Eileen Quinn (CESIE) writes: In April 2020 we kicked off with the Erasmus+ funded project Youth Volunteer Educators e-learning Program (e-VELP). We are a consortium of 5 European partners made by TeachSurfing (Germany, coordinator), Vilnius University (Lithuania), CSI Centre for Social Innovation Ltd (Cyprus), Asociatia GEYC (Romania), and CESIE (Italy).
The project’s idea originated from the rising concern for young migrants’ and refugees’ lack of socio-economic integration into EU host societies, especially since the crisis in 2015. A considerable percentage of newcomers is in fact made of young people who are highly motivated but lack the required skills to access the labour market and fully participate in social life.
With these premises in mind, we have worked over the past year to build two online courses – which will be officially accredited by Vilnius University – targeting young migrants and refugees between 20 and 30 years old to help them become “Volunteer Educators” (VEs), and youth workers to become their “Volunteer Educators Trainers” (VE-Trainers). The aim of the online courses is two-fold: On the one hand, they will provide VEs with the skills necessary to offer workshops in their communities that tap into their talents and to share their knowledge and culture. On the other hand, they will equip VE-Trainers with the instruments to peer-support VEs in their educational and professional journey.
Since our objective is to offer tangible opportunities for social integration, professional development and participation, the project will connect VEs with Host Organisations, i.e. local civil society and educational organisations willing to provide their premises as platforms where VEs can offer workshops to members and other interested citizens.
Everybody has a great deal to gain from participating in e-VELP. As a VE, you will become an educator in your community and get in touch with local and EU organisations. As a VE-Trainer you will boost your peer-support ability and increase your network. As a Host Organisation, you will be part of a tangible process of development for young migrants and refugees, and you will also benefit from their high-quality workshops.
In addition, 5 e-VELP conferences are planned to be held in Germany, Lithuania, Cyprus, Romania, and Italy between December 2021 to March 2022. You will have the chance to travel and attend the conferences, either at local level or in one of the 5 partner countries. Selected VEs will also present their learning and training experience as providers of workshops in their communities. Selected Host Organizations and VE-Trainers will be invited as speakers to share their experience in helping VEs through the project.
Call for applicants are now open! Apply by the 15th October 2021 to participate in our training courses, learn how to offer your own workshop or how to support young migrants and refugees, and/or how to host their workshops.
Apply to become a Volunteer Educator
Apply to become a Volunteer Educator Trainer
Apply to become a Host organisation
Did you know that e-VELP has been cited by the Muallim Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities as a successful example of brain-stimulating online learning content? For more information, check what they have to say about our programme at this link.