YEE Nominated for the European Youth Award 2011

YEE is hosting EVS volunteers since 2001 so many European volunteers had a chance to spend one year in YEE office and learn many new useful skills. The Czech National Agency of the Youth in Action Programme appreciated our EVS project and nominated it for the European Youth Award 2011. That is why we (Adriana and Gosia) were invited for the European Youth Week.

IMG_4776_2In May 2011, the 5th European Youth Week was organized and many different actions took place all around Europe. The biggest events were happening in Belgium, in Brussels and in Antwerp, the European Youth Capital 2011.

The European Youth Week in Antwerp (15.-18.05.2011) was a meeting of more than 70 participants representing 36 EVS projects from all around Europe. Each project was selected for the European Youth Award as the best EVS project in its respective country. We were invited to take part as well and represent YEE as the EVS project in YEE was chosen as the best one in the Czech Republic and was nominated for this award.

The program of the EYW consisted of several parts: exchanging experience from EVS projects during thematic workshops (Non-formal and informal learning - methods - and youth work, EVS and Employability, EVS and Mobility, EVS and Inclusion); and project visits to local youth organizations in Antwerp. Probably the most expected day of the whole EYW in Antwerp was 17 May 2011 when two important events took place: European Youth Awards Ceremony followed by the panel debate about the Europe 2020 flagship initiative 'Youth on the Move' with Commission President José Manuel Barroso, the Commissioner responsible for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Androulla Vassiliou, young people and youth experts.

IMG_4745_2As you surely know, 2011 is a very important year for volunteerism. It has been designated as the European Year of Volunteering and also the European Voluntary Service (EVS) is celebrating its 15th anniversary. That is why the European Youth Awards 2011 put the spotlight on the EVS. The winning projects were selected by an inter-institutional jury in three different categories - global, innovative and inclusive society. Even though we didn't receive the main price, it was already very important for us to be chosen among the Czech projects. You can find selected projects here:

The whole event was interesting as we met representatives of other hosting organizations and volunteers from projects from all around Europe and could exchange information about our projects and share our experiences. We enjoyed a lot the discussions during the workshops we took part in - about 'EVS and Mobility‘ and about EVS and non-formal education. In the workshop about mobility we were analyzing and sharing our experiences over the topic of ‘learning in mobility‘ and how EVS and mobility can support the 'Youth on the Move‘ initiative. As we were half ex-EVS volunteers and half EVS coordinators/representatives of the organizations, it was good to have these two insights. There was also introduction and interesting discussion about the 'Youth on the Move‘ initiative which was very useful as most of us did not have many information about it before -

Thanks to the field visits, we had the chance to see some practical examples of youth work in Antwerp. This part of the program was very enriching as we got to know the new Antwerp museum where young people had the possibility to create part of the museum and we also visited one experimental (alternative) kindergarten.

Also a publication containing descriptions of all the nominated EVS projects was published - you can find it here:

Our EVS project was also described in an article written by Czech journalist:

We are glad that YEE EVS project was noticed and appreciated. I hope it will continue to be a fruitful experience for many future volunteers.

Adriana Harnuskova
Gosia Zubowicz