“Optimisation of validation process of EVS learning outcomes” (OVPELO) is a project founded by Erasmus+ Key Action 2 – Strategic Partnership in the youth sector. The project is managing by YouNet (Italy) and involved seven 7 partners: Asociación Cazalla Intercultural (Spain), Semper Avanti (Poland), Koinoniki Anaptyksi Neon / Social Youth Development (Greece), Asociatia Nevo Parudimos (Romania), Pistes Solidaires (France), Association Focus-European center for development (Bulgaria). Duration of the project is: 01/09/2014 – 31/08/2016 (24 months).
Youth organizations actively involved in working with EVS volunteers have specified various problems regarding the sustainability and the recognition of the volunteering experience in its whole dimension. In general, lack of sustainability of the outcomes gained though EVS as international experience and also lack of recognition for the competences developed through are often stated by them. It has been clarified that the necessity for a validation tool, certifying the involvement of the volunteers and the international dimension of their experience, seems urgent. Moreover, no information is provided officially on how volunteers improve their competences thanks to EVS experience, how local communities benefit out of their work and in general the volunteering involvement is still not well seen within the society. Therefore, as a committed organization within the field of EVS, volunteering and non formal educational activities YouNet has decided to undertake the current project aiming at establishing a strategic cross sectoral cooperation for facilitating the standardization of the procedure for validation of EVS learning outcomes. The project OVPELO strives to foster the recognition of competences gained through non-formal education and their better applicability with formal education and job market pathways. The specific objectives which have been set up by the promoters involved in are:
To identify a volunteer-centred quality criteria for validation of competences after EVS project completed and to test the identified criteria in diverse settings in order to promote the relevance of the volunteering experience abroad and the benefits related to it:
- To promote at large scale the need for standardized validation of EVS experience as a significant international learning experience
- To create a network of European organizations interested to cooperate further on fostering the recognition of skills gained through NFE (non formal education)
- To attract and channel the interest from educational institutions and other relevant stakeholders through networking and dissemination activities.