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Project "EVS in the Middle East - Solidarity in Action"

Résumé

18 young volunteers from 11 countries and 13 organisations will have a chance to spend six months in four different locations in the West Bank in Palestine. The 13 projects will all be related to inter-cultural dialogue through daily interaction with the local people in their projects. As a group and with the help of CCIVS, the volunteers will be encouraged to put their daily experiences into perspective through reflections about the concepts of cultural identity and cultural heritage. This reflection will deepen their understanding of and interaction with the people they work with and will develop their sense of their own European identity and cultural heritage.
Thanks to the support of our long-standing partner organisation, IPYL, which is well established and recognized in Palestine and has a strong network of partners and institutional contacts in the region, we are able to work with various partners on the ground and ensure cohesion among the different projects at the same time.
The project will also be the occasion to work on a toolkit dealing with voluntary service and conflicts (at micro or macro level).
Volunteering in Palestine is a unique opportunity for young people to grow, to shape their world vision and to experience their own European identity through exposure to another reality. At the same time, experiencing Palestine as a volunteer means contributing to change and witnessing the situation of the people from the inside as part of Palestinian society for six months. Volunteering in Palestine is a life changing experience: for the volunteers in the first place but also for the local people who are closely involved with the project. A Western volunteer with his/her ideas will have to be open to learn and at the same time will allow other young people to project themselves into different and new life choices based on the principles of self organisation, creativity, autonomy and responsibility to society.
CCIVS has a long standing experience in organising volunteer projects and in providing advice and counselling on sending and hosting with regard to the vital issues involved in setting up a project. CCIVS regularly organises training sessions and seminars in order to strengthen the capacity of the organisations to set up and carry out their projects in the best possible way. Involvement in the Southern Mediterranean and the Middle East has been one of CCIVS’ priorities since the mid 90’s and more so after the terrorist attacks of the new millennium. CCIVS has also been associated to several UNESCO initiatives in Palestine.
Cultural Diversity, Intercultural Dialogue and Conflict Transformation are among the thematic priorities of CCIVS. Several tools have been developed over recent years in order to provoke discussion about these issues and combat an oversimplified vision on the part of our members and the people we work with.
IPYL has years of experience of organising similar multi-lateral EVS projects in Palestine with Youth Action for Peace. IPYL has a long standing partnership with CCIVS and provided valuable inputs into CCIVS’ latest tool on conflict transformation. Working in a conflict area is different from working in an area at peace. Many additional aspects need to be given serious attention. Thanks to years of experience and contacts, IPYL follows closely the development of the security situation in Palestine and will act as a focal point with the other partner organisations in Palestine to coordinate this aspect.
The project responds to several objectives and priorities of the YiA programme as indicated at the beginning of the application:
It fosters mutual understanding and inter-cultural dialogue because of the way it is set up. Mutual understanding between young Europeans and local people in Palestine also contributes to a more differentiated view of the Arab Muslim world and provides an antidote to the “clash-of-civilisation” theories. The volunteers involved in the different activities will remain in contact with CCIVS at all times. CCIVS will regularly provide them with comments, texts, exercises and games in order to discuss issues related to intercultural dialogue and cultural diversity. These discussions will take place over distance among the volunteers and on the ground with the local people they work with. These reflections will help to put the Palestinian experience into perspective, to relate it to the volunteers’ own perception of culture and identity and widen the world vision of the volunteers and the local people.
The project will also develop the capacities of the civil society organisations where the volunteers are based. On the one hand these organisations can be inspired by a different way of thinking and different approaches by the volunteer and on the other hand the very experience of acting as host for a young European will strengthen their capacity to adapt to the needs of a partner and define a coherent project based on different perceptions and interpretations.
Most projects work with many young people on the ground, either because they are stakeholders of the host project or simply because they belong to the local youth living around the project. This provides positive role models for the Palestinian youngsters and strengthens their participation in society. The interaction with the local youth also strengthens the self esteem of the volunteers themselves.

Niveau d’intervention géographique

  • International

Thématique

  • Construire un cadre de valeurs communes
  • Promouvoir une connaissance mutuelle de la diversité culturelle, ethnique, linguistique, religieuse

Pays bénéficiaire (s) / Groupes cibles

  • International volunteers from EU
  • Local population in the West bank

Principaux partenaires

European Commission / Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency

Nom de l’organisation / Entité responsable principale

Coordinating Committe for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS)

 
France
01/03/2010 - 28/02/2011