.
The EU has accepted to respect the human rights with the European Convention on Human Rights in 1950. The European Union sees human rights as universal and indivisible. It actively promotes and defends them both within its borders and when engaging in relations with non-EU countries.
"EU for ALL"
EU values are founded on respect for human rights, human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality and rule of law. EU youth believes in fundamentals. However, it is a going on discussion how much EU members are respectful to common values. The differences between member countries actually define the confidence towards EU. With the globalization, citizens’ trust has gone through a change due to emerging problems and this determines the view of other countries in the world. We put the atlas of European Union values for youth to understand which country has more or less confidence in EU.
Tuesday, 18. August 2015
Erasmus+ Youth Exchange "Apetite for Waste"
VoVo was part of youth exchange program called "Apetite for Waste". Project took place in Kaunas, Lithuania from the 2nd to 10th of August 2015 and it was organized by Active Youth association. Project included 36 participants Romania, Poland, Italy, Latvia, Croatia and Lithuania; 6 participants per each country.
Food waste in general is not only an ethical issue but it is also an economical one. Furthermore, food waste depletes the environment of its limited natural resources. More than one third of global food production is lost or wasted annually. Loss and wastage occurs in all steps in the food supply chain. In low-income countries most food loss occurs during production, post-harvest and processing level, while in developed countries majority of food is wasted at the consumption stage, at retail and consumer levels.
During project Apetite for Waste we had opportunity to learn more about this burning issue and we have tried to find the best solutions for dealing with food waste. Wastage of food is a widespread and increasing problem that is strongly affecting human standard of living. Deprivation of latter and that by increased pollution and both political and economical insecurities resulted in rapid increasment of poverty - one of the biggest social problems. We have tried to find new ways on how to equally and fairly distribute food between those who have too much and those who were at the same time starving, and that by taking in account not only the wealth of general population but also wealth of the companies, factories, restaurants, supermarkets, etc. The main objective of the Youth Exchange was to firstly become more familiar with subject and increase awareness about this important topic and secondly, as it was already mentioned, to try to find creative and sustainable solutions and ways how to implement them.
We also had an opportunity to see on our own how the problem of food waste in supermarkets is already being sorted out. That was during our visit to food bank where we helped other volunteers to sort collected food from supermarkets, so that it could be delivered to the people in need. And for a conclusion we had to make a video about what we have learned during project and to show it to others. For that task we were divided in teams and each team made very inspiring and creative video so that our knowledge would not be forgotten, moreover it became worldwide available to everyone at YouTube channel.
To conclude, benefits from this project were numerous. Not only from educational activities and interactive workshops on how to fight food waste but also from interaction between participants and exchange of our personal experience and knowledge.
Celebrate our second year!
The memory of three young people coming together with a common dream is still very fresh. The dream of helping their fellow peers and spreading the benevolent dream of altruism and active citizenship through self sacrifice, hard work and creativity with no ulterior motives other than making this world a better place for all! Looking back on these years I can hardly believe that the dream of these young people has materialized to such great proportions as it has with VoVo. No longer is it only three people working from nothing but it is a whole national and international network of young people sharing the same dream and striving for the same goals. Together we rose from obscurity to become one of the most active civil sector organizations in Croatia present on every deadline and striving for ever greater and wider goals. From our roots in the Erasmus+ program training courses we have extended our activities to various seminars, case studies, round tables, training courses and youth exchanges which has spread our national and international network of partners and volunteers throughout Europe. Our volunteers participated in a myriad of projects on which VoVo has been a partner, and often and organizer.
We are proud of our activities but they all pale compared to our long term goals as an active member of the community. We strive to engage with the central issues that plague our societies through our work and with this in mind we have envisioned and created what we see as the ultimate tool with which we can achieve our goals; a strategic partnership with our national and international partners. After great effort in its preparation we have applied for it at the Croatian National agency and all we can do now is hope, hope and work hard so that when the day comes that we can fully embrace a greater role in the society we can do so without fear, anxiety or second thought because we are ready for it!
For two years VoVo has worked hard and gained experience and knowledge. More importantly, we have mobilized our skills and motivation into action through participation in European and national programmes. The next logical step for us is professionalizing our work by requisitioning an office from the local government, to continue started project under European Social Found and becoming accredited for the European voluntar
Monday, 8. June 2015
Volunteerism among Youth on the Croatian Islands - Šolta
The Adriatic coast is without doubt a great gift of nature and a great endowment to the human race. This karst coast of limestone and dolomite is straddled by 1181 islands and reefs, 48 of which are inhabited. These islands represent a specific environment in both the human and natural aspect. They are isolated ecological and social systems that cope differently with outside input as opposed to much more integrated and connected coastal regions. First of all, the employment and self-development opportunities for young people are limited or more often non-existent! In line with this, volunteerism and international mobility present a great tool for the empowerment and stabilization of youth on the islands.
Vovo, as a civil society organisation with the paramount goal of promoting volunteering and altruism (it’s in the name!) is obligated to facilitate the promotion and introduction of volunteerism, altruism, active citizenship and European values to all instances of the national and international youth. We recognized the needs and limitations of the island youths and conduct this case study to determine the extent and perception of the problematic within the youth of the island of Šolta, which has been chosen because of its ideal geographic location diametrically opposite to the great city of Split with a simple 30-45 minutes boat ride, a situation by far the most favourable in the central Dalmatian coast. The proximity to a large urban centre which is the macro regional centre of Dalmatia with a large concentration of central functions relevant for developing consciousness about volunteerism and international mobility allows us to assume that Šolta will have a much more access to information, technology and first-hand examples of the benefits and possibilities offered by volunteerism.se' Label of the read less button
Therefore, we developed two basic thesis about the situation on Šolta which we will strive to confirm or prove wrong during this short case study which will cover a simple survey and a small seminar organized by the VoVo organizations in coordination with our partners from HELP Split which will provide us with the infrastructure as well as a greatly experienced staff member which will be the educator during the seminar for the handful of youth present on the island before the tourist season.
Furthermore, it is logical to assume that the situation determined on Šolta will be much less favourable on other Dalmatian islands since all others are farther away from the functional centres on the coast and thus more isolated from information, technology and examples. The expected decrease is influenced most of all by the unfavourable geographic location of other islands in regards to their coastal centres, the farther islands located 5 or more hours from the coast which in turn forces the economically active population to seek employment outside the island and therefore invest less of their time and creativity on the island which decreases motivation for volunteering. This is a nomothetic assumption before all because, as we all know, the individual has ever been the motor of innovation in the society and an extraordinary person could be the exemption that proves the rule.
The seminar will concern examples of volunteer activities as well as international and European mobility through the Erasmus+ programme, more specifically examples of activities which are ideal for conducting on the island such as ecologically themes youth exchanges or self-employment competences (digital, cultural, foreign language etc.) generated through training courses. The aim of the seminar is to introduce the youth to the abovementioned concepts through non-formal education so that they may be the focus of innovation and volunteerism in their societies. VoVo will continue to work and coordinate with the educated individuals and strive to undertake more of our activities on the islands so that we might show first-hand the beauty and worth of the Erasmus+ programme!
We keep our word, proof of which are the projects applied on the April deadline which will, if approved, take place on Šolta.
Out of your box - preparation of strategic partnership
VoVo team during CSR+ project in February 2015, Tallinn strated preparing strategic partnership with partners from Germany, Poland, Bosnia and Turkey. Theme is youth unemployment, the most important socioeconomic and political problem of most of the EU countries. Traditionally unemployment of youth is twice as high as general unemploymnet. Italy youth has an unemployment rate higher than 40 percent, Croatia higher than 50 percent, in Greece the youth unemployment propels to unseen height. Unemployed youth stirs social unrest, damages the economic development and underutilizes eh potentials of most countries. Youth unemployment is unevenly distributed and hits, those who are poor and less educated. Youth workers are situated with their work in the middle of all these problems. While they are able to support and empower drug addicts, persons with family and personal problems, deal with criminal carreers, they cannot solve unemployment.
This strategic partnership project will build a network of six NGOs from Croatia (2), Poland, Germany, Bosnia and Turkey that will develop a joint approach of empowering youth workers that have to deal with high youth unemployment. The network will develop a toolbox of clearly formulated methods and ideas, which will serve youth workers to deal with the problem of high youth unemployment in their own environment. The participating organisations are all to mobilize through their own network the collaboration and if possible also the participation of some five entrepreneurs each, find the suppoirt of social or public enterprises, socalled corporate social responsibiltiy. These 30 companies will serve with their specific entrepreneurial knowledge as an important focus group but also as a means of mobilizing corporate social responsibility in the project itself. The project will create a model Youth Exchange for unemployed youth, during which a large number of the tools and methods will be put into practice and be improved in collaboration with young participants. The Youth Exchange will be documented. Additionally the project will create a Training Course for 20 Youth Workers (and 4 trainers from the participating NGOs), where the tools, methods and ideas will be transferred to them and where they will be introduced to the results and a documentation of the Youth Exchange for unemployed youth. Additionally the project will create a conference in Croatia, where involved 50 youth workers, representatives from state and public institutions from Croatia and abroad will report about their successes and failures in applying the learnt methods, tools and ideas in their environemnt with state institutions, representatives of the civil society, NGOs and political stakeholders from other institutions and organisation.
The results of the project will be documented in all its details on an openly accessible share drive. The project will also be documented in written report and a film to serve other youth workers throughout Europe as a support for their youth work. It will published and maintaint on a separated website, which will be made known to hundreds of organisations throughout Europe. It will also be presented on the EU-Erasmus dissemination website.The output will be widely distributed directly in a network of Croatian, Polish, Turkish and Bosnian youth workers, that have to cope in their daily work with the problems of systemic youth unemployment. These networks will later serve as a tool of intercooperation for follow-up workshops and especially for further youth exchanges for unemployed youth.
Wednesday, 13 May 2015
Social entrepreneurship as a tool for social inclusion
VoVo will from 14th August till 22nd August 2015 organize 8 days long Training Course under Erasmus+ on theme of social entrepreneurship. It will gather 30 participants from 10 countries all over the Europe. Participants from Croatia (organizer), Georgia, Armenia, Slovakia, Moldova, Italy, Spain, Ukraine, Romania and Poland will together work on tasks, share knowledge and work on future projects.
Main goal of the project is to indicate importance of fighting against social exclusion by showing participants how to develop and successfully lead social enterprise Gained knowledge they could also use as youth workers in their organization to improve quality aspect of their enrolment in organization.
We believe that with this 8 days long training course participants will upgrade their knowledge in field managing finances, time management, organization skills, leadership skills, communication skills and much more.
Method used on TC will be non-formal education and we'll achieve this true simulations games, role playing, power point presentations, interactive games, icebreakers, energizers, team building activities, debates and a "study" visit to Croatian very successful social enterprise.
As a result of the project youth works will develop new skills in field of social entrepreneurship and reach better understanding of social problems. They will deepen the sense of entrepreneurship and responsibility of their work among their target groups. Due to improvement and professionalize of their work they will be more attractive and more influential in their community, thus they will bring more attention to concerning social issues and engage more people in their work. The results of the project will be shared on social media platforms and websites. The entire outcome will serve as a basis for future cooperation among participants who will find potential future partners working in the same field of interest.
At the end participants will have opportunity to develop plan for social enterprise which they can use later as platform for organizing one within their organization. This actions will be process of dissemination of results same as social event during which we are planning to present booklet and project results to wider audience. After the project their responsibility will be to organize a forum or a workshop where they will present booklet and knowledge gained on this project to local community.
Try this new very cool tool !
"Young Europeans" is a new tool by Eurostat which is primarily designed for young people aged 16-29. It provides them the possibility to compare themselves with other young men and women in their country. This tool is also intended for parents, decision-makers, politicians, teachers, etc. who want to know more about the young generation in Europe.
"Young Europeans" consists of quiz-like questions about the life of young Europeans on 4 different themes: me & my family, me & my work, me & my free time and studies, and me & the internet. Before starting, please choose your gender, your country and your age. If you are not between 16 and 29 years old, you should choose the age in this range you are most interested in.
European Youth Week 2015
From 27th of April to 10th of May
The theme of European Youth Week 2015 is encouraging and helping young people to take part in civil society and in the employment market. To raise awareness about how important it is to participate in society and make sure your voice is heard. On that theme VoVo made special video how to rise Active Citizenship.
Also one of the aims of the European Youth Week 2015 is to help to understand how developing a wide range of different skills, often outside of school or university, will help you to find a job. On this topic VoVo actively work under European Social Fund on project "Daj za budućnost i imaš mogućnost" (Give for the future and you have opportunity) also on new just applied two yearlong Erasmus+ strategic partnership "Get out of your Box" as a main topic is how to make a network that will develop a toolbox of formulated methods and ideas which will serve youth workers to deal with a problem of high youth unemployment in their own environment. We have a lot of projects behind us, you can read about them on our web pages.
Hundreds of events are going to be taking place across Europe between the 27th of April and the 10th of May, ranging from youth conferences to rock concerts, all based around these themes.
Click on Events to find out what is happening near you, and for information about the major European events which are taking place in Brussels during European Youth Week.
Hundreds of thousands of young people each year take part in youth exchanges, European Voluntary Service and other youth projects which are funded by the European Union. Over 150 projects were nominated by Erasmus+ National Agencies in recognition of their outstanding work, and 35 of them have been shortlisted to receive one of three prestigious Youth Awards. Click on Youth Awards and then come back after the Youth Awards ceremony on the 6th of May to find out which projects received the awards.
Young people around Europe have been generating inspiring and innovative ideas on how to tackle youth unemployment, boosting youth entrepreneurship, encouraging young people to be active in civic life, and engaging young Europeans in international development issues. We want your help to prioritise their ideas by voting for each one. Visit the Ideas Lab to see their great ideas and to start voting for them!
STOP disCRIMEination !
project under Erasmus+ ; Zagreb, Croatia
Discrimination is as old as humanity is, it is one of our fundamental flaws which has only gotten worse as we progressed and achieved the pinnacle of civilization; the western civilization. This issue is especially important in the new, globalized, world where borders and distance have contracted and all but disappeared which gives individuals a greater responsibility in regards to fellow humans of other races, nationalities, religions, sex, gender, social class etc. The main problem now is whether we are aware of this or not about this responsibility!? Soo many of us have dealt and received discrimination at some point in our lives and gone on without giving it a second thought or glance. This is unacceptable, especially in the New Europe we are building through cooperation of a myriad of different groups of people. That is why we sought to, above all, raise the awareness about discrimination amongst the youth of Europe so that they may recognize it, act against it and help build a more accepting and integrated society, not necessarily the failed multiculturalism, but an egalitarian society in which all would have an equal opportunity for happiness and success without passive or active discrimination from other groups and individuals.
This is why we envisioned, prepared, organized and successfully brought to an end the youth mobility project activity “Stop disCRIMEination”. The project has been created under the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union with the patronage and confidence of the Croatian National agency. The central idea and message of the project is recognized in its very name, discrimination is a CRIME! We have brought this message to our 24 participants, youth from all over Europe, Asia and Africa, through the use of non-formal education, lectures, workshops, and outdoor activities such as flash mobs, direct contact with local community and other methods. Our trainers motivated the participants to think about discrimination as a crime, showed them examples and most importantly of all, guided them through the creation of tools and methods for fighting this crime.
The days of written media as the main means of disseminating information are past. We live in a modern, interconnected world where the lifeblood of our societies, information, flows through virtual veins of the internet. Therefore, there is no better way of reaching out to others, especially young people, than by means of social media, the foremost of which in the West is Facebook. Our participants created fb social campaign to spread awareness about discrimination, in fist week fb page reached more than 600 likes and posts were reached in more than 2000 views, VoVo is sure that big attention to this social campaign will be in future.
Flashmob STOP disCRIMEination !
In order to involve the local community in our project and raise general awareness about discrimination and other relevant issues we organized a flash mob at the Zagreb Student Centre. The concept was to place little messages about discrimination within balloons which would then be destroyed by everyone taking part in the flash mob thus revealing the message inside.
The flashmob was a resounding success and during our one hour stay in front of the Student Centre during lunch time we popped over 200 balloons and reached at least ten times that number! The students and others that took part in our flash mob very genuinely interested in our work, the project, discrimination and more importantly, in youth mobility and what the EU can offer us all.
Photo Campaign; STOP disCRIMEination !
Throughout all of our project we always strive to endow our participants with a variety of useful competences and one them are certainly digital competences photography and videography. With this in mind, our trainers instructed the participants in ways how to approach different and important issues through photo and video. To fight discrimination through a photo campaign is to give it a whole new meaning, when we read about it is not the same as seeing it. The image of humanity failing in accepting everyone equally burn and lasting image in our conscience, the one thing which is most important in the fight against discrimination!
Our participants showed how through helping discriminated we can change perception from black and white to more colourful and in final to bright future for everyone.
Representing things through marks and pictures is old as humanity is. A central part of our programming is to draw links and connections between disparate things and ideas. This is how we enhance our learning process, facilitate memorizing and recollection and also, this is how we can keep a hard and uncomfortable but important issue alive and actual.
This is why our participants created different logos about discrimination which were then printed on T-shirts in anticipation of our outdoor activities. These T-shirts will serve to carry the torch of responsibility and awareness wherever we go! We are very proud of the imaginative and powerful logos created by our participants and we will gladly provide an identical T-shirt to everyone willing.
Youth from all over Europe and the World came together during this project, all glowing with the same wish to learn, share, accept and breathe in other cultures and customs. We brought them all to the most beautiful country on the planet so that they may surpass petty differences and borders. But, despite all its natural beauty, are the people of Croatia as wide and accepting as their homeland?
To find out our participants conducted a little social experiment, a type of „hidden camera“ where random local persons were approached by them and asked for help. What do you think they found? A will and drive to help or dismissal; find out in our video!
The results of this training course are very actual and applicable to all our societies and it will be made available to everyone interested in this topic. We hope that the results, both photographic and videographic as well as social media campaigns, will raise awareness about the issue of discriminations and that through this raised awareness we would all contribute towards a better World. If someone is aware and perceptive about discrimination, they will be more qualified to cry out against it, to recognize even the most benign instances and thus help raise the awareness of others. This is the effect we want this project to achieve, a snowball effect which will compound and exponentially propagate through all layers of our societies.
In the end, we should all look at ourselves first, are we truly inclusive and accepting? Do we do enough to improve the situation or do we turn our head and continue on with our lives in blissful arrogance? This is the cowards methods and none of us should resort to it, especially not the youth of the New Europe which is based on values that are anathema to discrimination; responsibility, awareness, tolerance and active citizenship!
VoVo went to Advanced Preliminary Visit (APV) of Erasmus+ programme in Rome, Italy from 16th to 18th of April 2015. This preliminary visit was meeting with group of team leaders and some participants who will take part in the Youth exchange called EmployMe! Organized by promotor I.N.F.A.P (Istituto Nazionale Formazione e Addestramento Professionale).
EmployME! is a Multilateral Youth Exchange project brought to collect participants from countries around Europe for talking, discussing, reflecting, sharing possibilities for addressing the young people for today’s and tomorrow’s job market.
The topic of the project is Enhancing Youth Experience & Skills Trough Participation and Volunteering. Taking advantage of all their skills and capabilities gained throughout their previous and present work as volunteers and know how to improve in their professional life. The partners on the Project was Youth Organizations from Portugal, Estonia, Romania and Croatia.
We were debating about the activities which will held during exchange from 10th to 16th of June 2015 in Vebito City, Italy. It was an important moment of confrontation where we could give our own contributing, express our needs and ambitions about the project. We were briefly gone through Project activities; definition of the modalities of cooperation among the group leaders, for the YE implementation by taking into account needs and problems, emerged from the '"information-informal meeting". With this project we will try to find alternative solutions in commuting skills as volunteers to professionals and self-employed.
Exchange of good practices in Tallinn, Estonia
VoVo team visited Tallinn Youth Work Centre (TYWC) that belongs to the Sports and Youth Department under Tallinn City Government that was officially established in the beginning of February, 2003 in Tallinn, Estonia.
Our host Pavel Vassiljev from Shokkin' Group showed us examples of a good practice and how to support and create possibilities for development of youth through self-initiative and developmental activities. The organization is collaborating with non-governmental organizations and other institutions working in the youth field to implement various activities and projects. The work of Tallinn Youth Work Centre is divided into several fields:
YOUTH CENTRES are the places that can be visited voluntarily by any youngster regardless of their social and/or economic background with the aim of free communication and self-development. It is possible to communicate, play, seek information, get advice and help from the youth workers. The youth centres offer different clubs and studios, youth events, projects and programmes, regional town camps and international youth exchanges. The work of the youth centres is based on the open youth work method. In order to participate in the activities, projects and programmes that Tallinn Youth Work Centre offers, youngsters are obliged to own a membership card. There are both, Estonians and non-Estonians (mainly Russians) visiting the youth centres. 60% of the visitors are boys and 60% are aged 14–18.
INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS. Tallinn Youth Work Centre has been working with international projects since its creation in 2003. During this time TYWC has been European Voluntary Service sending and hosting organization to many volunteers going to and coming from all over Europe. Among the projects there have been short-term projects, also individual and group projects. TYWC with its youth centres has also been a hosting organization for volunteers from AMICUS programmes and the Erasmus Placement Programme.
VoVo team leaded by representatives of NGO, Mia and Luka during visit had experienced a lot of good practice and gained knowledge that could be implemented in present infrastructure in Croatia on local and national level. For sure gained knowledge will be incorporated in future projects of VoVo as in future work of NGO.
Stay fit - Stay calm
VoVo took part in a project for moblity of youth workers in Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of Greek Macedonia. This March Thessaloniki was place to be. From the 1st to 9th of March 2015 that city hosted project „Stay fit-Stay calm“.
We live in the world where is more important "to have" than "to be". Everyday life is occupied with schedules, jobs and tasks. Atmosphere of chaos, stress, unhealthy way of life, not enough physical activity and lack of personal time are quiet killers of physical and mental wellbeing of every human.
The project offered opportunity to learn how to deal with exactly those issues and improve our mental and physical health. Youh workers from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Spain and Croatia, total 40 of them, arrived to experience various activities in order to get valuable lesson - how to improve their quality of live. Based on non-formal education and learning by participation methodology, project was aiming to motivate young people on outdoor activities and sports but also to have an energetic lifestyle. Through diverse activities with innovative methods, such as team work, role-playing, artistic creation, social stories, steam groups, brainstorming, movement games and behavioral rehearsal every participant was able to empower himself and get new skills.
Benefit from this project was multiply. Not only from workshops, educational visits and presentations, but also from interaction between participants and exchange their personal experience and knowledge. Those nine days enriched every participant with numerous new informations and tips in area dealing with stress and how to improve quality of life on everyday level, but most important, reminded all of them on forgotten power of playing games and spending time outdoors.
Thursday, 12 March 2015
Regarding the upcoming project under Erasmus+; Training Course
Western civilization has evolved through the ages to become the most advanced community technologically and democratically. We are all part of it, we live it every day and we add or supstract from it, but despite all our advances and accepted social and personal norms the base axiom of our Judeo-Christian western civilization is that we were all created equal before God. Sadly we often forget this premise and engage, often unawares, in various forms of discrimination.
As active and responsible citizens of the New Europe, it is the obligation of us all to fight against discrimination not only in our communities, but more importantly; within ourselves! This idea that change comes from within has motivated us to create, organize and promote a training course about discrimination; "Stop disCRIMEination" which will be held in Zagreb, Croatia from 10-18 of April 2015. As the name of the TC itself implies, discrimination is a crime which always has two casualties, the perpetrator and the victim.
Throughout the project we will address discrimination in all its forms including positive discrimination, stereotypes social exclusion and inclusion, crypto discrimination suffered by people with limited possibilities, ethnic and religious minorities etc. but also take in count rare occasions when perceived discrimination is abused by certain groups to extort their societies. Our hope is that our participants will actively engage in promoting understanding and awareness about issues they will learn during the TC and, by doing so, better their communities!
Job Shadowing - Bangalore, India
Learning and personal development are a two-way process, it requires a willing learner and a source of knowledge, the best of which is another human, especially a peer. Everyone has something unique to share and teach others and if that something is instrumental in bettering our everyday lives or professional activities it is our duty to share it with others so that we all may reap the benefits! In that light, our president undertook a 1 month job shadowing with a fellow organization in far away Bangalore in India, ICDE. He had the privilege of participating in ICDE's activities, working with their staff and fully embracing Indian everyday life through his host family.
The experience sharing was very intense and we had the opportunity to gain an insight into ICDE and how they function, how to achieve the most with what little funds you have, how every little good deed can make a difference and most importantly, how to involve foreign volunteers into the organizations everyday activities. Job shadowing is an important career and leadership development activity and it helps both parties to learn and exchange ideas, and we shared with ICDE our experiences with Erasmus+ and how they could possibly take advantage of them to better their communities ever further!
International Volunteer Day (IVD) 2014.
On International Volunteer Day (IVD) 2014, we not only celebrate volunteerism in all its facets – but also pay special tribute to people’s participation in making a difference locally, nationally and globally. IVD 2014 highlights the contribution of volunteers in engaging people from the grass-roots in decision-making processes, ultimately creating space for participation that leads to: stronger governance, social cohesion, peace and sustainable development.
On 5 December, 2014 join us in recognizing all volunteers' commitment and applaud hundreds of millions of people who volunteer to make change happen.
The Cadre of Change; project under Erasmus+ programme, results:
Be Active !
What does it mean to be an active citizen? To run 10 km every morning? Do yoga? Swim? No! To be an active citizen means to be aware of issues and problems around us. It means standing up and giving your best to fight against them and spend our young days sharing this conviction with our peers because noone else will solve our problems for us. That's why to be active means most of to be brave! Our participants have shared their views on this issue and what do they do to be an active citizen of the new Europe!
Be Active is a result of "The Cadre of Change", project that is funded by the European Union, created by NGO VoVo from Zagreb, Croatia
All proud, all significant !
Nothing could describe the spirit of Erasmus+ in a better way. This project has brought together 30 energetic and motivated young people from varying backgrounds and countries together into one big happy group.
This has motivated one of the teams on our project to visualize their slogan through video and photography. Every nation of our proud continent has contributed greatly to humanity even if it might not be common knowledge and this video glorifies everyone as proud and significant.
All Proud All Significant is a result of "The Cadre of Change", project that is funded by the European Union, created by NGO VoVo from Zagreb, Croatia
Bring the world some poetry:
Rhyme about ecology
Nature is everything to us, it surrounds us, it nourishes us and it gives us purpose. Yet we often mistreat it and regard it as given and perpetual. The truth is that our treatment of nature will be felt by generations to come! This fact has motivated one of the groups during the TC "The Cadre of Change" to dedicate their work to nature and our relation to it.
Evergreen is social campaign made during TC The Cadre of Change to promote importance of responsibility, awareness and active citizenship with the aim of preserving our planet
For more photos and informations of this social campaign press HERE
Share to Change
To ignore a crime is morally just as bad as committing it! That's why we must fight against indifference around us, but within us also.
A responsible citizen is aware of this and we were lucky to have such a group of responsible young people with us during our project. They dedicated their work to common issues plaguing our societies through video and photography.
Share to Change is a result of "The Cadre of Change", project that is funded by the European Union, created by NGO VoVo from Zagreb, Croatia. Follow facebook page and Share to Change
For more photos and informations of this social campaign press HERE
VoVo thanks to The Cadre of Change team for bringing out successful project under Erasmus+ programme
We live in an increasingly interconnected world that provides us with opportunities that young people in the past never could have imagines. Along with these new opportunities, new challenges arise also as well as new skills that are integral to solving these challenges. Digital art, photography, social networks and an ever increasing need and value of creativity have shaped our young lives and to just give our best might not be enough. We must endeavor to better ourselves through education and experience diffusion with our peers and elders.
With that in mind we have along with our partner organizations from Moldavia, Poland, Georgia, Romania, Ukraine, France and Armenia organized a training course to endow youth that will participate with the above mentioned skills and competences so they may take on the new world without fear or doubts. All partners share the belief that only through continuous education and selfless altruism one can make the most of his or her life.
This project has immersed the youth workers into an alternate reality where the spirit of volunteerism, multiculturalism and tolerance intertwine to shape a true active citizen of a new Europe. 24 youth workers from 8 countries has taught useful tools in promotion of their work such as: social media, photography, videos, flash mobs, exhibitions, fairs etc. They have learnt how to create or develop new communication channels and platforms (such as: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter). How to raise awareness on the social issues relevant to the work of participants among them and their target groups; to stimulate the sense of entrepreneurship and responsibility for their work among participants (a lot of young people feel resigned and put off not being able to reach out to their target group or raise voice on the important topic.
Thanks to all participants! VoVo team can't believe that the project has finished. These eight days with you went so fast and it were simply unbelievable! Huge thanks to all of you for making it happen! It was a real pleasure to see you in Moldova - all of you are AMAZING! We really enjoyed the project :)) I hope you did as well! Of course first times are always special and it will never be the same again.
We really love you all! Take care and finally have some rest!!
Erasmus+ Youth Exchange "Hashtag"
Muga de Sayago is a small town in Spain where 50 young people from 6 countries came to the Youth Exchange "Hashtag" which was held on 9th-18th September. There were Romanians, Greeks, Germans, Spaniards, Portuguese and of course the Croats.
The end of summer is the best time to be in beautiful Spain, so we enjoyed 9 days of fun, games, adventure, learning, and excursions.
Each day we had a non-formal learning activities, such as icebraking games, presentations, role playing games, creating movies and much more. Evening time was reserved for learning something new about one country, its culture and language along with plenty of national cuisine, music and dance. Croatian evening was remembered for a special excitement around the table with national delicacies. Equally special was a Spanish bull race, German language exercises, Romanian dances and Greek feta cheese. It is amazing how many different traditions in the smallest continent.
Salamanca is a city with a large and prestigious university, so we promoted Erasmus + program among students by Sharing leaflets and talking about exchange programs. The amazing architecture of Salamanca impressed everybody. We saw the famous cathedral, but we are most surprised with ordinary buildings that are also beautifully maintained, even a gas station.
In many workshops we had the opportunity to discuss and highlight the problem of youth unemployment in Europe. Also, we have gained practical knowledge and develop skills in resume writing, interviews and the use of new technologies for the purpose of self-promotion and employment
Trip to Portugal for many of us stayed the fondest memory of this exchange. Only a few minutes drive from the border, we saw the beautiful Portuguese countryside, monuments, people and their traditions.
As a result of this exchange, we have created a brochure for young people with instructions for all the steps needed for successful employment. Brochure will help young people to be in demand in the labor market, to present themselves to employers in the best way and to keep a job. Soon all the information assembled in a e-book will be published.
Monday, 29 September 2014
Erasmus+ Training Course "New Program, New Future"
Erasmus+ youth exchange “Let’s Training course „New Programme, New Future “ took place from the 15th to 21th of September 2014 in Málaga, Spain. A total of 36 participants from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Italy, Martinique, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey and Croatia were involved in presentations, workshops, team-building games and other non-formal education activities relating to the new ERASMUS+ programme which opens a wide and varied opportunities for young people.
For participants, except new information about ERASMUS+ and gaining new skills, this programme enabled the introduction of new cultures, new customs, lots of laughter and positive energy, but most importantly making new friends…
Hereby NGO “VoVo“ would like to thank the organizers of this wonderful project for teaching us that beyond borders everything is possible.
Erasmus+ youth exchange "Let's Turn Discrimination into Tolerance!"
Erasmus+ youth exchange “Let’s Turn Discrimination into Tolerance!” took place in Kaunas from the 6th to 14th of September of this year. 36 participants from Lithuania, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Romania and Turkey were involved in a variety of non-formal education activities and discussions.
The exchange aimed to find and analyse persisting cases of discrimination against various minorities, good practices in order to reduce it, as well as strategies, which could help increase tolerance toward minorities in the participant countries and beyond.
This was done through:
(1) group exercises, games, quizzes, simulation activities and interactive workshops on different types of discrimination;
(2) country presentations on discrimination cases persisting in Europe;
(3) various art-related activities (poster, photo-wall making, theatrical plays, etc.);
(4) team sports and outdoor activities;
(5) special video afternoons;
(6) public activities (video shooting in the city centre), and many more.
We have been also visited by a number of guests, as well as visited Kaunas Cultural Centre of Various Nations and the museum of the 9th fortress ourselves. Thanks to their amazing presentations and resulting discussions, a lot has been learned about the situation of these minorities in Lithuania and elsewhere in the world.The project venue was Domus Pacis Guest house, which is located in one of the oldest monasteries in Kaunas. Such setting made discussion about religious or sexual minorities especially interesting. However, our hosts have shown great tolerance both to the participants and the activities of the project.
Every evening each of the participating countries had their cultural evenings. During these the presenting team would show their country’s traditions, culture, music, dances as well as cuisine. It has helped everyone to develop much bigger mutual understanding and get the so needed cultural exchange. Not to mention, that the participants had a great deal of fun during these evenings.
The project has finished with a party in a special trolleybus and an awards night. Teams and individual participants were awarded for their positivity, cooperation, fun and more. Summing up the project activities, the exchange was a great success in terms of both experience gained and information learned, as well as satisfaction of the participants. This can be perfectly seen from the testimonials that the participants have left, e.g. “I loved this project!”; “Great organizers, accommodation, food and the rest!”; “Guest speakers were perfect”; „I‘ve learned so much about discrimination!! This was an amazing exchange!“.
However, “Let’s Turn discrimination into Tolerance!” still continues. Various videos and other material produced by the project’s participants to promote tolerance will be continuously posted on a specially created website: http://tolerant-youth.org, social media (www.fb.com/activeyouthlt), press and youth organisation websites. The material shared has already gathered a lot of attention, reached more than 10,000 young people, and will continue to make the youth across Europe more tolerant! Eventually, we will also publish an e-booklet outlined during the project, which will include some of the best solutions to persisting discrimination across Europe
Thursday, 18 September 2014
Regarding the upcoming TC "The Cadre of Change!"
It was an eventful morning when we received confirmation from the Croatian National Agency that our first project, the training course „The Cadre of Change“, was approved! At the end of October we will organize a training course in Digital arts and photography in Moldavia with 7 other partners totaling 24 participants and 6 staff. We are delighted to finally give our best at hosting a project after being participants on so many. This will be our greatest challenge so far and we are taking great care to organize it the best we can for this is more than just our first (of many hopefully) project, this is our thank you to all the people who created the Erasmus+ programme as well as the multitudes of organizations that hosted projects we participated on, all of which left a great mark on us. It was those projects that got us motivated to create VoVo in the first place and strive to provide our communities a great opportunity for gaining new skills, experiences and most important of all, new friendships. The project received an excellent rating from the National agency thanks to the great work of our project writers from Croatia and our partners abroad and that has further strengthen our resolve and motivation to organize an excellent project that we will look back upon with pride and joy.
The Croatian participants have been selected and are motivated and ready for the training course as are we all who will take part. Again, I thank and congratulate everyone who took part in making this possible and look forward to meeting you all in Moldavia!
Friday, 5 September 2014
Regarding the upcoming YE Let’s Turn Discrimination Into Tolerance
Discrimination towards minorities has always been one of the key issues in Europe. People of different races, cultures, sexual orientations and religions are often enduring intolerance, which results in their exclusion from the society, as well as problems in the labour market. Even though the EU acts towards eliminating these wrongs, countries such as Lithuania, Spain, Romania, Turkey, Croatia and Italy are still lacking behind.
The participants will also prepare videos and an e-booklet, as well as be involved in public activities, which will promote tolerance to everyone. By doing this, the exchange also aims to help the participating youth from minorities increase their self-esteem, learn how to stand-up for themselves and fight for their rights. At the same time, it will help them grow professionally, raise their social awareness, keep them active, involve them in discussions and decision making in an international environment, develop the spirit of volunteerism, and enhance their social skills, as well as multilingualism and tolerance through non-formal education. We believe that this would help the participating youth perform better in their studies and find a job in the future. The participants have started working already even before the youth exchange. Apart from other things, they will have to present the situation in their country – the overall level of tolerance, discrimination against certain minorities and examples of good practices in order to stop that, which they are actively preparing for.
Of course the project aims for its discussion to effectively reach a wider audience and facilitate tolerance to minorities in all the partner countries. In order to reach that, you can help as well. All the experiences of the participants, activities, resources of the project and everything else relevant will be published in the website of the youth exchange – http://tolerant-youth.org. Feel welcome to visit it now, suggest project activities, relevant topics and issues, problems persisting in your countries or even write an entry to the “Tolerance Blog”. Everything will be much appreciated!
2014 International Youth Day: Youth and Mental Health
On 17 December 1999, in its resolution 54/120, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998) that 12 August be declared International Youth Day.
The theme of International Youth Day 2014 is "Youth and Mental Health."
Youth with mental health conditions can often experience stigma and discrimination, which in turn can lead to exclusion and/or discourage people from seeking help for fear of being negatively ‘labelled’. Youth with mental health conditions can often experience stigma and discrimination, which in turn can lead to exclusion and/or discourage people from seeking help for fear of being negatively ‘labelled’. Efforts are needed to overcome this stigma to ensure that young people with mental health conditions can lead full and healthy lives free of isolation and unnecessary shame, and that they openly seek the services and support they need. You can be part of these efforts!
The 2014 observance of International Youth Day will raise awareness on this important topic, as well as highlight the experiences of brave, young individuals who have chosen to speak out about these issues with the objective of overcoming stigma and discrimination to ensure that young people with mental health conditions can lead full and healthy lives free from isolation and unnecessary shame, and openly seek the services and support they need.
Celebrate our first year!
It is every person obligation to be an active, responsible and good citizen, to achieve all that is to transcend the petty limitations of egoism, lethargy and indifference, but to succeed in this undertaking one is required to bravely take a dive into the unknown. Only a year has passed since we came together and took that dive by founding this organization to further our societies through selflessness and altruism. As with everything new in life, we were anxious in the beginning, anxious and afraid, afraid of not fulfilling our hopes and goals which led us to form VoVo in the first place.
Standing here now, a few days before our first anniversary (8.July), I can proudly say that we have achieved much more than we could ever have hoped for!
We took part in our partner's projects around Europe, and further! From the British Isles to the Caucasus and up the very peaks of Sicily's Etna, our participants learned and shared their own knowledge with their peers through the Erasmus+ programme of the EU. It is through this very program that we plan to further expand our activities and actively take on the mantle of planning and organizing new projects with our dear partner organizations. Even while writing this, several of our projects are undergoing evaluation by the Croatian National Agency and we look forward to their results, confident and hopeful that this fall we shall crown all our hard work and dedication up to this moment with our very first project, to be held in Moldavia!
As the president of the organization, I would like to thank everyone in VoVo for their hard work in making this organization what it is today, especially our General Director Mia and General Secretary Luka, without whose motivation and energy we would not have such great results after only 1 year of existence.
Thank you for reading and we look forward to working with you!
Ivor Mardešić, President of the association.
„TicTac“ Training Course, Bruxelles
TICTAC is a network training for programmes and targets at voluntary and professional youth workers and youth leaders involved in international youth work and interested in using the new EU Programme for Youth in the strategic development of their work organisation. Bringing together representatives of youth organisations from different European countries the TICTAC TC worked at improving the potential of the participants and consequently increase the quality of future international projects. NGO VoVo has participated to build around long-term strategic planning and project cycle, to upgrade quality features of international youth work when building a local strategic plan as a tool for quality improvement of youth projects.
Partnership building event “Go East” Tbilisi, Georgia
NGO "VoVo" has sent its participants on this project within the Erasmus+ programme to Georgia in the Caucasus along with many other organisations from the EU and its partner countries in the Eastern Europe. We have acquired many quality contacts and partners as well as the knowledge how to create new projects and further the aims and work of our organisations.
This project has helped us improve our competences in creating and participating in projects, we have also improved the key competences of our participants such as: foreign language skills, communication, learning to learn, social and civic competences, cultural awareness and most important of all, a sense of entrepreneurship and a will to actively participate in the everyday life of our local communities.
Udruga Volim Volontirati - "VoVo"