The Community Activists Network 4 will start 15 February 2008. This project is supported by the European Voluntary Service (EVS). This phase of CAN will be a 7 month program, open to 10 EU volunteers. Volunteers must be between 21-25 years old, and a legal resident a European Union Country or Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Turkey.
The primary focus of the volunteers will be supporting education in the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities in Kosovo and Macedonia. Therefore, experience, skills and interest in education, particularly with vulnerable communities are predominant criteria for being accepted as a volunteer.
Balkan Sunflowers will begin a large and comprehensive project expansion in its community-based education activities: the Learning Centre Network. This program will begin in February/March 2008. CAN volunteers will work in these communities with either existing Learning Centers or be engaged in the start-up of new centers.
The project is in cooperation with Service Civil International (SCI), www.sciint.org. SCI organizes workcamps and supports long-term volunteer opportunities world-wide, and has been a preeminent volunteer program supporting peace and social justice since its beginnings in 1920.
- Development of volunteer program. The project will include Peer Tutors and other volunteers supporting the Learning Center activities - creating activities for these volunteers for value-added benefit, building a team, etc.
- Direct activity involvement with children. As most volunteers will not have the ability to communicate, initially, in local languages, these activities will be “support” related: arts, games, sports, etc.
- Working with managers so that they understand and value the importance of reporting and information management as necessary for managing a network of centers and satisfying donor requirements. If necessary, the volunteer might assist with, or initiate the creation of a Database that will enhance data and monitoring of the numbers of children, families, education participation so that this process can be self-sustaining after the departure of the volunteer.
The CAN program will emphasize volunteers as “multipliers” – supporting development of stronger local networks for education success in the communities. Multipliers are pro-active, team-oriented people who bring about results but also value the processes. CAN is part of an expanding major Balkan Sunflowers commitment to community-based education, in the form of the Learning Centers Network which aims to support approximately 1000 children to stay in school and succeed in school. Applicants should have a passion to accomplish useful work in their host communities. There will be support for language learning.
- Volunteers should have had previous experience with informal education, early childhood education and community education-oriented projects or related fields.
- Volunteers should be well-organized, be self-initiative yet be excellent team-workers.
- Volunteers should be flexible, open-minded, innovative, and have patience and humility.
- Volunteers will live for a minimum of the first three months with host families.
This CAN program will begin on 15 February and end on 15 September 2008. The Application Form in the Volunteering section of this website should be filled out and sent electronically to Balkan Sunflowers. If you are interested in applying but are not in contact with a “Sending Organization” from your own country please contact us so we can give you contact information. You CAN apply now.
Elena Wasylew and Magda Babul were Balkan Sunflowers volunteers in Kosovo through the European Voluntary Service (EVS) programme in 2004-2005. EVS' Future Capital programme supports volunteers to develop and implement projects in their home countries that build on their volunteer experience abroad. Elena and Magda undertook to look at the volunteer experience in Kosovo as well as volunteer and intern opportunities. They particularly wanted to show their appreciation of their experience and that of the other EVS volunteers working with Balkan Sunflowers in the Community Activists Network project.
Magda and Elena encourage people and institutions to cooperate with Kosovo institutions though volunteering, developing youth and student exchanges, internships, and other people to people opportunities.
They have produced a beautiful publication, available in print, and online in this website.
Download the booklet: Kosovo Cooperation Wheel
CAN volunteers participated in the following films to introduce themselves, their town, and the CAN project to new volunteers. Claudiu Murariu and Dejan Vasic filmed and edited the following 6 films.
Fushe Kosove / Kosovo Polje