Eastlinks & ICYE: Volunteers and Local Communities beyond the East-West European Divide

Training course for youth workers/Eastern-Western Europe/Started in February 2001 and ended in March 2003

As result of a two year long and very fruitful co-operation, ICYE and Eastlinks deemed it necessary to consolidate and articulate their transnational partnership to promote and further develop youth mobility and international voluntary service activities between EU and pre-accession countries in Central and Eastern Europe in the form of a Large Scale YOUTH project. In order to meet the emerging needs of young people in relation to intercultural learning, volunteering and informal education opportunities in both, EU- and future member countries, ICYE and Eastlinks are intending to strengthen their operational and networking capacity at regional and sub-regional level. In particular, a plan of action was adopted to: organise two major networks’ meetings and a series of sub-regional meeting in the Baltic countries, South Eastern Europe and the EU; enhance the exchange of good practice between relevant community projects and youth NGOs across Eastern and Western Europe; build on ICYE and Eastlinks’ expertise so as to act as resource for community project, and promote and document examples of successful experiences to influence practice and policies around youth mobility and voluntary service activities.

Training courses for sending/host organizations’ responsible persons and volunteers, to support the implementation of the ICYE-Eastlinks pilot project “EVS multilateral Project on HIV/ AIDS Prevention in EU and CEEC”

Training course for organizations/23 to 28 July 2002/Kijv, Ukraine

Training course for volunteers/Berlin, Germany/15-21 September 2002

According to WHO recent statistics the rate of HIV infections in CEE countries is one of the highest in the world. To illustrate this it suffices to mention that in the Ukraine, for example, every month there are about 2000 new infections, being the average age of the infected population between 15 to 25. Similar scenarios can be found also in other countries such as Estonia and the Russian Federation. This project, which follows on the UNESCO supported Regional Conference on AIDS Prevention and Voluntary Service Organisation organised in September 2001 in Tallinn, Estonia, was an integral part of the ICYE-EASTLINKS Large Scale Project, adding to its scope one urgent and important issue facing young people across the EU and CEE countries. The training events aimed at supporting the implementation of a long-term European Voluntary Service exchange of volunteers – supported by the European Commission – whereby for the first time HIV/AIDS prevention projects in EU countries and Estonia, the Russian Federation and Ukraine were working together. Both the training and the exchange of motivated young volunteers supported the work of respective host projects, as well as demonstrated to the wider society the importance of contributing to the fight against AIDS beyond mental and national borders.