Tuesday, October 27, 2009

EVS in France- Summer 2002

For two years, Concordia has been working within a programme called the EVS short-term work-camp programme. European Voluntary Service is a volunteering programme developed and funded by the Directorate General Education and Culture of the European Commission. The programme is aimed toward young people undertaking a long term voluntary work experience. However, in order to encourage more young people to take that first step toward long term volunteering, the Commission agreed to the introduction of the EVS short term programme. As a way of increasing the accessibility o f volunteering, the EVS short term workcamp programme provides extra funding and support necessary for those individuals who for various reasons would be unable able to participate in international voluntary service otherwise. Since 2000, Concordia has sent three volunteers to participate in IVPs abroad under this scheme. Here, one of the volunteers talks about his experiences

My workcamp, La Petite Fosse is a small village in the Vosges mountains in France, tucked away somewhere between Nancy and Strasbourg. The aims of the camp were to clear a field, put up a fence and build a shelter for goats. On the camp there were ten volunteers and of course the two camp leaders. There were three English, (including myself) 3 Germans, 2 French, I Mexican and 1 from Japan, the camp leaders were both from France. The atmosphere in the camp was excellent, you couldn’t ask for a better bunch, everyone just seemed to click and get on with each other right from the start. The people who lived in the village where we worked made us feel welcome and we were invited to the town hall on our on our second night to meet the mayor and some of the locals. The only downfall was the almost constant downpour. I had never seen so much rain in my life. The only good days we had in which it didn’t rain were the first day, the last three days and the days when I cooked (typical) Luckily, someone had bought along a chess set so I spent most of my evenings playing, or teaching people how to play, chess. Overall it was a really good time and apart from the rain which I should be used to) I enjoyed myself and would recommend anyone to give a workcamp a try. My next aim is to do a long-term project and maybe go on to lead a camp as well. Thank you for reading and I hope you have a good time on your next camp.

Mark Brooks, Brighton.

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