Next project is starting 1 September 2015 and ending 31 July 2016. It will be based in the Aisling Project in Ballymun, Dublin which is an afterschool project for children aged between 8 and 15.
If you are interested in taking part in the project please send your application form before Tuesday 16th December.
Aisling Project Ltd
The Aisling project is an after school intervention project working with young people considered at risk. The project was estaibilised back in 1997 as a single project, and has grown into 5 separate projects. Each project consists of a full time project coordinator and 2-3 part time project workers. The objectives of the project is to combat school absenteeism, low acedemic ability, poor social skills and a place where young people can get one balanced meal a day. This is done through various targeted programmes including sporting activities to promote healthy lifestyles, social inclusion and active participation.
Currently the five projects, in various areas of Ballymun, work with more than 100 young people aged from 8 – 14 years. The Aisling Project, for the young people, takes place Monday to Thursday from 2.30 to 6pm during the school year, with a full three week summer project during the month of July. One of the projects, “The transition Programme” operates slightly different hours, being Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 4pm until 7.30pm.
MOTIVATION AND EVS EXPERIENCE
Our motivation to participate in the European Voluntary Service is to offer young volunteers from parts of Europe the opportunity to volunteer within the Aisling Project and for the Aisling project to benefit from hosting European volunteers. We have been a hosting and coordinating organisation for the past three years (Accredited initially in 2009). Or initial motivation for applying was seeing the benefits other organisations were getting from the programme. We believed we could offer the volunteers a valuable learning experience and offer the support they would need to complete the programme. We also seen the value that the volunteers could bring to the Aisling project and the young people we work with.
The Aisling Project offers volunteers an environment that is challenging and rewarding. It offers an environment of learning and self-evaluation and requires team work. The volunteers also bring fresh approaches to working with young people, new ideas and lots of energy. It also allows the young people in the Aisling project to engage with young people from different cultures outside of ballymun, creating a mutual learning environment.
We are on our third EVS project to date and the experience of engaging in the EVS program has been very positive and the volunteers a fantastic resource within the Aisling Project. This experience is our key motivation to continue to participate in the EVS with the belief we can offer the volunteers an appropriate EVS learning experience.
The project will take place in Ballymun, a suberb on the northside of Dublin loacted five kilometers from Dublin city centre. Ballymun is considered a disadvantaged area with high unemployment and some social and econmical issues. The area has undergone radical change in the past ten years and has become a model around Europe for area regeneration. A lot of work around social issues continue at present.
The project works closely with the national schools and secondary schools in the Ballymun area. There are a number of different premises in which the project takes place (all within Ballymun), but each day the volunteer can expect to engage with 20 – 30 children as part of a larger team and through various youth work programmes and activities such as art, drama, sport, swimming, music etc. Each Project consists of a project coordinator and two – three project workers who will be there to support and guide the volunteer in their daily work. The placement is not a live in community and the volunteer may choose different areas around Dublin to reside. Support and assistance will be provided when arranging accommodation.
The Aisling project aims to create a learning environment for all the young people it enagaes with, including volunteers. We would envisage a project being 11 months in length for each volunteer, during which time the volunteer would be exposed to different Irish cultures, Irish youth work practices, the English language and some of the Irish Language. The volunteers will be supported in going to formal english language classes and other formal training such as child protection, logic model training and other training courses as they arise for the staff. Part of the role of the volunteer will be assisting the coordinator with office work, offering learning in administration, computer skills and accounting skills. Social skills will also be improved as the volunteers are required to engage with staff, other volunteers and young people in the project. At the beginning of the project the volunteers will be encouraged to maintain a dairy of their time which will be used for reflection and as a tool for completing the youth pass
The volunteers will be responsible for the care of young people in the Aisling Project and engaging with these young people through the different programmes and activities offered by the Aisling Project. They will work under the direction of a project co-ordinator and be asked to fulfil appropriate duties including, planning and implementation of programmes and take part in evaluations throughout the year. The volunteers will also be asked to complete some office work at different times.The volunteers will work from 11.00am until 18.30pm Monday to Thursday and 11.00am to 13.00pm with one hour lunch breaks each day and the opportuinity for small breaks throughout the day. The volunteers will work during Irish school term and will be off for the school holidays. However they will be asked to work extra hours from time to time to cover residential trips, summer projects and outings during the school holidays. The volunteer will have the opportunity to create their own programmes within the Aisling project, with the assistance and guidence of the project coordinator. Examples of this include anti bullying programmes through the medium of art or active lifestyles through the medium of dance/sport. On a daily basis the volunteer will assist the staff at meal times and assist the young people with their homework when required.
The volunteer profile will consist of some experience/interest in working with groups of young people and a belief in helping young people achieve their true potential. Work with young people considered at risk would also be diserable. Due to the nature of the work and the young people we work with it is deemed appropriate that volunteers would be aged 21+. The vacant EVS placement will be advertised through the European database on EVS accredited organisations. Interested individuals will be asked to forward a cv and a motivation letter. Following the closing date, a shortlist of possible volunteers will be drawn up based on their experiences/ interests working with young people. From the shortlist, telephone calls will be made to each volunteer. The 3 volunteers which are thought to most closely reflect the volunteer profile will then selected.
We will cooperate with any sending organisation, however, sending organisations that have experinece working with groups of young people will better understand what the Aisling project aims to do and have a better understanding of the environment in which the volunteer will be placed. This will offer greater support to the volunteer.
The volunteer will be placed in an organisation that maintains safe working practices and values the safety and welfare of all its employees, volunteers and young people in the highest regard. All guidelines and procedures layed out in the organisations safety statement are adhered to ensuring a safe and suitable working environment. Accommodation/living arrangements will be discussed with the volunteer and they will have choice in location and type of accommodation in which they would like to live. The Aisling project will assist in arranging this accommodation and ensure it is to a standard that does not pose as a threat to the safety of the volunteer. The accommodation will be clean and equipped with all the necessary utilities needed by the volunteer.
In our selection of the volunteers we will carefully identify those we deem to be suitable to our organisation, minimising the risk of problems arising in the future. This will be done by vetting CV’s and letters of motivation. This vetting will be followed up with a telephone interview with both the Sending Organisation and the volunteer. All the necessary training will be provided for the volunteers as it is required eg child protection and language training. A plan will be discussed with all of the volunteers in the case that an emergency arises. The sending organisation will also be involved in this plan. Emergency contact detail for all volunteers will be stored for use when required. All volunteers will be registered on the EVS group insurance scheme and will be provided with a mentor that he/she can contact if required.
We do not envisage having volunteers aged 16 – 18 as it would be too close to the ages of some of the young people we work with in the Aisling Project.
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”
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 “EVS Ireland Aisling”