Author Archives: Veronica Arduino

Time to be open, Time To Welcome everyone!

Category : volunteers

What can be created through the process of helping people in need is extraordinary. Positive change, hope, creation of shared contexts of growth are just some of the dynamics that volunteers contribute daily to build. Another is the change of perspective that an intense contact with so different people and situations (often dramatic, such as those of refugees) can generate. Is an important change, because looking at things with a new, deeper and more conscious look helps to deal with circumstances with a renewed will to improve them.

Shortly the first volunteers from FYROM/Macedonia will arrive in Athens to join the already large group of girls and boys who carry out the project activities. The news for some might seem surprising, given FYROM/Macedonia since its independence (1991), is engaged in a dispute with Greece about the country’s official name, national symbols and constitution, and between the two countries relations are often conflicting. This involvement, however, was thought and organised with great positivity and satisfaction, demonstrating that commitment and openness allow to overcome barriers and prejudices. Conducting daily activities with refugees is an extraordinary experience that allows a new awareness of the need for understanding and inclusiveness, and one of the objectives of the project and of the volunteers is to extend this new awareness and this positive and proactive impact on a large scale, starting from the local context in which they operate.

Time to be open, Time To Welcome everyone!

Together, with the help of the new volunteers, we will contribute to build better, more inclusive and sympathetic world for all!

“Time to be welcome” à Paris 2017

Since I arrived in Paris on 4 September, weeks just passed like a light breeze and I still haven’t fully realised yet that I will work with Singa and EEUDF for the project Time to be welcome for a year.

Singa has been established in 2012 and through different projects such as Calm-Comme à la maison Passionsand Projects to encourage entrepreneurship, the organisation firstly raises awareness and changes perception of the refugees’ role in the community, secondly gives support during their socio-economic integration and thirdly creates bonds. In comparison, EEUDFEclaireuses et Eclaireurs Unionistes de France, is a Protestant Scouting and Guiding organisation which offers children and youths various activities on a national and international level.

I will be involved in the project called Singa Jeunesse, in which Singa and EEUDF are collaborating to connect asylum seekers, refugees, scouts and the French society while targeting children and youths through their participation in the activities. Since Singa Jeunesse is a very new project, it was difficult for me to find my role. At the beginning the greatest difficulty was staying patient, because I expected to start working directly with the refugees and being involved in activities as soon as I arrived. Apparently, I skipped the administrative part in my mind which is in fact a fundamental step to establish a project. Therefore it took me some time to acquaint myself with the unfamiliar working and living environment.

Training in Athens

Apart from that I went on a training in Athens where I attended practical and theoretical courses to acquire skills and methods on how to deal with traumatized people. This training was very interesting and helpful for our work with refugees for example learning the grounding techniques.

Now, slowly but surely, my daily life in Paris takes shape. First meetings have been taking place with “Karibu” which means “home/welcome” in Swahili, an initiative by scouts I will also work with. It encourages, guides and supports elder scouts to build up activities with and for young refugees and asylum seekers.  Last weekend I had the possibility to spend enjoyable days with scouts in a beautiful forest.

Scouts Camp

For a few weeks I am regularly attending free French lessons organised by students and the Red Cross. At the moment we are trying to implement new ideas such as intercultural events, activities dealing with sustainable development, etc. and furthermore to find supporters. The first step is always the most difficult and for that reason I stay optimistic and anticipated concerning the next months in Paris.

Time to be Welcome

Category : story-telling , volunteers

“Time to be Welcome” encourages young volunteers and youth organisations in Europe to create an atmosphere of welcoming for migrants, asylum seekers and refugees.

The project involves 50 volunteers from across Europe, volunteering for between 2 and 12 months as part of projects in Athens and Paris, to promote the integration of  migrants, asylum seekers and refugees into European communities through the use of non-formal education and youth work. 

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We are currently looking for 10 volunteers to join the last leg of the project in Athens for a period of 2 months starting from September 8! You only have 2 weeks to apply if interested! For more information check the info-pack here: @ScoutingEurope

test Twitter Media - We are currently looking for 10 volunteers to join the last leg of the project in Athens for a period of 2 months starting from September 8! You only have 2 weeks to apply if interested! 

For more information check the info-pack here: @ScoutingEurope