FADEAM- Els Avets de Moià Foundation is a non-profit organization whose main mission is the attention and support of adult persons with intellectual disabilities. The attention is put on the relationship established with persons with disabilities to achieve an inclusive and home-like dimension. Our goal is to offer persons with intellectual disabilities a place to live, develop all their skills and autonomy, and support them in their participation and inclusion into society. The organization is part of the International Federation of L’Arche Communities (www.larche.org) for people with intellectual disability; we are at present more than150 communities around the world. The aim is to establish mutual relationships, where inclusion, participation and responsibility are shared goals with people with disabilities both in the organization and in society. Therefore, inclusion in society is essential to be open to the world that surrounds us and be part of the life of our town.
The project starts ASAP and lasts 12 months. It is part of the Erasmus+ program “European Voluntary Service (EVS)”.
Our Communities around the world only started thanks to the voluntary service. People who have intellectual disabilities need support in their everyday lives. In L’Arche, persons who choose to share their life, ‘assist’ them in a wide variety of tasks: cooking, housekeeping, medical or personal care and hygiene, gardening, social events….
We have a wide team of professionals to aid the persons with especial needs and volunteers. Volunteering is a very important part of our project; people with disabilities do not feel recognized and valued. The daily life and living together promote the growth of strong bonds, which are an emotional support for core members. The cultural exchange and “virtual traveling around the world” is also a benefit offered by the volunteers; the effort of the people with disabilities to teach our culture to the volunteers (food, feasts,
football teams, language, daily life…) is also important. This exchange is always very rich in new, lovely, happy, fun and interesting experiences.
We have a team of 6-7 long-term volunteers coming from different countries plus many local volunteers. Experience for the volunteer The volunteer has the chance of having new experiences:
- Cultural: new country with different landscape, climate, feast, traditions, food, daily life, language, Catalonia offers a rich and interesting culture; Catalan people are wishing to establish stronger bonds with Europe and the rest of the world.
- Educational: the volunteer, as part of the educational and support team, receives permanent training directly from the responsible persons and the psychologist. The volunteer has a unique chance of nonformal intercultural education, which will boost social integration and active participation, will improve employment opportunities and vocations, and gives the chance to increase solidarity with other people and promote a real change in the world.
- Personal: the volunteer will discover the people with intellectual disabilities through sharing life with them. These persons have the great ability of making us discover who we are, let us know our limits… then, coexistence is becoming a school of life.
- Language learning: In our area, we speak both Spanish and Catalan. Frequency of lessons will depend on level and needs of
Training and support:
- The mentor will support the volunteer and will follow up the progress of the volunteer in the organization. The volunteer will be listened to, supported, guided and helped with any matter needed. Meetings will be as often as needed, usually every 15 days. At the beginning, the mentoring is done daily and is focused in giving information for a good integration. The volunteers receive
special help to integrate in the local community.
- Regular meetings with other groups of volunteers in order to share co-existence experiences.
- The volunteers in our organization are part of the educational team. They receive continuous training. They participate in all team meetings.
- If needed, the volunteer may get the support of the psychologist of the centre, but also from the monitors.
Our organization has a special training program for volunteers, as part of the yearly Volunteers Plan. This training will be offered during the first 2 months after arrival.
- Hygiene and precautions against contagion
- Reducing overexertion, postural hygiene norms.
- First aid
- Containment-interventions in case of crisis
- Cooking: Food handling. Preparation and hygiene
- Balanced meals.
- Guidelines on care of handicapped persons: occupational therapy, daily life activities.
Schedule – Free days and vacations:
An average dedication of 30 to 35 h/week, based on a weekly schedule, from Monday to Sunday. The schedule is discontinuous, depending on the need for support in the different services. Each week the volunteer receives his/her schedule for the following week. Every week the volunteer will get two free days. Besides these 2 weekly free days, every month the volunteer can take a plus of two more free days and compact them all together for a longer vacation.
The volunteer will lodge in the same house as disabled people. This means that he/she will have a single bedroom and a key of the house so he/she can enter or leave the house at every moment. There is also the possibility to lodge in an antique apartment for volunteers, but this only has capacity for 4 volunteers.
Usually new volunteers are hosted in the same houses as core members to help know each other and have the experience of life in common in one of our homes. After a few months, the volunteer may request to move to the shared apartment with other volunteers.
- Willing to know people with intellectual disabilities
- Willing to have a life sharing experience and community life
- Motivation to carry out a voluntary task, collaborating and giving as much as possible.
- Flexibility to adapt and work within a team.
- Open minded to be helpful when needed
- Positive and respectful attitude
- Willing to get involved in the organisation and its project
- Responsible attitude
- Basic good knowledge of Spanish language and interest in learning Catalan (the language spoken in our area, together with Spanish). Knowing the basics of the language helps to communicate with people with disabilities and facilitates the integration and self-confidence of the volunteer.
- It is preferable to have driving license and driving experience
BASIC CONDITIONS OFFERED TO LONG TERM VOLUNTEERS
- Accommodation (single room, either in one of the homes or in the apartments for volunteers, subject to availability) and all meals.
- Basic Accidents and Liability Insurance.
- Erasmus+ Program provides health insurance and travel expenses, plus training seminars at arrival and mid-term.
- Weekly Spanish lessons and Catalan lessons once a week (optional)
- Non-formal training program about intellectual disabilities, first aid, house holding, …
- Pocket money
- 2 free days per week
- 2 more free days per month (these days can be compacted to get a longer vacations period).
- Continuous mentoring and support since arrival and throughout all the stay.
- Final certification about the work done and competences acquired.
- The practical and logistic matters will be handled by Avets Comunity. SCI Switzerland will organize all administrative matters like insurance and visa.
Please write to email@example.com if you are interested in becoming an Erasmus+ volunteer. Please note that you can only apply if you are between 18-30 years old and if you have not volunteered through the Erasmus+ before.
Send your application via email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject Application Avets Community, and include all the following documents in English:
1) CV, Curriculum Vitae
2) Specific motivation letter for the project
3) Complete questionnaire (page 4 – 5)
Deadline for the application: as fast as possible
More details about the Avets Community and our activities can be found at http://comunitatelsavets.blogspot.com/
The European Voluntary Service (EVS) programme was created in order to promote solidarity and a sense of community among younger people within Europe (and other partner Countries). With this project, participants get to volunteer for many different organisations with various cultural and social aims. This is a great opportunity to learn new skills and develop their competences, it is not merely an internship experience, as it allows space for self-discovery and the development of personal projects.
EVS is financed by Movetia, the Swiss national Agency and therefore completely free for all participants. It includes travel expenses, food and accomodation, a language course and pocket money.