Voluntary Service of Armenia - Republican Headquarters of Student Brigades (HUJ) was founded in 1965 and is a registered Non-Profit Non-Governmental Organisation registered in Armenia. HUJ is a member of the Coordinating Committee of International Voluntary Service (CCIVS) at UNESCO and the Alliance of European Voluntary Service Organisations.
The main activities run by HUJ are for and with volunteers, mainly the young people. The regular activities of our organisation include exchange of volunteers with different organisations, opening of international workcamps in Armenia, preparation and sending volunteers to different trainings and seminars, as well as ESC and other long-term projects. The target group of organisation are young people willing to be volunteers in various partner institutions of HUJ such as orphanages, rehabilitation centres, nursing homes, hospitals, children’s health centres, educational institutions, botanical gardens and various ecological organisations, etc. The essential aims of the organisation are to raise the social competences and employability of the youth by organising activities for national and foreign volunteers in various programs in Armenia (workcamps, training courses, medium and long-term projects) as well as facilitating the participation of local and national volunteers in similar projects abroad; to take care of orphans, children with special needs and socially indigent people by proposing activities to and for them and making them more visible for local, national and international communities. HUJ started working with ESC volunteers already in 1997 and has a vast experience in the field. Being a specialised voluntary service organisation, the variety and quality of the projects of HUJ (both as a partner and as a coordinator) are of an utter importance and it is one of the main goals of our organisation. Our team consists of 8 employees, which is amended by a group of local volunteers during a big projects’ preparation. There are separate designated coordinators for outgoing and incoming volunteers. The incoming ESC volunteers will work with all of us and during the whole period of the Service, the volunteer will integrate in HUJ-Team. The majority of our employees knows English (some also speak French) so the language will not be obstacle for communication with the staff during the first time. The volunteer will have a specifically named coordinator-supervisor that he/she can always come to. He has good experience of working with volunteers and this will have a good impact on the volunteer's learning process. He is one of old volunteers of our organisation who participated in the international and local volunteering camps and has been an ESC Support Person at HUJ since 2012. Besides the work with the volunteers directly, the coordinator is also actively involved in other projects of Erasmus+: he has twice participated in annual event for ESC coordinators and other training courses in Armenia and abroad, which enriched his competences in this field. Besides the supervisor, all members of our team will support ESC volunteer and they will be ready to share their experience with him/her. The whole team of HUJ will use their experience and competence for the fruitful implementation of the volunteers' service and their learning agenda. The whole team of HUJ will use their experience and competence for the fruitful implementation of the volunteers' service and their learning agenda.
The volunteer will work 5 days per week and will have weekends off. The standard proposed working hours will be 10:00-18:00 in HUJ office, the same as the hours of the staff. Twice a week the volunteer will attend Armenian language lessons in a Language Centre situated next to HUJ with an experienced tutor of Armenian as Foreign Language. In addition to the lessons, the volunteer will learn the language by the method of trial and error: s/he will be able to use his/her acquired knowledge in practice and improve by doing so. During his/her Service, the volunteer will work with people who have a great experience of working with youth from different backgrounds and will become a full member of our team. At the end of ESC we expect the volunteer to have a good capacity of working with young people. The volunteer will gain experience in youth projects management on local, national and international levels, will get to know what International Voluntary Movement is and how its different activities, namely international voluntary workcamps are organised. He/she will develop sense of responsibility and leadership; will acquire knowledge of group dynamics and social awareness. The proposed tasks and activities for the volunteer are as follows (but are not limited to this list): 1) Assistance in HUJ activities and promotion of volunteering lifestyle. Support and active participation in conferences, meetings, training courses, seminars and other similar events organised by HUJ: a. To prepare and disseminate information posters, to hold presentations in universities, high schools, as well as in fairs and promotion events in order to present activities of HUJ and to increase young people's awareness about volunteering lifestyle and opportunities; b. To lead workshops and talks in schools with a staff member of HUJ on different topics, such as group dynamics, conflicts resolution, intercultural dialogue and many others according to the interest and field of expertise of the volunteer; c. To develop content for our Facebook page and Web site and give ideas on social coverage where the volunteer will be able to use and spread their creative ideas; d. Depending of volunteer`s capacities, he/she may make a short film and/or a presentation about the activities of the organisation, EVS as a concept or any neighbouring topic. 2) Assistance in organization of international voluntary workcamps. e. -To give support in the preparation of the trainings of camp leaders and local volunteers; f. -To give support in the preparation of the activities of the workcamp: preparation of material, schedule and other; g. -According to volunteer interest and capacity, s/he can also co-animate one of international workcamps. To allow a solid monitoring, the volunteer will have regular meetings with supervisor reserved to overview the plans for the day/week and to troubleshoot ideas. Additionally, s/he will often meet with the mentor and discuss the current situation within the service. In the course of his project the volunteer will acquire: • Skills of working for Non-Profits • Organizational skills by assisting to the organization of different events, meetings, workshops, discussion clubs, presentation international camps, seminars, trainings, • Awareness of intercultural dialogue, interactive communication, cultural and religious tolerance • Copywriting skills for online and "offline" media; • Skills of working in a team and in multicultural environment. • Improved sense of responsibility and autonomy gained throughout the Service. To enhance the acquisition of skills and competences, the team will use a range of methods of non-formal education as well as will allow the volunteer the maximum amount of independence, whilst having also clear guidance and supervision. We believe that the acquisitions of the volunteer will be of a valuable asset in his/her further professional and educational path.