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Verein: AFS Interkulturelle Begegnungen e.V.
Projekt: Natuurpunt vzw Mechelen AFS-Nature Point Mechelen
Bewerbungsende: jährlich
Status: Stelle gestrichen
Laufzeit: ab Mitte Februar 2010 - 6 months
Sprache im Projekt: keine Angaben

Diese Stelle ist nicht mehr verfügbar!

Bewerbungsbeginn für die Abreise im Sommer eines Jahres ist immer der 1. September des Vorjahres. Bewerbungsschluss ist 30. September.
Bewerbungsbeginn für die Abreise Anfang eines Jahres ist immer der 1. März des Vorjahres. Bewerbungsschluss ist der 30. März.

To be able to work independent, interested in fysical work outside,able to live with an irregular hoursschedule, interested in workingwith long unemployed people. Background knowledge about nature is asurplus, but not a must.

AFS, the coordinating host organisation, strongly believes in theintercultural learning aspect of an EVS-experience. Therefore, thevolunteer will be living with a volunteer host family, as we believethis is the best introduction to Flemish culture and a greatopportunity to integrate in the local community. Candidates should bewilling to share in the host family's daily life (spend some free timewith them, occasionally join the family on activities outside thehouse, eat together, give a helping hand in the household... ) andshould be motivated to live with and learn about Flemish people ofdifferent ages and opinions. They should also be willing to adapt tothe local eating habits. On the other hand, we guarantee a family thatis interested to learn about your culture and background and thatrespects your values and beliefs. Living in a host family is anexcellent opportunity for both you and the family to broaden yourcultural horizons!
Candidates who are not sure this suits their profile are advised to getin touch with someone who has experience with living in a host family.If you already know you prefer to live independently, please refrainfrom applying for this project.


The Organisation:

* Natuurpunt is the biggest Flemish association for natureconservation. It counts 50.000 members. Through a network ofvolunteers, organised in 140 local deparments, Natuurpunt works at theconservation of 400 naturereserves.Each local department works around 5points.

1. Reserve activities: building of territories that are worthwile,management of territories, gathering funds, education and guiding ofvisitors, promotion, …
2. Policy activities: follow up of local policy-files.
3. Associaton activities: involve a as broad as possible public withthe activities of the association (recruitment of members, promotion,organise activities for a big public, …).
4. Nature and environnement education.
5. Naturestudy.

The activities of Natuurpunt are very much based on the working of thevolunteers. The professional framework aims at supporting the workingof the volunteers, on the level of education and content and on thepractical level (management of the territories).
In the valley of the Dijle, Natuurpunt has a chain of nature areas.These nature areas, in the approximate surrounding of the cityMechelen, have a nature conservation function, but also a veryimportant social and educative function. Yearly many thousands ofpeople are coming to wander and cycle in these areas, hondreds ofguided walks are organised, etc. To sustain these social and educativefunction of the reserves, the volunteers of Natuurpunt realised a fewyears ago a visitors center. This center is decorated on a creative wayto give the visitors an idea of the rich nature in the valley of theDijle.
In the valley of the Dijle the reserve farm of Natuurpunt is situated.Yearly a 300 galloway-cows stay here during the winter. From springtill autumn they are transported to a 35 reserves spread over Flanders,to perform the manegement of the grazing. All the work on this farm,and the management of the reserves in the valley of the Dijle, is doneby a team of a 10 long unemployed people. They are supported by twoteamleaders.
The working of Natuurpunt in the valley of the Dijle is inspired by thedepartment Beneden-Dijle. This is one of the most active departments ofNatuurpunt. They organise several times a year big publichappeningsaround nature.

* Flanders is the northern part of Belgium. It counts 5 provinces. Ithas about 6 miljon inhabitants. So this region is one of the mostpopulated regions of Europe. Consequently the nature areas are all verylittle (an area of 100 ha is in Flanders already a big nature area).
This project is situated in Mechelen. Mechelen is in the center ofFlanders, between the big cities Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent and Leuven.Although these region is very populated and has a lot of economicalactivity, you can find some very worthwile nature close to Mechelen.The valley of the Dijle form a green ribbon of about 2000 ha that endsalmost at the center of Mechelen.

* previous experience: For all volunteers we found different jobresponsibilities according their interests, talents and wishes. At thebeginning of the experience we make clear arrangements for thevolunteering period. Some of the specific tasks: data bank regardingthe cows, inventary of machinary, contacts with the executive staff atthe field, counting of the bats, digitalize maps andmanagement/administration, e-mailings to conservators and teams on thefield, …

The Project:

* An international volunteer will add an extra value to our project.
It is a stimulans for the local volunteers. The volunteers see that theproject is appreciated and known in foreign countries. They feelinternationally appreciated for their work. So an internationalvolunteer has a stimulating and motivating effect on the localvolunteers.
The international volunteer also has his/her own vision on nature andnature maintenace. This new vision can broaden the vision that isexisting and can add new dimension to this vision. The volunteer canlearn us something about nature maintenance in his/her country andhis/her culture. Also the way they deal with volunteers in his/hercountry can be very enriching.
On our hand, we truly would like to give a foreign volunteer the chanceto learn to know an other country, an other culture. It can beinteresting for him/her to learn to know how we maintain our natureoverhere and how we deal with volunteers overhere. The volunteer workstogether with the local population, so he/she can really integrate.Both parties will have the chance for intercultural learning.

* Natuurpunt is an organisation that works on nature preservation.Volunteering is an essential part of the organisation. Volunteers areactive on all levels of the organisation: locally, administrative,group working etc. Volunteers are recruited in different ways: by localgroups, via a magazine, by oral publicity. Enlarging the group withinternational volunteers will add a new dimension to the volunteersgroup. Every contribution of each volunteer is a valuable element inthe development of the organisation..
The local group organises sensibilisation activities for a large publicaround the nature reserves: walks, open doors activities, informationevents, nature protection works with schools and volunteers. The motorbehind these actions is the local office run by volunteers. Otheractivities are: recruiting new members, contacts with the press,editing of a magazine, fundraising. The nature preservation work isdone by volunteers throughout the year during working days andweekends. Since the end of 1999 a group of 10 unemployed people in asocial employment project are responsible for certain tasks:installment of fences, mowing grass. The extra support of these peopleoffers a challenge in terms of involvement and training.

* When the volunteer arrives, the volunteer and his/her mentor willlook together which tasks would be interesting for the volunteer and inwhich tasks the volunteer is interested. If the volunteer would mainlychose for administrative work, than he/she will be welcomed at thenational secretary. If the volunteer would prefer to work at the field,than he/she will be welcomed by the executive staff.
1. The volunteer can work in the visitorcenter. The work will remain the same during all seasons.
-organising activities: organising educative wanderings for schools, excursions, counting waterbirds, …
-repairment, conservation and actualisation of the exhibition place, working together at an exhibition
2. The volunteer can also work in the reserve farm. The volunteer willwork together with the team in this farm. The work will slightly varyaccording to the season:
-feed the cows
-help to transport the cows to the reserve
-place and repair fences
-conserve the material
3. The volunteer can also choose to work at the office. At the office apersonal project will be developed for and by the volunteer. Examplesof a personal project: data bank regarding the cows, inventary ofmachinary, contacts with the executive staff at the field, counting ofthe bats, digitalize maps and management/administration, e-mailings toconservators and teams on the field, … The work will remain the sameduring all seasons.

The volunteer will also be able to follow courses of Natuurpunt, forexample about the theme waterbirds, mushrooms, learn to watch to birds…The volunteer will be guided and supervised. The volunteer will receivean education if this is necessary. For example if the volunteer wouldlike to feed the cows, the volunteer will be educated for doing this.

* The project can find specific tasks for the volunteer if thatvolunteer has specific talents. This is possible for about half of thetime of the normal schedule.
Working hours: average/week: 30 - 35 hours (to agree)
-Weekdays: hours: 8 - 17 h.
- Evenings: hours: 20 - 23 h (occasional and to agree with the volunteer)
-Saturday: hours: 14 - 18 h (occasional and to agree with the volunteer)
-Sunday: hours: 14 - 18 h (occasional and to agree with the volunteer)

Arrangement holidays/days off: two days a month (to agree)

Reference number: 2008-BEFL-44