European Solidarity Corps
MAKE A DIFFERENCE – GIVE THE DIGNITY!
Since August 2019, Evanjelická diakonia ECAV na Slovensku (Evangelical Diaconia in Slovakia) has been the coordinator of the annual project supported co-financed by the European Union within the volunteer program of the European Solidarity Corps called Make a difference – give the dignity. Since September 2019, we have been hosting two young volunteers from Ukraine, whose sending organization is an organization based in Odessa, Living Hope.
The goal of the project is to point out the dignity and value of elderly person, who is nowadays pushed to the margin of society. Through the project is our intention to educate young people how to improve the quality of life of seniors in residential senior centre, to focus on the right approach and care for seniors with various types of disabilities.
We are very grateful to the team of employees from the Centre of the Evangelical Diaconia (CED) in Bratislava, where volunteers perform their volunteer activities while working with seniors, for creating a pleasant working environment for our boys. At CED Bratislava they perform activities such as: personal hygiene of the seniors, basic care for seniors, distribution of food, if necessary, their feeding, participation in the various therapies performed in the centre, participation and assistance in the program for seniors. During that time, our seniors perceive them as an inseparable part of their every day lives. Daniil is very good at singing and he plays the piano. He uses his talents for pleasing our seniors. Yurii is gifted at drawing. Volunteers, Daniil and Yurii are also regularly educated in the Slovak language. During the year, they also helped us with several collections such as Hodina deťom (Hour for children) or Tesco food collection. In cooperation with their mentors, we try to motivate them into educational process and show them different parts of Bratislava, or create social contact. Volunteers also participated in trainings of the National Agency – Iuventa, which helped them to orientate themselves in the set process and to strengthen them in the meaning of the volunteer program.
At the time of the corona crisis, we try to provide them the maximum possible protection. As they are in daily contact with the most vulnerable group of people, we need to be very careful and protect the seniors, as well. During this period the process of theoretical education, meetings with mentors, regular conversations and evaluations with the coordinator, or teaching of the Slovak language we provide mostly through online tools to eliminate the risk of their infection.
We also try to educate ourselves in the right approach and process of volunteer project. We participated in the educational training of the National Agency, which took place in the city Poprad on 5.-7. March focused on the following topics: European Solidarity Corps, Solidarity Pillars, Volunteer Management, Youthpass Certificate, work with volunteers, how to resolve conflicts and others.
We are grateful to the National Agency Iuventa for the support and help during the year. We believe that a volunteer year with the Evangelical Diaconia will be for Daniil and Yurii beneficial and decisive for their decisions in the future.