From 1st of October to 30th of June, VIEWS International hosts again three young visually impaired people.

Read more about their visit in Liège and soon you will find out more.

Advanced Planning Visit 2015

This year is Rosaria from Italy and Magda from Poland who visited us. Why? They will make an EVS project from October 2015 till June 2016.

Normally Selma from Turkey should have been with us. But due to visa problems she couldn’t join us.

From 9th to 11th of September young guests joined by a youth worker from their respective countries came to Liège to see where they will be for the next months and what should they expect.

Rosaria will work with us at VIEWS and Magda at IRHOV the School for Blind and partially sighted from Liège.

They met also their mobility officer and their French teacher. They got the chance to visit their future accommodation, make a visit of the neighbourhood area and of the city.

They were really happy to have the opportunity to visit their project and very sorry that they didn’t see their third colleague Selma. It is difficult to understand all the visa procedures and why couldn’t she be here.

But we were all saying that we do not lose hope and believe that the Belgium Embassy will understand the importance of such a project and will give Selma the possibility to join Rosaria and Magda and spend an unforgettable time and learn many new things.

The girls met also other volunteers from Belgium who are the association. It is sure they had a really enjoyable time.

EVS: challenges and opportunities

My name is Magda. I cannot believe like my neighbour. I thought I had a special and unique name in my hosting country. I’m coming from Poland from a different culture and IPolish is a totally different language in comparison with French.

In my opinion there are, both, advantages and disadvantages of this project.
In the first part of my presentation I’ll write about the advantages, then I’ll finish my presentation with the disadvantages of this project.
This project has been a challenge for me, especially at the beginning because I did not speak French at all. I had a hard time doing basic things like: asking for my way, doing the shopping, asking for any help or any advice. I felt very bad, because I was permanently depending on other people.

Thanks to my hard work, I made some progress, Now I speak French better, but tI still find it difficult to communicate, especially at my workplace where people only speak French and I have to find a way to communicate with them. I’ve been studying this language only since September and I need some more time to improve my skills, to speak it and to understand people better.
I have a hard time to solve a problem because I am not able to explain myself. Other people thing that I am not listening, but actually I don’t understand what they are telling me. I don’t feel comfortable regarding this. Normally I am a communicative, independent and self-confident person, who is able to overcome different difficulties in her life. I havealready been in different difficult
situations and I managed very well, but here I feel more shy and dependant on other People, because I am not able to communicate with other People, to solve difficult situations on my own. For example teachers in my school don’t understand my difficulties, they are impolite with me and they don’t help me at all. They laugh at me, a thing that makes everything even more difficult.
I think that People in my job don’t respect and appreciate me. They don’t see or don’t want to see my efort and hard work.
Sometimes I feel confused and I can’t manage it. Although I find it complicated and hard, I try to overcome these problems and I think that I do my best to achieve success. Unfortunately this does not depend only on me. In my opinion People, who work with me should be more comprehensive and patient with me.

They should be aware that I’ve been learning this language for a short time and It is very difficult for me. They have only requirements, but They do nothing to make things easyer for me and they don’t understand my needs. I need some more time to learn French, some support and understanding from the others too. With a bit of support, I think I can achieve success.
I am very glad that I have an opportunity to learn French, but I need some time to do it.

On the other hand, This project has a lot of advantages. It is a good opportunity to learn new, interesting things, get to know new people from foreign countries.

I also had the opportunity to learn new cultures, to gain some experience in work, to visit new places, share my knowledge and experiences with other people, especially to learn a new and interesting language, and get many other benefits, which can influence my life. Thanks to this project I learned how to solve a problem.

I also had an occasion to consider my mistakes, to try to avoid them in the future..I think that the experience I gain in this project , will help me to find a good job and share my skills with other people. Moreover I think I became stronger and more courageous and, in the future, it will be easier to overcome different situations. I can say that this project is a good lesson and an interesting experience in my life, which I can keep in my memories.

Local Awareness Activities

I’m Rosaria, a Italian girl of 30 years old.

I’m in Belgium for my EVS from October 2015 to June 2016 and I accomplish my project in Views International.

One of the tasks of my project is to create awareness raising workshops with young people.

These activities take place at La Baraka Association where I am acompanied by a imployee, who helps me to carry out these weekly workshops.

Every Thursday afternoon we do some sensitization’s activities with sighted young people who are between 12 and 20 years old.
We propose different kind of activities blindfolded:

The tactile section consisted of some activities like recognize a tactile image or find un object in a bag with a lot of other objects or some activities relating to daily life such as insert a letter in un envelope or a cd in its case;

For the olfactory section, we had some spices and they had to smell and recognize what kind of spice it was;

For the listening section, we have recorded some sounds and real noise situations and they had to understand what it was; but there are also memory and braille workshops, or simply board games suitable for visually impaired or some blind sport such as goal ball.
These activities aim to show a daily life of a visually impaired and realize how these people use their other senses to have a normal life.

These workshops are very successful and I’m very happy because young people are very curious and receptive to our proposed activities and they are willing to try and understand the blind world.

It is very important that these sensitization events and awareness raising activities are organized in order to share this kind of problem with other persons which do not live these sort of situations.
You can also take a look to some photos added in our Facebook page.

Meeting of Mentors

This 10th of September 2010 the Bureau International Jeunesse (BIJ) The French Belgium National Agency invited mentors who support EVS volunteer to come together and share their experiences.

Denise, who is one of the mentors and Lori who was a mentor for several years have participated.

It was a one day meeting and training at the same time.

We discussed about the role of the mentor, about the youthpass certificate about the language tools for volunteers, new to both of us and then shared experiences.

It was a rich day, we learned a lot from each other and new things.
(Lori and Denise)

As supporting persons of our EVS it is important that we update the knowledge of persons involved in EVS projects.

The Belgian National Agency plans also to give such opportunities to sending and hosting organisations.

My EVS to Belgium from Turkey

My name is Selma and I’m from Turkey. I’m 24 years old and I’m blind. I studied history and finished just in the end of last year. In Turkey I work with different organizations and we organize many different projects for visually impaired people. My organization name is EGED (Visually impaired in education) that is also the full member of VIEWS. We generally focus on education problems of visually impaired. I with my organization have taken part in different projects of Views and also we have done one project named Adapt me if you can about adapting games for blinds.

Another organization of mine is Kalp Ankara, with the other name, Toys library. They prepare games and toys with volunteers for all children for free. This organization is also my sending organization for my EVS Project.
All in all, while doing or attending to this project, I learned about EVS, European Voluntary Service. I applied and after I was accepted, I started it in October 2015.

Here I’m responsible mainly with two works. One of them is in two different French courses. In this places I try to help students when they don’t understand something and after the teacher, I do activities with students. The other place is arranging activities for local and I’m participating to this organization’s meetings and trying to support them. They also publish a local journal 3 monthly. I’m also responsible to do an interview with a famous architecture.

I’m learning here, many things, a new language, a new culture, how to work and so on… But I cannot say it is really easy, not.

Even, I lived with alone or or with others, I have been in severel countries sometimes long or short, more or less I made all my life myself; I’m having difficulties here. It is not about self-confident that I think I’m so but I understand here how much important to have positive support around. Understand how important positive criticism, understanding and so, as it is not easy to learn a new culture, language and work in the same and short time. So thank you for everybody supporting me around.


The Citizen Youth Forum Platform

On Wednesday the 11th of May, La Baraka welcomed the Minister of Youth, Isabelle Simonis, the Board of Youth, and the Youth Department of the Ministry of the Wallonia-Brussels.

Within my work at La Baraka as a European volunteer I was involved in this project.

The day was divided into two parts. In the morning, there was a presentation of tools developed by the Federation Wallonie Bruxelles (FWB), the region where my hosting city is situated in Belgium, and CJ at citizenship for professionals. These tools propose to create a debate amongst the young generation about the ten articles of the Charter of Citizenship by the commission of intercultural dialogue. The ten articles offer the opportunity to address the foundations of our democracies with questions concerning equality between men and women, racism, homophobia, religion, freedom of expression and individual freedoms such as solidarity and the role of the school. This tool takes the form of an interactive web platform and was presented by the Youth Council. This presentation during the morning was followed by an afternoon of practical activities with young people and by the demonstration of the interactive platform explained in the morning.

The day ended with the presentation of a video made by a group of five individuals, including myself, which was another way to express our point of view.

The Minister of Youth really like the video and asked us to publish it in their interactive platform. It was a very interesting and productive day because the Minister and the entire Board of Youth sat and discussed with us. They listened to our opinions, they answered our questions and they explained the next steps to us of the development in the field of youth.