4. Mobility activities in the youth field

4.1 – Why and what?

During the last years, the European Commission has promoted a new way of learning for people living in and out of Europe: Mobility. From 2007 to 2013, more than 2 million people have experienced different contexts and cultures, empowering themselves and becoming a part of the big picture of the European citizenship. A mobility experience is the best way to grow personally and professionally. In fact, there are many benefits to a learning experience abroad:

  • It makes you more competitive in the labour market.
  • It allows you to stand out from other people, as it makes you become more flexible and adaptable to different labour contexts.
  • You “learn by doing” thanks to non-formal and informal methodologies usually applied in volunteering context, which are useful for applying for future jobs.
  • It empowers your soft skills.
  • You are active and feel engaged in civil society.
  • It gives you the opportunity to have an internationally recognized certificate, which increases your chance to be successful in the labour market.

In the framework of Erasmus + programme, there are a lot of types of mobility activities for individuals.

If you red the previous pages and got inspired about the work done within the Planting Cities project, in the following pages you can find details about EVS and training courses, two type of mobility activities. Moreover, you will find useful information about mentoring.

4.2 – Training course

Description A training course allows a group of people, dealing and interested in the social-educative field and coming from EU and third countries, to meet and live together for 1 or 2 weeks. During this time, through morning and afternoon sessions led by trainers, participants study and analyse cultural, social and educational themes (seminar, exercise, debates, role play, etc.), promoting youth workers’ education, fostering the building and the development of international network of youth organisations. The learning path is done by methods of non-formal education and study visits of local best practice.
Duration 5-15 days
How many times? It is possible to take part in more than 1 training course
Costs Expenses of board and lodging are fully covered by the project. The return travel costs are covered by a maximum depending on distance between the departure and arrival place (http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/resources_en#tab-1-4 )
Who can participate No age limits. Participants must be resident in the country of their sending or receiving organisation.
More information Erasmus + Programme Guide, pag. 78 https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/sites/erasmusplus/files/files/resources/erasmus-plus-programme-guide_en.pdf

 

4.3 – European Voluntary Service

Description EVS (European Voluntary Service), a programme of international volunteering funded by European Commission, allow young people from 17 to 30 years old to complete a voluntary experience in an organisation in EU and third countries for minimum of 2 weeks and a maximum of 12 months. EVS volunteer has the opportunity to support the daily work of the hosting organisation working in educational, social and cultural field and targeting different groups (children, migrants, youngsters, disabled people etc.). Meanwhile, EVS volunteers follow a learning path in non-formal education aiming to acquire and strengthen transversal competences. Finally EVS promotes solidarity and a deep cultural and relational exchange among EVS volunteer and local community.
Duration From 2 weeks to 12 months
How many times? It is possible to take part only in 1 EVS project; if the volunteer took part in a short-term EVS (maximum 59 days), it is possible to take in an additional EVS project.
Costs Expenses of board and lodging are fully covered by the project as well as eventual local transports used for EVS activities. The return travel costs are covered by a maximum depending on distance between the departure and arrival place (http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/resources_en#tab-1-4 ). EVS volunteers get also a free charge medical insurance and local linguistic support.
Who can participate People from 17 to 30 years old. Participants must be resident in the country of their sending organisation.
More information Erasmus + Programme Guide, pag. 78 https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/sites/erasmusplus/files/files/resources/erasmus-plus-programme-guide_en.pdf

 

4.4 – Mentor

In the EVS there are different key- players: volunteer, sending, receiving and coordinating organisations, mentor.

The role of the mentor is crucial for the success of such type of mobility. The mentor is like a bridge between the hosting organisation and the EVS volunteer.

The mentor is:

  • A person who has good contact with young people;
  • Familiar with the non-formal learning techniques;
  • Supportive, patient, flexible, people oriented, good motivator

The role is:

  • To be a mediator;
  • To support and monitor the learning process of the volunteer;
  • To encourage local integration;
  • To participate in meetings between tutor and volunteer;
  • To discuss objectives and results with the volunteer;
  • To offer individual support (accommodation, doctor etc.);
  • To monitor the learning path

The practical tasks that a mentor carries on are:

  • To contact the volunteer by email/Skype before the start of the EVS mobility, in order to establish first relations with the volunteer
  • To pick up and welcome the volunteer during the arrival day
  • To go with the volunteer for the check-in and check-out of the accommodation
  • To help the volunteer carry on his administrative tasks
  • To meet the volunteer for weekly/monthly monitoring and evaluation
  • To meet the EVS coordinator for weekly/monthly evaluation of the volunteer
  • To make sure that volunteer get medical assistance (to go with the volunteer in the hospital/doctor, to provide information about the medical insurance etc.)
  • To be reachable for urgent matters
  • To meet the volunteer for informal meeting out of the EVS activities
  • To help the volunteer fill in the youth pass

In order to be like that, the mentor knows:

  • The receiving and coordinating organisation;
  • The role of the volunteer within the organisation;
  • The strategies for the conflict resolution;
  • The volunteer expectations’, motivations’ and competences’;
  • Rights and responsibilities of the volunteers;
  • The rules of the receiving organisation and the local centre.

Do you want to be a good mentor? Follow these tips:

  • Active listening: listen your EVS volunteers attentively, avoid misunderstandings, get them to say more;
  • Feedback: give and receive feedback to/from your volunteers;
  • Coaching: establish reasons and objectives of the volunteers; find solutions and plan the activities.

The relationship with the volunteer gives a reciprocal exchange in which the mentor can:

  • Promote personal growth
  • Acquire professional competences
  • Be more self-confident
  • Know new culture and attitudes
  • Break stereotypes