2011-PT-30 ONDA VERDE - ASSOCIAÇÃO JUVENIL DE AMBIENTE E AVENTURA Accreditation
Sending organisation, Host organisation, Co-ordinating organisation
Education through sport and outdoor activities
Cultural differences, Geographical difficulties, Social difficulties
Project environment PROJECT ENVIRONMENT: Onda Verde´s office is placed in Avintes, a village in Vila Nova de Gaia, which is close to the city of Porto in the North coast of Portugal. We may say that we are placed in a village, with about 13.000 inhabitants, who have a very important historical, cultural and environmental legacy and with great history of traditions. Avintes, by being a small town, can be proud of having deep cultural roots, it is well known in the local area by its busy theatre performance agenda and it is the council where the most active theatre life occurs in Porto region. Practically every weekend it is possible to see a good theatre or other cultural show there. Avintes trademark is the famous bread "Broa de Avintes", the bread also has been honoured by different events in the town. Nevertheless by being located so close to the city centre of Gaia and Porto, the cultural agenda and the artistic environment is offered in all its splendor. Avintes also is one of the oldest villages of V. N. Gaia Municipality and it recently it is going through the effects of increasing urbanization - lack of education, unemployment, bad infrastructure, pollution, etc. Onda Verde involves mostly youngsters that live not only in this area, but also in all the surrounding area of Porto city in our activities. Transportation from Avintes to V.N.Gaia as well as to Porto is quite easy. There are buses every 15 minutes (from. 6.30 a.m. to 9.00 pm) or every 30 minutes (from 9.00 pm to 1.00 am) and it takes about 15 minutes to get to the city centre of Gaia and about 25 minutes to get to Porto city centre. The Municipality of Vila Nova de Gaia has about 300 thousand inhabitants, being the third most populated city in the country, registering the highest population growth rate in all Porto surrounding area and assuming the role of a "Sleeping-city", where thousands of workers that go to Porto to work everyday live. This centralization of Porto city does not at all contribute to a sustainable development of the surrounding councils, including V.N. Gaia. As far as the age rate is concerned, V.N. Gaia registers the lowest percentage of population who is less than 65 years old (11,7%) and when compared with the rest of the country, it registers a high percentage of population aged between 0-14 (17,6%). In terms of economy, the councils of Porto surrounding area are feeling the effects of the economic crisis that our country is facing. The shifting of several multinational companies to
other parts of the world and the breakdown of important sectors such as the Building Industry are causing a huge set-back in the regional economy and therefore an increasing unemployment rate. Taking this context into account, Onda Verde (Green Wave) has been involving a wider range of people from different areas and with different ages, the environmental issues are becoming more global everyday, but at the same time they demand a local intervention that we try to promote, so as to stimulate a region, which has not been growing in a sustained way.
PROPOSED ACTIVITIES FOR EVS VOLUNTEERS: Onda Verde is a perfect place for the volunteer as the voluntary service is not a working place for the volunteers. The working area of the organization itself deals with the non-formal and informal education, in this way the volunteers will have the opportunity to try out different working and learning styles, that will help them to acquire essential competences and will contribute to their personal and professional development. Also the daily contact with the Portuguese people as well as the fact that the voluntary service takes place in different places, in different range of environments and situations will facilitate the social inclusion and active citizenship. Moreover for the volunteer the participation in the daily life of our organization can serve as a great professional experience and may help them later in the future to find a better job possibilities as all the foreign experiences as we know, improves the chances to get a better job later. Proposed activities 1. Summer Camps 2. Nature Centre and Occupational Youth Centre 3. Monitoring of nature sports; 4. Help in the preparation of materials; 5. Help in organizing activities of canoeing; 6. Games in Nature, Trekking, hiking. 7 Organization of environmental activities; 8. Help in developing activities in nature, as well as preserving it. Description of role and tasks of volunteer The activities of this project regard, essentially, environmental education and the raise of young people's awareness to the importance of rural and urban environmental valorisation. We try to achieve this by divulging information, participating and organising environmental activities at schools and putting young people in direct contact with nature through the outdoor activities, such as: pedestrian walks, trekking, orienteering, canoeing, climbing, nature games among others. The co-operation of a European volunteer in this project will add value to it, since they will bring new perspectives and a new energy to the group that has been working on it, as well as to the target group of these activities, which is composed mainly by young people. The contact with the young volunteer will allow the exchange of experiences related to the work that has been developed by young people in the fields of environmental education and nature sports, making it easier to acquire new approaches and different methodologies by sharing different ideas and concepts. The volunteer, on the other hand, may benefit by the participation in several activities, where it will be possible to: develop and acquire skills related to the monitoring of open-air
activities, acquire new concepts of non-formal education, obtain experience in planning and work out projects, get to know the natural environment and the specific features of the rural and urban heritage of our country and acquire intercultural knowledge about Portugal as far as history, culture, language and daily life are concerned. The activities carried out by Onda Verde are mainly educational and try to combine entertainment with contact with nature in order to attract the surrounding community to make them aware of the need to preserve our natural heritage. The tasks that the volunteer will have to perform are arranged with the intent of providing a useful range of experiences, offering the possibility to work directly with the community in projects of environmental awareness rising. The volunteer will be given the opportunity to experience what is done and to give his personal contribution by making suggestions and taking initiatives. The volunteer will work together with people already involved in the different projects and will never be used as substitute personnel. There will be a wide variety of options so as to match the volunteer's interests and skills with the different activities, in which he/she intends to gain more experience. Most of Green Wave's work is based in the direct contact with Nature, therefore most of our activities are done outdoors in areas of environmental interest (Ecological Reserves, Natural Parks, Protected Areasâ€Ś) as well as in a farm where we carry out outdoor activities (climbing, rappel, slide, paintballâ€Ś); summer camps for young people; and a Nature School, where we do several activities with children up to 13 years old (contact with farm animals, building of feed and nest boxes for the birds, paper recycling and biological farming). The tasks that the volunteer will perform will be done essentially outdoors. As it was mentioned before, in all the tasks the volunteer will have the support of someone already working in the project, but greater responsibilities and more autonomy will be given, as according to the development of skills and abilities in the different areas. As far as the volunteer becomes more integrated in the community, he/she should acquire and improve communicative skills and develop abilities related to the monitoring of outdoor activities and group dynamics. Since Green Wave is a young and dynamic association, it is always open to new ideas and promotes the realization of new activities that attract the community, so the volunteer will have all the support to present suggestions and develop projects of his/her own initiative The volunteer will perform tasks, such as: - helping the monitoring of environmental activities at local schools with youngsters aged 10 -15, which means that the volunteer will help in the carrying out of workshops of recycling, building artificial lakes, building feed-boxes for birds, exhibitions and school contests or study visits to areas of environmental interest - helping the monitoring of environmental activities in the nature School with children aged 6-13, where the volunteer will be working together with a monitor and give his support in teaching the children how to do biological farming, feed the farm animals, sort out garbage and recycle, prepare food with ingredients they planted and build new things out of old ones. - helping the monitoring of nature sports, with groups of young people aged between 15-25 years old. Since sports like climbing, rappel, canoeing, slide and paintball require very specific skills; the volunteer will be given specific formation and will never work alone. The volunteer working time is flexible, according to the programmed activities, but in a general way, it will be according to a regular working schedule, from Monday to Friday, with free Saturdays and Sundays. In case there is a programmed activity for the weekend, the
two free days will be on Monday and Tuesday. The example of the working week: Monday: 10.00 - Arrival at the Office of the Association. Helping with the preparation of materials to be used in environmental activities at the Occupational Centre with kids in risk of social exclusion. 10.30 - Go to the centre together with personnel from Onda Verde 11.00 - Helping to monitor the recycling workshops with youngsters aged 10-15 12.30 - Lunch break 14.00 to 17.30 - Receiving formation and helping to monitor the outdoor Nature Sports with a group of youngsters (14-18 years old). Tuesday: 10.00 - Arrival at the Office of the Association. Helping with the preparation of materials to be used in environmental activities at the centre. 10.30 - Go to the centre together with personnel from Onda Verde 11.00 - Helping to monitor the workshops of artificial lake building with pupils aged 12-15 12.30 - Lunch break 14.00 to 17.30 - Helping to monitor the activities at the centre - biological farming with children aged 6 -13.
Wednesday: 10.00 - Arrival at the Office of the Association. Helping to prepare the materials for a canoeing activity with youngsters aged 15-18. 11.00 - Receiving formation and helping to monitor the water sport activities together with the personnel from Onda Verde. 12.30- Lunch break 14.00 to 17.30 - helping to monitor the activities at centre with children aged 6 - 13 Thursday: 10.00 - Arrival at the Office of the Association. Receiving formation and improving skills on Climbing and Rappel. 12.30 - Lunch break 14.00 to 17.30 - Helping to monitor the climbing activities. The volunteer will help the monitors to ensure the safety equipment and help the youngsters aged 15-18. Friday: 10.00 - Arrival at the Office of the Association. Maintenance of "a seedling nursery" - a place where we plant and grow several tree species. The volunteer will help in the cleaning, picking up of harmful seeds and water the trees. 12.30 - Lunch break 14.00 to 17.30 - helping to monitor the activities at centre with children aged 6-13 - sorting out the garbage, recycle and reutilization of materials.
Practical arrangements: - Accommodation Volunteer will be living in the house of COJ (Centro Ocupational Juventude). Will be provided own room and all conditions for cooking. Also all the hygienically standards are taken into consideration.
- Alimentation Volunteer will be able to buy food what is necessary for every day's life and all food receipts will reimburse by hosing organization. - Working hours Volunteer will be working 30 hours per week. - Holidays Volunteer will have 2 free days per week and plus free days per month (20 free days per 10 months). - Local transport Volunteer will be provided with the local transportation necessary for work. The tickets will be reimbursed by hosting organization. In every days work public transportation will not be necessary. - Language courses Volunteer will be provided with Portuguese language courses in University of Porto - 2 lectures/week, with length of 2 hours for 4 months. At the end volunteer will receive also a certificate. - Mentor Serafim Silva, tel. 00351782235, the general secretary of the organization and the responsible person of the project. After participating in all activities organized by our organization, we are absolutely sure that the volunteer will gain an unforgettable experience because the activities of our organization help to acquire skills, knowledge and experiences that contribute to their social development and give a positive impact for the future life and personality. Onda Verde is hoping that the volunteer during the EVS work acquires an invaluable knowledge and experience by becoming more self-confident, open minded and professional. It will also increase her sense of belonging to Europe and benefit in becoming an active European citizen. Onda Verde considers that during the EVS project the volunteers will be able to acquire the most important skill - the growth of the personality. This process of growth will be encouraged all 10 month long project by the support of hosting organization Onda Verde. We are also looking forward and expecting that the volunteer learns the Portuguese language (and previous experience shows that volunteers are able to speak good Portuguese after 6 month already). We offer very good language courses in University of Porto. The language acquisition will be also ensured through the everyday communication and will motivate the volunteer to learn the language. Other skills that the volunteer can acquire during EVS in our organization are related with nature and its protection and will show her that the people are an essential part of the nature and that we can affect it a lot. In addition the volunteer will be involved in all the proposed activities and will learn new skills necessary for work (dealing with youngsters; garbage recycling; mentoring etc). Onda Verde considers that mentorship is very important during all the EVS time and assures the constant supervising and cooperation and all the necessary arrangements and needs of the volunteer will be satisfied and taken care of.
VOLUNTEER PROFILES AND RECRUITMENT PROCESS: Our volunteers are chosen regardless of their ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation or political opinion, or any other professional degree qualification. The volunteer should only show an interest in issues related to environmental education, environmental protection and outdoor sports and youth work. The project information is available on the EVS database on the Internet, so everyone who is interested in our project can apply. The volunteer must demonstrate flexibility, willingness to work as part of a group and willingness to learn new things. Furthermore, it should be someone who likes to interact with people, is talkative and outgoing, while the majority of work is based on interpersonal relationships. We also require someone who is willing to take initiatives and show willingness to Portuguese culture and willingness to learn. Onda Verde is an environmental organization and therefore looking for someone who likes nature and sport and work on poverty and social exclusion of young people, because founded on the principles of Agenda 21 which emerged from the Rio Conference and that we endorse the host organization and work. For the selection process be more transparent, Onda Verde, before selecting the candidates, send an email to all candidates asking if they still have interest to participate and then subsequently selects the candidates who are interested. After the selection procedure based on CV and motivation letter all candidates are informed about the selection results.
NUMBER OF VOLUNTEERS HOSTED: 4
RISK PREVENTION, PROTECTION AND SAFETY:
Protection and safety is one of the main responsibilities of Onda Verde towards the volunteers and their sending organizations as firstly we want to ensure our volunteers a safe place with all the needed conditions in order for them to live successful EVS experience here in Avintes. What concerns the town; we can say that Avintes is very quiet and very secure zone in terms of violence. Only the benefits of living in a smaller town, as people knowing and protecting each other, can be found here. All these years while Onda Verde is having the volunteers there never have had even the smallest accidents with the volunteers. Moreover the volunteer will live in a house which is fully equipped, it has fire protection and the house as well as volunteer's room can be locked by the key. Each volunteer will be offered a single room. Also all the health conditions guaranteeing the safe and healthy environment for the volunteer are taken into consideration.
While travelling outside the office or the youth centre, the volunteer will always be accompanied by someone in the organization and will never be allowed to go to the organization's activities alone. Onda Verde also will ever work against volunteer's will. The volunteer can always choose whether to participate or not in the activities that they find dangerous or inappropriate. What concerns the psychological issues, we can ensure the appropriate actions, as organization has many trained employees in psychology and sociology working there. Besides the members of our organization will always organize several activities for our volunteers and help them to integrate better in the local society thus providing a voluntary safe and secure environment to live in. Knowing the meaning of the old saying that "The lack of communication is the basis of all wars." Onda Verde is going to organize many informal meetings and trips for the volunteers to feel more comfortable and get to know as much from Portugal as possible during their time here. We also inform our volunteers about the opportunities offered by Youth as Helpdesk, and we strongly encourage our volunteers to meet with other European volunteers in Portugal in order to share the experiences and to feel more comfortable and happy. We will also make sure that the volunteers do not engage in the environment of alcohol or any other substance abuse, neglect, bullying or discriminations by inviting them to meet people and engage in activities in the activities that promote opposite life style. What concerns the information about the actions and the help in Emergency situations, on the first meeting we give the volunteers the information about the local hospitals, Fire station as well as Police Office, nevertheless this information also always is posted on the wall in a very seen place in the working place of the volunteers because we are working with the children and obviously that is one of the main things we have organized and also offer a special trainings for our employees, volunteers as well as the children of the centre of how to react in emergency situations. Even more in every situation we encourage the volunteers also to ask the mentor or the supervisor of the project to ask for help as they would never refuse the help but would do all the best to help in every situation.
Motivation and EVS experience The main reason why Onda Verde wants to participate in European Voluntary Service projects is the exchange of intercultural experiences that the volunteers as and the members of the organization share during the service time. We find the EVS a great opportunity for volunteers and members of organization as well as the whole local society to have new experiences in many aspects, among them the most strongest one - the notion of European awareness and the power of being united in European Union and being able to share the knowledge. During the time of hosting the EVS volunteers in our organization we have the opportunity to learn a lot of from this person besides the volunteer brings new ideas and new challenges for the daily work of the organization. We find the volunteer as a good example for members of organization and other youngsters as the experience shows that the presence of the volunteers motivates them for better achievements as well as motivate them in participating in different projects of program "Youth in Action", especially in EVS action. Volunteer in Onda Verde is the person who gives his\her support and assistance in every day work of Onda Verde, helping in designing and carrying out many different environmental activities and many other interesting events. The organization Onda Verde (Green Wave) has already seven years experience with hosting EVS volunteers. The organization is hosting volunteers since 2004. Onda Verde has been hosted ten volunteers (2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 ) and right now there
is hosted one volunteer in Onda Verde and we hope that this year there will join 2 more volunteers to our team. We have faced a very good experience in our work during the EVS projects. Also after many trials of sending the volunteers, this year finally for the first time one volunteer was accepted in one project due to his good CV. We have never had any significant problems with volunteers or their sending organizations, all the matters have been settled down and all sides have received only the positive experiences. It serves as a great motivation to continue to participate in EVS projects as a hosting organization. After such as long experience in the work with EVS Onda Verde is supremely motivated to improve EVS experience for a better future and develop European Voluntary Service in Portugal in every way that we can. The main target group of the organization essentially are the youngsters from whom a great part is exposed to different social problems, which comes along with the bad school achievement leading to social exclusion.
Description of the organisation Onda Verde (Green Wave) - Youth Association for Environment and Adventure is a nongovernmental, non-profitable organisation, member of: The National Federation of Youth Associations; Federation of the Youth Associations of Porto District; National Registration of Youth Associations and of the Portuguese Confederation of Environmental Associations. It was founded in 1996, it is placed in Avintes, Vila Nova de Gaia and it has more than 800 associates, being most of them youngsters. The main aims of this association are: to defend and preserve nature and occupy young people's free time through the practice of nature sports, making them aware of the environmental problems that surround them and motivate them to become active agents in environmental valorisation. Green Wave has been developing projects related to environmental education and the defense of historical and cultural heritage, with the purpose of raising a local awareness for global problems. Our activities are not only aimed at our associates, but also to the surrounding community. Over the past seven years we have been developing projects within the frame of the Youth Programme, having already organised many multilateral exchanges that took place in Portugal, as well as participated in many multilateral projects in other European, and not only, countries. Our regular activities are related to design and performance of many different environmental and sport activities. Most of the work ahs been done in the youth centre "COJ - Centro Ocupacional de Juventude" in Avintes, V.N. de Gaia. During the day our activities may include: planning and developing projects of Environmental Education and monitoring outdoor activities in the youth centre, organize and participate in many outdoor activities, such as pedestrian walks, canoeing, paintball, climbing and other nature sports. Staff of the organization. The organization itself has 880 members and the staff includes more 20 active volunteers that work for organization without having any contracts with it. Apart from volunteers there are also 9 daily workers of the direction that are there in the organization every day working also mostly on the base of volunteering. The employees of Onda Verde have the higher education in many different fields, starting from Geography going till Psychology, Sociology, Education and Finance. As Onda Verde is one of the most active organizations in the region then also the profile of the members is very vast and honestly speaking there are all professional areas included, which means that the volunteers will be exposed for gaining experience and knowledge from a variety of resources and also the help in everyday situations is guaranteed from everyone in the organization. The volunteer can always chose the activity that fits his/her interest area and would be always assisted by other members of the association who are already working in these projects for longer time.