Period: from september/October 2015 for 12 months
Number of volunteers: 1, male volunteer needed
Name of the organisation: MAISON DES BATELEURS – Solidarites-jeunesses Poitou-Charentes
Place: PARIS, France
Coming from the organisation Youth Action For Peace founded in 1923, Solidarités Jeunesses aims to contribute to the construction of peace beyond national, cultural and religious borders.
Solidarités Jeunesses is a national organisation of youth and non formal education according to the law of 1901
which organises international workcamps, short and long term volunteering projects, inclusion actions, trainings and action of international solidarity.
Through these actions, Solidarités Jeunesses wants to promote :
1- the free participation of everybody especially of youth and the most disadvantaged persons, to the local, national and international life;
2- a local development centred on people, environment and cultural heritage;
3- an international, intercultural and intergenerational open mindedness;
4- a concrete construction of peace.
Based on these common objectives, the regional delegations of the movement express at the regional level the dynamic of the movement. Created in 1993, the organisation Solidarités Jeunesses Poitou–Charentes comes from the movement Solidarités Jeunesses.
In 1996, « La Maison des Bateleurs » became the hosting and animation centre in rural area of the regional delegation in Poitou–Charentes of Solidarités Jeunesses.
Actually the team of the center is composed by 3 full time permanent staff members
– Benoit, regional delegate, in charge of the international workcamps coordination
– Maurine, in charge of hosting and mentoring the volunteers hosted by the center.
– Marc, technical supervisor for the volunteer’s activities in la Maison des Bateleurs
One of the main values of the organisation is the recognition of each person within the group, to permit the self development of the person in the respect and the consideration of the others. Our goal is to build a collective project to show that we can live together and do something constructive with the cultural differences of each others. Our association participates to the promotion of tolerance and human being respect values beyond all political and ideological division.
To achieve its objectives, the organisation uses :
1. the organisation of international workcamps with short and long term volunteers in order to improve the
2. Hosting different groups or individuals with defined objectives according to the public.
3. The promotion of different kind of volunteering (international volunteering, youth exchanges…)
4. The support to the realisation of local associative projects.
5. To take part in social, economic and professional inclusion actions
6. Providing its adherents with pedagogical services and various equipments of the association.
“La Maison des Bateleurs” hosts young and less young people of mixed backgrounds (social, cultural, generational, ect.) who fell like sharing a moment of life but also acquire new manual, linguistic and organizational skills while learning to take responsibilities.
We encourage meetings and exchanges between individuals within the collective tools of workcamps and collective life.
Beyond the general and philosophical objectives that has fixed to itself the movement Solidarités Jeunesses shows a strong will “to be an actor and to make the hosted volunteers actors of local development
Our organisation Solidarités Jeunesses Poitou-Charentes has been created in 1993, its international hosting center in rural area emerged in 1996 in Montendre. The organisation welcomes every year 3 to 4 volunteers in the frame of the European Voluntary Service since 1996. We submit our accreditation form request regularly every three years.
Welcoming volunteers in the frame of the European Voluntary Service is for us an essential asset for our associative project. The exchanges and the intercultural meetings are at the heart of our project based on collective life. Each welcomed person has the possibility to acquire new skills, to develop its own creativity and to share its knowledge.
Thus all the activities developed by the organisation aim to boost the meetings of people from different backgrounds in order to give them the opportunity to build together a “fairer world” and to fight against all kind of discriminations.
In line with all the projects of Solidarités Jeunesses, La Maison des Bateleurs hosts disadvantaged young people.
A specific support is organized to respond to the volunteer’s needs and problems and an individual follow up is organised during the project to achieve some specific goals agreed upon with the sending organization.
The disadvantaged young volunteer join the pre-existent group and we check his integration both within the group and in the local community.
The tutors of the hosting centre organise a welcoming process including explications about the global functioning of the association. In this way the volunteer can understand better his role within the project and the context.
The tutors will have as often as needed individual discussions (interview) with the volunteer. These discussions are used to elaborate his project and to support him in his learning and empowerment process. The tutors will support him all along the project.
The tutors of La Maison des Bateleurs organise some realistic and manageable activities with the volunteer; The activities should allow the volunteer to get fully involved his new social context and to know where and how his volunteering is useful for the community.
The tutors will ensure a good communication with the young volunteer as well as with the other partners ( sending organisation, coordinating organisation).
In addition, the tutors will work with the volunteer for the realisation of the objectives fixed beforehand. At the end of the project, the tutors will inform the responsible of the sending project of the outcomes.
The hosting centre « La Maison des Bateleurs » is situated in the Haute Saintonge area and more precisely in the town of Montendre where around 3200 inhabitants live. The municipality and the local councillors organise since the beginning of the 2000 some activities to welcome young Europeans and is strongly involved in the associative life and interested by international dynamics.
Nearly 60 associations exist in the town of Montendre. These ones are places of citizens’ expression mainly hold by local volunteers’ involvement. They allow the education to life in society and to educate to citizenship. The civil society organisations have a big place in the town and are the support of a lot of actions which are taking place here.
In a rural context, the main economic activity is the production of pineau and cognac. Moreover for several years the countryside tourism, thanks to the proximity of the ocean, (70km) has improved. Relatively hilly for the region, the landscape is nice and covered with pine trees. The population of this area is rather from the working class but there are more and more people working in Bordeaux (the 6th biggest French city) which is the biggest town in the department.
Montendre is located at the edge of a forest. It is a continuation of the forest of Massif Central. A part of the canton is in the same situation however up North of Montendre the landscapes are much more touched by the agricultural activity.
Since several years now, La Maison des Bateleurs has chosen to orientate its priorities toward the protection of the environment in order to make itself progressively recognized at the local level as a alternative and experimental place in the field of sustainable development. Indeed we want to be coherent with the respect of our planet in our daily life (consumption/management of water and energy, responsible feeding, waste management…)
In parallel, La Maison des Bateleurs is a hosting centre for groups such as groups of disadvantaged young people (social centres, association specialised in prevention…), groups of local young people but also training groups (animation, training,…).
Moreover, we are actively involved at the level of local development through activities run in partnership with our local associative network. Each of the inhabitant of the hosting centre is lead to work with the associations and the institutions present around (extracurricular workshops, going in highschools, etc.). Each year we take part in the organisation of cultural, artistic and festives events such as the “festival de la terre” (the earth festival) organised in the town.
During the summer time, the association organises volunteers workcamps in the region.
Generally, these activities are organised in projects of three weeks and take place in some villages of the area. These workcamps can be the renovation or restoration of local heritage (old well, ancient wash house…), the promotion of local cultural heritage (rebuilding the historical memory and cultural identity through the realisation of documentary, exhibition…), the protection of the environment ( to clean the banks of a river…), the organisation of cultural and artistic events ( organisation of a festival…). One of the interests of the workcamps is to put in contact people coming from all over the world with people from the local community, living mostly in rural area with few contacts with the international. For the host volunteers within our organisation, they have the possibility to become in their turn camp leader of international workcamps during the summer
Proposed activities for EVS volunteers
The volunteer comes with the will to share a collective life (preparation of the meal, washing up the dishes, cleaning of the house…) but also to do workcamps with the objective to train himself and to learn manual techniques, a foreign language, as well as a will to take responsibilities at different levels and to explore creative and artistic activities… The volunteer takes part in the development of associative project.
Moreover the volunteer gets the opportunity if he is willing to, to develop a personal project which fits in the context and the collective project of the organisation. It is important for him to evaluate his interests, his objectives, his limits as well as what he still needs to accomplish to reach his goals. This approach is a recurrent tool of our philosophy aiming to concretely build peace through responsibilization and supporting the independence for an active citizenship.
The activities organized with the volunteers are mainly workcamps and activities of local development around artistic projects. A lot of the organised activities take place at La Maison des Bateleurs but some are also organised in Montendre, in the neighbouring towns or with others associations.
The rhythm of a month includes technical trainings on renovation projects (masonry, carpentry, woodwork…) or on educational projects about sustainable development (organic garden, green building, etc.). The participation in or the development of various activities such as French courses, artistic, musical workshops according to the propositions and the competences of each of the inhabitant of the hosting centre and of people who intervenes in it.
FROM MONDAY TO FRIDAY:
07:30am – 08:00am : breakfast
08:00am – 08:45am : collective cleaning of the house
09:00am – 10:30am : workcamp
10:30am – 11:00am : break
11:00am – 12:30am : workcamp
12:30pm – 14:00pm : lunch and cleaning
14:00pm – 17:30pm : workcamp and personal project (2times/ week)
19:30pm : diner
Saturdays and Sundays will be dedicated to the discovery of the region, French culture and regularly to host some groups and/or cultural events.
During their stay at la Maison des Bateleurs and with the support of the other volunteers and the supervising team, the volunteer is involved in :
animation of the hosting and meeting centre whose main thematic are intercultural exchange, citizenship and environment;
participation in animation and local development of the region by working in cooperation with local authority and structures of animation and education (leisure centre, youth clubs, highschools…);
supporting the projects of the municipalities or organisations, especially in the frame of the international workcamps. Mobilization and hosting persons in situation of difficulty in their social and professional inclusion
Volunteer profiles and recruitment process
La Maison des Bateleurs hosts all kind of person in the respect of its values of social equity. Our will is to allow each host volunteer to develop competences but also to transmit his knowledge to others.
One of the main values is the recognition of each individual within a group, in order that he can develop himself on the personal level in the respect and the consideration of the other. Our will is to build a collective project that is to show that with cultural differences of each others we can live together and do something constructive. It participates to the promotion of tolerance and respect values of human beings beyond all political and ideological differences.
Solidarités Jeunesses does not ask for any particular competencies from the volunteers who wish to apply for the medium and long term we offer, and so we have never established a volunteer profile. At the same time we make every effort to provide our partners and future volunteers with as much detail as possible about the projects so that they have everything they need to make an informed decision.
Moreover, according to the recommendations of the Youth in Action program, the European Voluntary Service must be open to all youth, without distinction of competencies, social background or sex. In sound accordance with the spirit of the program, Solidarités Jeunesses considers it necessary to make volunteer projects accessable to everyone who is motivated and interested in participating.
We expect the volunteer to have a good understanding of the global project and that he or she will have a desire to be a part of the group and contribute to the collective life. We look at volunteer service as an exchange between a volunteer who offers their time, talents and energy to benefit a project of collective interest and the hosting community which offers the volunteer a place where they can learn, experiment, and grow personally.
Considering these principles, the most important element for the association is the motivation and commitment level of the volunteer. The volunteer also needs to keep in mind that the project is situated in a rural area, and that they will be somewhat isolated.
The idea of partnership is one of the fundamental values of Solidarités Jeunesses. Our voluntary activities are founded on the principle of exchange and are made possible by the grace of solid and dependable partners. A good understanding of the partners allows for the establishment of a working relationship that is based on reciprocity and trust. However, that does not inhibit us from establishing new partner relationships with associations that have the same values as Solidarités Jeunesses and who also desire to create projects of significance for the youth. In effect, thanks to a sprawling network of partners and an uninterrupted participation in international activities – as part of the Youth in Action program, among others – we also have the possibility of coming in contact with new associations and collaborating with them. Our open projects are not only broadcast within our network, but also in those of dozens of other partner associations, as well as in virtual networks such as Youth NetWorks.
As a general rule we have regular contact with the partner associations who respond to our calls concerning open places in our volunteer projects. These partners are the first to broadcast our projects to youth interested in participating in the European Voluntary Service. The rôle of the partner associations is essential as it assures not only the broadcasting of information but also the contact with future volunteers for the purpose of clarifying to them the value of these projects, the responsibilities of the volunteers and the hosting association, and the practicalities of the specific projects.
After the first contact, the volunteers send their application to Solidarités Jeunesses and we take it, along with their letter of motivation, to the hosting organization, acting as an intermediary. These elements are used at the end of the project as educational tools and help to evaluate the project and the experience of the volunteers. Solidarités Jeunesses works to insure a good mix of cultures, genders and nationalities in each project in order to create conditions which enable a rich and fertile intercultural dialogue.
Number of volunteers
A mixed group from 6 to 7 volunteers minimum lives permanently at the host venue, in this way they have the possibility to meet, to confront, to built projects together with their cultural and personal differences. The associative project of La Maison des Bateleurs allows the volunteers to learn how to make compromise in order to build something together and to live collectively. It is a way to apprehend democracy.
Risk prevention, protection and safety
The hosting team insures the working environment of the volunteers through the application of security precaution strategy and risk prevention. Our project use the tool of workcamp, that is why it is even more important for us to explain security norms to the volunteer.
We also explain to the volunteer before and at his arrival the importance of collective life in our project. We favours as much as we can his well-being within the host centre and we are always ready to listen to his needs.
The associative project allows a collective and democratic approach to the decisions making process, that means that once a week we hold a “house meeting” with all the inhabitants of the place and the staff in order to discuss and exchange point of view and feeling of each person of the group. This time of sharing allow to defuse conflicts that could have been generated by lack of communication.
Once a month the tutors hold a interview with the volunteer to evaluate his volunteering and the ongoing projects as well as a follow-up of his personal project. This interview can be hold more often if there is a need and for disadvantaged young person.
The communication that we established in between the members of the project is for us an essential element to apprehend the crisis.
La Maison des Bateleurs put in place a support system during the working time but also during the activities and
free time, above all if the volunteer is minor. A person is referent of the host volunteer and is in charge to secure
his essentially when it is a minor.
For the selection of the volunteers we will need:
– Europass CV with picture (made in the last month)
– Motivational letter, writing that your sending organisation will be “Building Bridges”. We ask all candidates to send a specific letter of motivation – why they want to volunteer with us rather than just a general EVS one.
-the complited application form
Remember to write in the motivation letter that your sending institution is “Asociación Building Bridges”.
All documents written in english you can send to: firstname.lastname@example.org with subject “MAISON DES BATELEURS – Solidarites-jeunesses Poitou-Charentes” .
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