• International Service

Update on our European Solidarity Corps projects

Updated: Nov 18, 2020

We have some updates on our European Solidarity Corps projects, quite a few of which had begun or were shortly due to begin before the pandemic struck.

The following European Solidarity Corps projects are on hold. They are still set to go ahead when it becomes safe and practical to do so.

Equal Rights Palestine, a 19-month project whereby International Service place two groups of European Solidarity Corps volunteers with the Young Women’s Christian Association Palestine (YWCA) to support their activities. The first group of 2 volunteers worked alongside staff and 2 volunteers from Norway. The second group of 4 volunteers are to work with YWCA staff for the 6-month duration of their stay. Both groups will spend their time between YWCA branches in Ramallah and Bethlehem, providing office-based and programme delivery support, as well as investing time in their own learning and personal and professional development.

Youth in Action: This 24-month project will provide the opportunity for 12 volunteers, 6 of whom are from “hard to reach’ backgrounds, to spend 3 months in Bethlehem and the West Bank working alongside youth groups and the Students’ Forum Institute (SFI). The project has three broad objectives; to mobilise young people to engage with the local municipality and national and international institutions; to support young people to develop their skills, boosting their employability; and to increase the capacity of the SFI to achieve their overall aims, including reaching a wider audience.

Empowering women and youth in Jordan: The aim of the project is to improve the engagement of young people and women in the labour market and decision making in their communities. The project will achieve this by supporting Bait Al Hikmah Foundation for Youth in the delivery of a socio-economic empowerment project, which will target 180 women from host Jordanian and Syrian refugee communities in three of the country’s most marginalised governorates.

Participation, Empowerment and Education for Roma, Gypsy and Traveller people: The aim of this project is to empower and promote social inclusion of Roma, Gypsy or Traveller communities in North Macedonia and the United Kingdom, while enabling young volunteers to develop vital skills for the future. Our partners in North Macedonia are RROMA, SUMNAL, and the York Travellers Trust in the UK.

Inclusion for everyone: Volunteers are to work with the Centar za Mladinski Aktivizam CMA KRIK, in Skopje, North Macedonia. They will help deliver disability inclusion activities in schools, at youth centres, and at festivals. They will also be facilitating short term volunteering placements for young people with learning disabilities.

Build a better narrative: The volunteering activities will take place in Amman, the capital and largest city in Jordan, and will be hosted by I-Dare, a local youth NGO. Volunteers will engage with young Jordanians through social media and community behaviour change, to work with young people to develop positive intellectual and economic attitudes which will help them throughout their lives.

Free to be me: This project aims to promote the empowerment of LGBTI+ young people, their visibility and inclusion, and their rights in society. The project will achieve this by facilitating the exchange of LGBTI+ youth volunteers and young people with fewer opportunities to work with local organisations on a range of community development and campaigning initiatives. Activities will take place in North Macedonia, Serbia, Greece, and the United Kingdom with our partners Subversive Front (Skopje, North Macedonia), Group Come Out (Novi Sad, Serbia), United Societies of the Balkans (USB; Thessaloniki, Greece), CVS (York, UK) and CEDE Aruba (Aruba).

We are also a partner organisation in a successful Erasmus+ Key Action 1 project called Climate Camp, led by Ananda Marga Denmark. The objective of the project is to support young people to connect with their peers across the world, including participation in a Climate Camp, and unite to address the current global climate crisis. This is further to the other Erasmus+ project mentioned in a previous post.

Above were the projects which are on hold. The following projects have either ended, or have had to be cancelled.

Our project Solidarity Sports Palestine with Ramallah-based organisation, Palestine Sports 4 Life has ended, and will not be starting back up when other projects resume. We will share further information capturing what happened in this project in the next few weeks.

The two projects which we have had to cancel are Solidarity Sport Palestine - Summer Camp, also with Palestine Sports 4 Life, which was going to deliver summer camps for 100+ children from Amari and Qadura refugee camps; and Arts & Minds Palestine, which aimed to increase awareness and knowledge of mental health and how to use community arts to improve mental well-being, alongside partner Sunna Al Amal.

While it's a shame to have to cancel projects or finish them early, fortunately we have a really exciting set of projects starting up just as soon as its safe to do so. As the situation progresses we'll update you through our website, newsletter and social media so stay tunes to find out more.

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