Friday January 15th, 2016
Out with the old and in with the new. 2016 is upon us and a new exciting year is here. Even if the year is only three weeks old, we have already placed our first international volunteers this year, received applications for our coordinator weekend on the 11th to 13th of March and engaged young people ready to join the inspiring NCS summer programme. Enjoy reading our newsletter about how you can get involved with us, making 2016 your best year yet. (unicorns and stuff)
Fiona, Aisha, Francesco, Hannah, Karen & Victor
SOWING SEEDS, LOOKING AHEAD
As a Buddhist saying goes, ‘winter always turns into spring’, so, even if it’s cold and showery and gloomy right now, here at Concordia we are keeping our spirits high and working hard to welcome Spring (and Summer) with a cheer and new exciting volunteer projects for you.
As soon as we were back at the office after the Christmas break, we’ve been busy with the first volunteers of the year, planning to go to our overseas projects in Costa Rica this March to carry out turtle conservation tasks at a scientific base in Cano Palma.
Also, the new EVS deadline in February is getting closer and the interest for this amazing fully funded programme seems to have blossomed in the last few weeks.
At the moment we have 9 volunteers away on EVS projects in Belgium, Germany, France, Spain, Romania, Germany, Czech Republic and Portugal and many of them sent us updates to let us know that all is going well and that they are having a good experience.
This is also the time of the year when we start recruiting volunteers to help us upload the new summer programme onto our database, which will be released in March. So if you are interested in having a sneak preview of the new programme and helping us at the same time, please let us know asap!
Finally, a lot of work is being done with our Group Volunteering programme, and we booked several trainings and meetings with the seven groups going out this year to Italy, Iceland, Vietnam, Korea, Haiti and Turkey to start preparing them for the summer experience.
What an exciting year ahead!
“Volunteering in Costa Rica opened my eyes to a whole new world. I knew there were conservation projects in every country, but to witness first-hand the lengths people go to for their passion was overwhelming. I’m already saving up to get involved in a similar project next year.
– Stephen, volunteer at the Cano Palma turtle conservation project, 2015
COORDINATING GROUPS, CHALLENGING IDEAS
Our spirits are not only high but set to stay that way as we recruit new volunteers for our Coordinators Training course 11th-13th March. This will prepare you with all the skills you need to Coordinate a U.K project. Our UK Programme of projects will be also printed in March, but don’t worry, as in the witty words of David Bowie, a true adventurer, ‘I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.’
We are unique in the UK by providing fully diverse groups of volunteers all working together and learning from each other. One aspect of the training includes activities and games to promote inter-cultural learning within the projects. To see some ideas about the importance of challenging stereotypes and learning first-hand our own perspectives read this excellent blog post from our EVS volunteer in Romania about her inter-cultural experience.
In Clare’s words – ‘I imagine hell like this: Italian punctuality, German humour and English wine. On the surface this is quite a funny joke, but look a little deeper and you will see it is actually saying something very important about the expectations we derive from cultural stereotypes. While living in the UK I had many British friends. Some of them were punctual, some of them were always late, some of them were funny, and some of them more dry and serious (although of course I never drank English wine), but I never thought anything of it. It would be very dull indeed if everyone was overly polite all the time, played cricket, drank beer, loved the Queen and read a lot of Shakespeare. It was these differences in my friend’s personalities which made the rich tapestry of life so interesting and exciting. We were all British, but we were all different.’
In our Concordia projects, we want to support Coordinators to ensure that volunteers have an enriching time which promotes understanding and peace between individuals. We hope that the ripple effect of their experience leads to greater global awareness when they return home and inspires those they share their stories with.
It’s a challenge and an opportunity to build on existing experience and develop new skills.
It’s an opportunity to play a personal role in helping the international group to get the most out of their time in the U.K.For an application pack for Group Coordination email Aisha. Deadline is 5th of February.
Hosting a Concordia project is both interesting for the local community and can inspire change and ideas on a global scale. If you would like to invite a group of international volunteers into your organisation this summer with the support of Concordia get in touch. See the video below to now more.
NEW YEAR, NEW POTENTIAL
Happy New Year from all of us in the NCS team at Concordia! In the spirit of new beginnings, we’d like to share with you some of our plans for the year ahead. We’re so excited to be preparing for our vibrant, exciting programme for NCS Summer 2016, filled with new activities and workshops for Young People across Worthing and Adur. It’s set to be the Summer of a Lifetime for all!
As our Prime Minister explained recently, “When it comes to formative experiences that build character, there can be few more powerful examples than National Citizens Service. NCS is now becoming a rite of passage for teenagers all over Britain: helps you to push yourself further than you ever thought possible. ” Read on to find out how Concordia plans to advance from last year, and incorporate this into this into our 2016 programme.
We have a fantastic range of workshops lined up from improvisation theatre to digital marketing and positive communication workshops. We have formed some really exciting links with local community projects in Worthing and Adur and we will be expanding those relationships to bring new and unique opportunities to our new NCSers! We had some great feedback from our charity partners including a lovely one from Tourette’s Action:
“I am writing to let you know how grateful we are to the fabulous ‘NCS A-Team’ for all their fundraising efforts for Tourettes Action. It shows just how dedicated these amazing young people are to raising awareness and funds for TA”
As we are starting to get our young people on board, spaces are filling up fast so if you know anyone in school year 11 or 12 that you want to recommend the NCS programme to in the Worthing & Adur area just put them in touch with us via email, or click here!!
We’re still recruiting for leaders and assistants for NCS Summer 2016! Join the Concordia team for an amazing opportunity to be involved with this fast paced, exciting youth programme which has tangible results for both the young people and staff involved. We have an event booked at the Brighton University, Checkland, Falmer Campus on 21st January 1-3pm.Come and see us if you are in the area!