13 international training, coordination and cooperation activities have been organized from December 2012 to September 2013
Tepoztlan, Morelos State (Mexico) – Hosted by VIMEX organisation – 13-18 December 2012
The event started on 14th December with the official opening of Learning Bridges project at the Ex-convento de la Natividad of Tepoztlan by the 20 participants from the partner organisations and invited guests from local, state and federal authorities including representatives of: the Directorate General for the Vinculation with Civil Society Organisations (Ms. de la Peña and Ms. Menchero); the national Institute for Youth (Mr. Molina); the municipality of Tepoztlan (Mr. Ayala). Mr. Flores Giron and Mr. Van de Put, representing the host VIMEX and the project coordinator Alliance, presented Learning Bridges project and declared its opening.
The objectives of the Kick-off were to:
After a presentation of the whole project cycle, partners shared their motivation for being in Learning Bridges, their expectations and their understanding about the main themes of the project.
= a learning process to apply the implementation, understanding and management to the active participation in social life
= the capacity of organisations to give autonomy to volunteers so that they can act according to their own expectations. It implies to take/give the space for volunteers to express themselves in an autonomous way and take independent decisions
= to be able to decide autonomously and have the tools to take action. It implies to know one own’s rights and obligations and act consequently. It also means to be able to try out something and do not be afraid to experiment.
= to have a variety of ideas in order to implement changes in different situations
= an ongoing process to improve the environment in which we live as well as our actions. Creativity activates the spirit of initiatives
= a consequence of empowerment. To get involved in something without fear of failing, in order to take the chosen path
= the capacity of starting collective and community actions
= it is linked to participation, autonomous choices and actions, creativity
= to do things that go further our personal interests. To get involved
= to generate spaces and opportunities for individuals and collectivities of an equal society
= to facilitate the active and real participation of people that do not have the chances to do it otherwise. It can also imply to promote a culture of volunteering and allowing more people to participate in voluntary projects
= to have the opportunity to participate, put in practice ideas and initiatives etc.
A whole afternoon was dedicated to the market place of organisations, so that partners could get to know each other, the activities they implement and start discussing about possible synergies. The remaining days of the meeting were entirely dedicated to plan the future activities and the share of tasks with a participatory and transparent approach, keeping in mind the resources that each partner could provide and the importance to foresee solidarity and mutual support measures along the project in order to increase the level of participation.
Main results achieved and agreed:
Morelia, Michoacan State (Mexico) – Hosted by Vive Mexico – 8-16 February 2013
22 participants from the 18 promoters took part in the Training that was co-organized and facilitated by the Alliance network and Vive Mexico organisation. The objectives were:
This is the content of the sessions, which included a short study visit to an innovative cooperation practice in the field of youth empowerment through IVS, co-implemented by Vive Mexico and the Technological University of Morelia.
Solidarity – Cooperation – Help – Self-Initiative – Reciprocity – Commitment – Identification with the cause – Respect – Not paid – Organized/Quality – Empathy – Involve the local community – Empower the youth – Transparency – Non profit – Inclusion – Gender equality – Social justice – Proactive – Against prejudices – Share common goals – Not professional – open to everybody – Learning by doing
1. Preparation and follow up of volunteers and projects, aiming at improving the quality of IVS
2. Development of cooperation within Latin America
3. Visibility of IVS values and projects
From April to September 2013
The main aim of this phase of “Learning Bridges“ was to offer the opportunity to the job “shadowers” to visit an organisation in the other continent, observe its work with young people and share good practices that might contribute to the organisation’s activities during his/her stay or in the future planning.
The project originally foresaw 8 exchanges of youth workers (staff or volunteers) between organisations from Latin America and Europe. Thanks to the solidarity measures agreed and implemented by the partners involved, two extra self-financed Job Shadowing visits took place, from Costa Rica to France and from Nicaragua to Costa Rica. This was the first staff visit that took place among Learning Bridges Latin American organisations.
Brussels (Belgium) – hosted by JAVVA – from 31 August to 6 September 2013
The evaluation meeting was one of the most important moments of the whole project to ensure a follow-up and sustainable impact of the activities. The objectives were to evaluate the process of Learning Bridges and the results obtained, start the dissemination of the results, plan their exploitation and the follow-up actions.
The programme included the visit to a local centre for minors asylum seekers (Fedasil) where JAVVA has been organizing short and long term voluntary projects since many years. It is an example of good practice of how international volunteers can significantly help to convey the messages of intercultural learning and participation into the community of young people. The participants from Learning Bridges could meet the social workers and the young guests of the centre.
On September 4th, partners organized an open dissemination event about the learning results of the project, attended by more than 30 participants representing European bodies (European Youth Forum and EACEA), international networks dedicated to volunteering (CCIVS, SCI, AVSO, CEV) and active members of Alliance Working Groups and Committees who were having the yearly joint working groups meeting at the same venue.