The programme of International Voluntary Year (INVY) and International Voluntary Year in Tanzania aims to give the chance to young people without any differentiation in cognitive learning, which contributes to their spiritual, personal and professional development.
The programme also contributes to social, intercultural, societal and political learning. Receivers of this learning are beside the volunteers, professional workers, other national volunteers, users and their relatives and local community as well as the volunteers, of course. The programme opens the door for a new learning and to create the changes for new lives.
‘International Voluntary Year’ (INVY)
Slezská Diakonie as the coordinating organisation, hosts international volunteers in its placements and partner organisations and sends the Czech volunteers to the placements of EDYN (Ecumenical Diaconal Year Network) partner organisations. The programme promotes long-term service of around 10 to 12 months.
During the year 2013 we hosted in total 27 international volunteers coming from 6 different countries, from France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Sweden and Ukraine.
From January to August 2013 we hosted 13 international volunteers who did their service from 1st of September 2012 to 31st of August 2013 in 11 different placements.
From 1st of September 2013 we welcomed 14 further international volunteers who served until 31st of August 2014 in 12 different placements.
In February the co-ordinator of the programme participated in the selection weekend in Germany, where she led the personal interviews with the candidates for future volunteer programmes. In addition, she participated in the selection of the Hungarian volunteers which took place in April in Budapest.
Meeting the potential volunteers personally enables an appropriate matching of the candidate’s profiles with the working contexts of the hosting placements.
At the end of February we held a 5-day mid term seminar for the international volunteers. The seminar was organized in Slovakia with the EDYN partner organization ‘The Ecumenical Council of Churches in Slovakia’. In total 25 international volunteers participated in the seminar. The aim of the seminar was to evaluate the ongoing voluntary service programme.
During January and March 2 Study visits were organised to the placements where the volunteers did their service. This gave a unique opportunity for young people to reflect on different social phenomena of the service of their peers so as to promote the involvement of the service users in joint activities with other volunteers.
At the beginning of March a three-day seminar for the supervisors of international volunteers was organised. The working sessions of this event focused on how to make the ‘journey of accompanying the young people´ more supportive and responsive and open to two-way learning.
In the middle of June the pre-departure seminar for the Ukrainian volunteers took place in Ukraine. The seminar aimed to prepare the volunteers for long-term voluntary service.
At the end of June, a 3 day long evaluation seminar took place. The seminar was an opportunity for international volunteers as well their supervisors to participate. This event can be seen as the closing event of the volunteer´s journey and gave an opportunity to look back to their year’s service and draw on the results for their future orientation after coming back home.
At the end of July 1 day pre-departure seminar for three volunteers who went to their service to Denmark and Portugal was organised. At the end of August a married couple went for 9 months voluntary service to our partner organisation to Denmark. At the beginning of October a male volunteer went to do his one-year service with our partner organisation in Portugal.
At the beginning of September a 6 days arrival seminar for the volunteer generation 2013-2014 was organised. The seminar was combined with an intensive Czech language course.
At the beginning of November first study visit to the placements where the volunteers will do their service was held.
The year was closed with a Christmas meeting in which the volunteers as well as their supervisors and mentors participated.