May

First 1/3 of the EVS already past and there is a lot to say…

Starting with the news from DYS:

Donegal Youth Council have been very active, launching its Sexual Health And More website (http://sham.ie/), releasing a Youth Manifesto video  in which they address their messages to Donegal local politicians about Youth main concerns in the county (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGLpgK8n3sU) and organising a pre-election Youth Matters event during which they met the candidates to the local election for the Donegal Council. In this event they presented DYC projects and facilitated roundtables to discuss with politicians about the main topics they are working on: Mental Health, Wellbeing, Bullying, Education and Youth Facilities. http://donegalnews.com/2014/05/donegal-youth-council-holds-youth-matters-event-at-cultural-centre/ .

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Opening Sexual Health and More website

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Meeting local candidates for the election

In May the Letterkenny Information Centre has had a very irregular attendance flow due to final exams. For this reasons some of the activities have been postponed until June. The young people drop in after lunch and they enjoy meeting each other, playing pool, listening to music… or just sitting on the coaches relaxing and chatting about summer plans.

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Meanwhile in our little office we continue with some designs, videos and new projects. Last month we were shooting events such as The Qube and the Youth – Future Progression Workshop in Falcarragh. 

The Qube was a fundraising event that Donegal Youth Service organized in a hotel in March. They got money from many people, most of it from the winners of the games. We prepared a video summarizing the night to thank everybody involved.

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Local participant in The Qube

Youth – Future Progression Workshops were facilitated by The Yard Project in Falcarragh were Victor is doing his volunteering. They address young unemployed people searching for alternatives solutions. It’s about creating a space where adults and youngsters can share their thoughts and feelings about employment issues as equals. It was a pleasure to be a witness of the adult/youth perception exchange.

Trainings

Doing our EVS in Donegal Youth Service, we have the chance to follow various trainings and enlarge our personal skills, which is a great opportunity.

Anne-C had trainings about Youth Leadership in diverse society, Child Protection policies, Sexual Education in Youth sector, raising awareness on drugs and alcohol dangers, promoting Healthy Eating Behaviours with young people.

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One morning we have the opportunity to participate in a update session around drugs and alcohol in Ireland. The trainee told us about the introduction of new drugs in the country as well as the shapes and effects in short and long term. I was very interesting to discover new vocabulary around the slung in the street. On the other side we have realized that alcohol continues being one of the most common drugs in Irish population. Young people starts early and early to consume this liquid drug. Following the statistics, alcohol is one of the firs reason of dead in Ireland.

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Volunteer Training in The Loft

 

Trainings are being worthwhile to acknowledge different experiences of youth work in Ireland. One of them is held by a DYS trainer in Maharothy each Thursday and Friday. The training develops issues related to Childhood protection or Youth Inclusion.

Child Protection Training has taken place on May. Starting with the law about childhood we can learn through Frankie how we have to be with this complex range of age (under 18 years old). Children are one of the most vulnerable groups because they are exposed to many kind of abuse range from neglect to emotional, sexual and physical abuse.

Entertainment

Because EVS is not only working but social life and discovering as well, we have been travelling around Donegal County and Northern Ireland.

Last places visited: Slieve Leagues, Glenveagh Nat Park, Mount Errigal, Malin Head, Derry, Giant Causeways and Belfast.

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Victor and friends in Dublin

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Ana and a friend in Giant Causeway

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Alba and friends in Glendalough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also climbed Croagh Patrick in County Mayo with part of the EVS group we met in the on-arrival training. We were unlucky with the weather as it was a terrible day but finally resist to Irish cold and rain was part of the challenge and we had great time. Westport is a nice town full of pubs!

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Ireland EVS on the top of Croagh Patrick

 

 

 

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April

On-Arrival Training

After one or two months involved in our projects all EVS volunteers from Ireland were called to have  on-arrival training. It took place in Swords in a religious residence 20 minutes away from Dublin. Two trainers who used to work in youth projects were in charge of the training.

The first step was getting to know each other through dynamic games. Afterwards we had to explain  our project and share with others. Some of the backgrounds and the projects were amazing. Mainly they were related with youth work, disability, environmental issues and LGBT awareness. It was nice to see other youth initiatives and their implementation. Also it made us question ourselves about goals, projects, roles, and location.

To continue improving our EVS experience they brought us to Dublin to realize the Dublin Challenge. This entailed to overcome some challenges and learn about ourselves. The backdrop was Dublin city. Most of the challenges required people aid working in a team. For some of us, this activity meant a different way to meet other volunteers and discover how EVS experience is changing ourselves. When we returned to the residence we shared our day with the others showing pictures and stories with a funny performance. As good Irish volunteers we finished the day having some beers and playing games.

During these days we have learnt more about our rights and responsibility as EVS, the people can help you whenever you need to, useful information about the organizations involved in EVS (sending and hosting organizations and National Agencies), the differences between our cultures and other countries, shared feelings about living abroad in Ireland and gave and received positive a advice help us to face this experience.

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