OUR THREE MONTH VOLUNTEERING PROJECT
As of October 2020 we are starting a short version ESC program, initially a three month program for young people to discovery a different part of Europe, the region of Zeeland. We start with a week of orientation.
Afterwards, here are some of the essential parts of the three month experience.
A weekly day of DISCOVERY and PROMOTION
With your team you travel to a different part of the country or region to learn about its history, uniqueness, cuisine, ethnology and meet young people for an evening of fun and games, getting acquainted, learning about each other’s lifestyle and ideas. Each week we go to a different place guided by a coach-project leader team. When we meet Dutch youth, we will not forget to tell them about the opportunities of the ESC program, experiencing a similar project in a different part of Europe!
To learn about the details of family life, cultural expectations, living situation of the Dutch, each volunteer has the chance to stay in a home for one weekend per month. In the initial first week of orientation and training, we can decide to make it a rotation schedule, so each volunteer meets different family settings.
Each volunteer has a personal (development) mentor-coach to help guide them through the maze of life’s choices. The need for such a person increases when crossing into another culture where everything is different and things are not what they seem. Your mentor-coach is available at all times to answer questions and help you adjust.
Part of this is a study program for intercultural learning where each volunteer decides on a specific topic to study and experience. Prior to your arrival we will send you a list of possibility to save time so we get started on this when you arrive. We bring these individual topics together in a group discussion so we learn together from each volunteer’s experience.
Within the Bridgebuilders Community in the Vierslag (name of the house), there is much to do. Two full days of the week, usually Wednesday and Thursday, is about community building. Sharing experiences, discussions on relevant topics, cleaning, gardening, fixing things in the house, cooking, receiving cultural and language training, studying. There is also room for personal reflection, writing reports, planning activities.
There are special programs to inspire volunteers towards a better understanding of the religious and cultural heritage of our unique part of Europe.
For instance: We learn about the life and times of Dutch painters who lived in our region. Van Gogh, Rubens, Jan Steen, Vermeer and others. And, maybe, if we agree, let’s plan a painting and drawing day and invite a local artist to teach us.
As a Christian organisation we would like to introduce or perhaps reconnect young people in Europe to the values and ways Christians have expressed their faith for the past 20 centuries. That’s not all nice stuff, but let’s learn from our past and keep the good things. Once each month we discover a different faith expression. From Quakers to Anglicans, from Protestants to Roman Catholics, etc. We call it Kingdom Discovery.
During these three months volunteers get a wide variety of exposures to Dutch culture and life while learning informally to hopefully go home with a bag full of valuable experiences, new insights and new friendships. Volunteers who are here for a longer time, also go through this three month project with a view to continuing to develop and actually take on projects to be implemented within a longer time frame.