Friday October 7th, 2016
Fiona, Suzi, Francesco, Hannah, Karen, Maxime & Victor
The volunteer journey goes on
This month we would like to thank Maxime, who came from France and spent 8 months with Concordia helping in the office and leading international volunteer projects in the UK. Thank you Maxime! You will be missed! Now he is heading towards new adventures as an EVS volunteer for one of our partner organisations in Belgium. We are so glad that his journey in the international volunteering field goes on.
We’re also happy to learn that after completing their projects, more returned volunteers are continuing their journey with us, by participating in international training events funded by the Erasmus + programme. Lula, Nicola and Mark are soon going to France to join the “Fight Against Hate Speech” training course, where they will explore issues related to discrimination and hate speech over the internet and social media. Susie and Adam are heading off next year to Italy for a series of training sessions focused on “Breaking Down Gender Stereotypes” and, if you want to join in, there is still one place available.
Finally, a few exciting events are lined up for the next couple of months. On 25th October Concordia staff will join the “Work and Study Abroad Fair” at Kent University while on the 2nd November we will be at Sussex and Brighton University for their annual careers fair, and on the 14th November we’ll be at Sussex University giving a presentation and answering your questions about international volunteering. If you study at Kent, Brighton or Sussex University, it would be great to see you there.
Also, from the 2nd to 6th November, Francesco, our International Co-ordinator, will be going to Serbia to meet our international partners for the annual Alliance General Assembly, where he will be carrying out evaluations and planning for 2017. Fiona and Victor, our Volunteer Programme Manager and Group Volunteering Coordinator respectively, will be going to Morocco from 22nd to 28th November, to be part of the CCIVS General Assembly, and meeting partners from countries outside Europe. We’ll tell you more about these events in the next issues of the newsletter.
We want to see your ‘Concordia volunteer experience’ in a picture. We are looking for dynamic pictures of volunteers in a variety of roles and settings, from the family dinners to the hard work you did to help the local community.
Send your photo together with a short description to firstname.lastname@example.org and you will have the chance to win a international volunteer project for next year, free of charge. We need your photo before the 21st of November. For full terms and conditions, please have a look at the link.
Lets hear from our hosts
It’s hard to believe that our summer programme is now complete for 2016. It’s been a great summer! To round things off here’s some of the feedback and comments we’ve received from our brilliant project hosts:
“Volunteers are a great asset to our charity. They are able to give the attention to the most needy of our children and are a great support to our permanent staff. The children get to meet people of different cultures and are given new horizons and ideas.” Helen – Charity Manager at Leicester Children’s Holiday Centre – Mablethorpe.
Duncan from Patchfest Festival tells us that some of the benefits to them are “a team of really committed helpers. A structured approach and support from Concordia. The opportunity for locals to meet people from other countries and to give the volunteers an opportunity to see Brighton – a slice of UK life.”
Duncan continued “It’s lovely to have the mix of people from different countries and backgrounds. Their ability to help out and be present on the site at times when it is hard to have enough locals is very helpful. Also their continuity of support over several days means that they potentially know the site, the structures and the issues well. We really appreciate the support and involvement of Concordia. THANK YOU!”
Judy from the MADhurst festival in West Sussex added “The volunteers entered into the work and the spirit of the festival with great enthusiasm and were very useful. They added a particularly advanced skill set to the making of the Time Machine (their entry at the procession) and were genuinely enthused about the whole process. They bring fresh ideas into the mix and provide a very useful work force. The community interacts with people from other places and works together with them.”
Judy also explained about the benefits of the project having a Concordia coordinator; “She (the coordinator) is a natural ‘people person’ and is able to keep the party together without overly organizing it. The project organizers never had to worry about failed timings or no shows and found her easy to work with.”
Our final summer project was our second visit of the year to Oak Grove College in West Sussex, which was attended by 5 volunteers from Italy, Germany and Japan, plus their UK coordinator. The group worked alongside the children at the school and were involved in a range of work, including gardening, path building and laying mosaics.
One of the volunteers commented: “This volunteer project has been an awesome, enriching and very fun experience. I learned a lot about myself and others.”
Whilst coordinator Ed told us: “I am really glad I coordinated a project, as this was a really profound experience for me. I liked helping the volunteers have a good time and doing something that was so useful. It certainly changed my perspective on disability and I hope it opened the eyes of the volunteers as well. Thanks!”
If you’re interested in coordinating a project next year read more about the role and get in touch!
NATIONAL CITIZEN SERVICE
…and it all started with YES!
Well what a Graduation! Over 150 young people from the Worthing and Adur area celebrated their hard work, dedication and adventures on NCS this summer on 15th September, at the Worthing Assembly halls. A fantastic venue, VIPs from local partner organisations and an incredible crowd of almost 500 NCS Graduates and their guests and our awesome comperes Hannah & Lula!
The atmosphere was buzzing; with certificates handed to each Graduate, some stunning performances from our young people on stage, followed by their own NCS soundtrack, photo booth fun, and mock tail bar! It is safe to say Concordia knows how to do Graduation in style!
As you all know, Graduation is not where the journey ends for our NCS-ers. You are now starting a whole new chapter with fresh inspiration and direction and now have access to lots of different sorts of organisations and the confidence now hopefully to contact them for opportunities.
Concordia offers the best in overseas volunteering opportunities and our team can answer any queries that you may have. Contact Victor at email@example.com for more information and to not miss out on any fun stuff, join our Concordia Graduate Facebook hub
Graduation is an amazing time for us because we get to step back and really see what amazing things our young people have achieved during the summer, and share it with their friends and family. Each individual goes through a unique journey and this summer our young people raised almost £3000, and gave over 5000 hours collectively; supporting and raising awareness for local charities and organisations.
We’d like to say a really special shout out and thank you to all our incredible partners involved in making our programme the best. Thank you for all your support throughout the planning and delivering of the NCS programme to our young people, you have rocked!
The photo (see above) we have chosen this month is one of our favourites as it has everyone that could get in it and it shows in itself a great journey!
We’re sad to be saying goodbye to our Engagement Coordinator, Hannah, who’s going off for new adventures at the end of this week. Hannah has been with the NCS team at Concordia for over a year now, taking the crowds by storm by delivering presentations and assemblies at local schools and inspiring young people to sign-up and take part on this amazing adventure! With NCS being at the top of her favourites, Hannah absolutely loves to travel and is a bit good at dancing. She plans to utilise and further her existing skills and passions to take on new challenges whilst teaching abroad. We wish her all the best, and hope to work alongside her again in future projects.
Hasta Pronto amiga!