VSI Volunteering Updates, News and Projects
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          for Valentine's Day

It's all about Valentine's Day already! Everywhere - hearts, mushy cards, hiked up prices in restaurants and expensive roses!
So this Valentines day show love. Not materialistic love which must be proved by consumerism and tokenism. Not a love which must be exclusive to your partner. Show love and kindness for people around you. There are lots of interesting and exciting opportunities with VSI – there are projects coming up or you could start planning your summer. Get inspired and look for projects here.

In this issue:
  • VSI Volunteer Weekend 21st March
  • "Let's inherit the Earth" Seminar in Sweden in April
  • Short and Long term volunteering Updates
  • Teenage News
  • 50 Years of VSI
  • Membership
  • VSI staff changes

VSI Volunteer News

VSI Volunteers Weekend – Save the date! March 21st
VSI are planning a weekend for our members, volunteers, activists and others who are interested in our work and in getting involved in VSI. The weekend will take place in Enniskerry in County Wicklow, we will walk in the beautiful hills, have speakers and debates and of course a social and music for the Saturday night. Accommodation will be in a hostel. Watch this space! 

”Let’s inherit the Earth” Seminar in Stockholm 2-6 April
IAL Sweden is inviting 24 participants to the 'Let's inherit the Earth' seminar.  If you are interested in helping to create a sustainable society where everyone can live and flourish - economically, ecologically and socially, then this is the seminar for you.The cost is €32 Euro with 70% travel costs paid for sustainable travel.
For more information and application details
Deadline for applications 18th Feb.

EVS - European Voluntary Service Programme
Are you interested in joining in the European Voluntary Service Programme in 2015? The EU funded programme is a great opportunity for volunteers aged 18-30 to experience the life and culture of another country in the EU and neighbouring countries. Currently we have volunteers on community and youth projects in Georgia, Bosnia Herzogovina, Iceland, Slovenia and Moldova. We are also hosting volunteers at VSI and the Cloughjordan Eco Farm in Co. Tipperary. The next deadline for funding applications is at the end of April.

  • Join VSI's mailing list for EVS and long-term volunteering to hear the latest updates – email Hilary to subscribe
  • If you have any questions about EVS or long-term volunteering contact 
EVS project database

Medium and Long Term Volunteering Vacancies January 2015
The January 2015 SCI Long Term Volunteering vacancy list contains over 60 projects from all over the world. In Africa, Ivory Coast are seeking volunteers to help out on a range of social and educational projects. In Asia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Japan volunteers are needed for environmental and social projects. In Europe there are a wide variety of projects in Great Britain, Spain and Turkey. In Latin America an eco project in Brazil and an educational project in El Salvador seek volunteers. In the USA volunteers are needed for a wide range of community and environmental projects. The majority of projects are open to all volunteers.

More details about long-term volunteering
International Volunteer Projects (short term)
There are currently 180+ projects on our short term project database which need volunteers. In early March we expect 700+ projects to be uploaded. Here are some projects which need volunteers over the coming months
  • Tanzania  A youth project on Zanzibar needs help with renovating classrooms and organising sports activities with local young people in March.
  • Switzerland helping to build an intercultural garden with the local community near Zurich in April
  • Czech Republic Volunteers needed to help on an organic farm in late May, run by the Camphill Community in a rural village.
Short term project database

Teenage Programme

Teenage Programme Kick-off Meeting 24th Jan
A core group of active volunteers and young people met at the VSI office on Saturday 24 Jan to discuss topics and priorities for the programme for the year ahead. Gender equality, Islamophobia, climate justice and youth leadership were topics that came up with lots of great ideas for the year ahead and great energy from our volunteers.

2015 Youth Exchange Ru'aa (Arabic for perception)
Based on the idea of our active young members, we plan to run a youth exchange project in July on the theme of media representations of Islam and members of Muslim communities. The project will foster intercultural tolerance and create responses to these stereotypes through multimedia. The Irish group will be joined by groups from Macedonia, France and Spain who will all represent Muslim and non-Muslim communities in their countries.

NYCI Youth Arts Winter School and No Hate Speech Campaign
An active member of the Teenage Programme will take part in a 2-day documentary making training in the NYCI Youth Arts Winter School after receiving a Bursary through the No Hate Speech Ireland campaign. More about the campaign

Other VSI News

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
Do you like VSI? Please support us and get the word out there about hundreds of our volunteer projects helping people and communities around the world by following us on facebook and twitter and liking, sharing and retweeting our posts.

Hear about new opportunities first: We post our latest volunteering, seminar and training opportunities on facebook and twitter, so in addition to supporting us by following us you will be amongst the first to hear about our new opportunities.

50 years a growing VSI 1965-2015
We are still seeking some volunteers for the 50 years of VSI online Project highlighted in last month's bulletin. The volunteer team are exploring the VSI archives, reconnecting with past members and documenting the major episodes in VSI’s history. Contact Tom Ryder at VSI for more details

Are you currently a member of VSI? 
By renewing your membership you will support VSI to promote peace and social justice. It's only 15/30 euro per year to join – a bargain for that warm fuzzy feeling you'll get knowing that you're helping others around the world! In 2014 over 300 volunteers went abroad or came to Ireland with VSI - thanks to our supportive members.Membership details can be found here

VSI staff changes
Goodbye to Jenni: We have been very fortunate to have had Jenni Kemppainen from Finland as our EVS volunteer for the past year. Jenni has contributed a huge amount to VSI throughout 2014 by travelling the bye roads of many counties (often by bike) in visiting volunteer projects and meeting volunteers from all over the world. She will travel back to Finland in mid-February to take up further studies. We wish her well in the next part of her life and thank her for her great contribution to VSI or as they say in Finnish – Kiitos!
Welcome to Masha: We welcome Maria Buldakova from Russia as our new EVS volunteer. Masha (as she is known) has joined the team at VSI this week, she will be responsible for volunteer placements, support for projects in Ireland and assisting with preparation and training of volunteers. Masha has joined in several volunteer projects in Russia, France and Iceland. She is a graduate of the University of St. Petersburg. Ta failte romhat Masha!!

Voluntary Service International (VSI) is the Irish branch of Service Civil International, a worldwide peace movement that began in 1920. We work to promote peace, social justice, sustainable development and intercultural understanding through volunteering abroad and in Ireland.
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