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Enhanced Code of Practice available in PDF format

CoP cover UK versionYou can now download the enhanced Code of Practice (CoP) in English, Bulgarian, Dutch and Turkish. This CoP is mainly addressed to managers and developers of mentoring programmes. It will help them to critically review their systems and how they work, while also helping them to improve their quality and/or gain external recognition. It will equally be very useful to those planning new mentoring programmes, through the advice about good practice that it provides and by the links it offers to other resources. But such first-time developers are not its main target audience. The CoP is also designed for use by the staff of organisations that provide mentoring programmes. Indeed, an important principle of our approach is that as many of the staff team as possible will participate in the self-assessment process. By contributing to the process staff will bring their own knowledge and expertise and learn from their colleagues while helping to improve their own practice and the performance of the programme overall. This CoP does not address all types of programmes that sometimes are called ‘mentoring’ (see Section 4 for guidance about the nature of ‘mentoring’). It has been developed initially to meet the needs of NGO’s, small training organisations, and others sharing their approach. The term mentoring is often used, for example, to cover aspects of professional training and coaching, where formal reporting requirements may constrain freedom of choice and confidentiality. Though the CoP may have limited applicability to mentoring programmes of this kind, it should still provide some useful guidance and valuable stimulus for self-reflection. The crucial first step, as for all mentoring programmes, is to carefully consider and define the particular goals of the programme and to understand the particular requirements that such goals impose. We welcome feedback on the CoP. Please send any comments to projects AT marie-curie-bg.org.

Conference - Creativity and Innovation in Education, Training, and Employment

Entrance to the event placeWith over 50 participants, VM2's final dissemination event -the European (Valorisation) Conference entitled "Creativity and Innovation in Education, Training, and Employment"- which took place on 25 September, 2009 at POLIS, Rue du Trône 98, in Brussels, Belgium was a success. Organised with the financial support of the EC Leonardo da Vinci programme, the event brought together various European stakeholders in the field of disability, employment and education.

Below you will find the agenda, together with the presentations.

Dissemination material at event8:00am– 9:00am Registration
9:00am - 9:10am Welcome by MCA/PhoenixKM
9:10am – 10:20am Workshop session 1 "Accessible e-Learning for People with Disabilities"
- Quality and Accessible Training II Project (9:10am – 9:30am) by Prof. Kostas Kotsis, University of Ioannina, Greece (pdf of presentation)
- E-Access II Project (9:30am – 9:50am) PhoenixKm, Belgium (pdf of presentation)
- ETTAD Project (9:50am – 10:10am) by Dr. Val Chapman, UW – UK (pdf of presentation)
- Educational Platform for Physically Disabled People Project (10:10am – 10:20am) by Vaska Sabeva, MCA, Bulgaria (pdf of presentation)
- Discussion / Questions

10:20am – 10:50am Coffee break

People attending the event10:50am – 13:00pm Workshop session 2 "New Opportunities for Rising of Job Readiness for People with Disabilities"
- GOAL.NET Project (10:50am–11:10am) by Jacqui Lewis, GhI-UK (pdf of presentation)
- Validating Mentoring 2 Project (11:10am – 11:30am) by Maria Goranova-Valkova, MCA-Bulgaria and David French, PhoenixKM, Belgium (pdf of presentation)
- Social Employers Network: Common European Portal (11:30am – 11:50am) by Petya Grudeva, MCA-Bulgaria (pdf of presentation)
- Ageing workforce project (11:50am -12:10pm) by Mr. Lieven Eeckelaert, Prevent, Belgium (pdf of presentation)
- ESTEEM Project (12:10pm – 12:30pm) by Dr. George Taylor, MU-UK
- KEYCOMKIT Project (12:30pm – 12:40pm) by Andrean Lazarov, MCA, Bulgaria (pdf of presentation)
- ENEVA Project European Portal Linking Projects in the Field of Disabilities (12:40pm – 13:00pm) by Andrean Lazarov, MCA, Bulgaria (pdf of presentation)
- Discussion / Questions

13:00pm – 13:10pm Closing of the event

13:10pm – 14:30pm Lunch and continuation of networking

Another Conference from Creativity and Innovative Solutions Cycle Was Held on 11 September in Sofia

Marie Curie Association held its conference entitled “Creativity and Innovative Solutions in Training of People with Disabilities” on 11 September 2009 in Sofia city. Over 80 participants came in Sofia Press conference hall and the representatives of Marie Curie Association acquainted them with different methods of accessible training. The results of 8 international projects funded by the Lifelong Learning Programme were presented. The conference was opened by Mariya Goranova-Valkova, an executive director of the association organizing the event. She greeted the participants linking the theme of the present conference and the European Year of Creativity and Innovation which 2009 is according to the calendar of the European Commission. Afterwards presentations with focus on the products and the results of the 8 projects were delivered.
Audience overviewQuality Assurance and Accessible Training 2 (QATRAIN2) and Enabling Teachers and Trainers to Improve Accessibility of Adult Education (ETTAD) were the first presented projects. This was followed by the presentation of Supporting Vocational Education and Training of Disadvantaged User Community (E-Access II project). The series of presentations about accessible e-learning was completed by Educational Platform for People with Physical Disabilities (EPDP project).
The participants could also see the serious educational games for adults with disabilities developed within Game on Accessible Learning Programme (GOAL.NET project).
Audience overviewMentoring schemes as a tool for informal learning and especially Validating Mentoring 2 (VM2) project was also among the presented projects. The results of Key Competencies Kit for Facing Lifelong Learning were also showed in the second part of the conference. The following presentation was about the possibilities and functionalities of the common European portal combining the results of initiatives with focus on people with disabilities. This portal is one of the products of ENEVA project and is respectively named after it.
Audience overviewThe last presentation in the Agenda was delivered by M-r Lachezar Afrikanov, a representative of Human Resource Development Center. He explained about the wide range of opportunities of LLP and he also announced the forthcoming open calls for project proposals. The conference was closed with a buffet where the participants could exchange information in informal environment. The participants could get some information about the various European projects through both the oral presentations and the attractive promotional materials exposed on a special stand in the lounge of the conference hall. All presentations from the event on 11 September could be found on the web page of Marie Curie Association: www.marie-curie-bg.org. As it was already mentioned this was the second from a series of conferences organized by Marie Curie Association. The next is international one and will be held on 25 September in Brussels. This cycle will be closed by a regional seminar on 9 October in the town of Smolyan.

European (Valorisation) Conference: Creativity and Innovation in Education, Training, and Employment

We would like to kindly invite you to the European (Valorisation) Conference entitled "Creativity and Innovation in Education, Training, and Employment" on 25 September, 2009. The conference will take place at POLIS, Rue du Trône 98, in Brussels, Belgium and is easily reachable via the metro (station "Troon / Trône"). The conference is organised with the financial support of the EC Leonardo da Vinci programme.

The agenda is as following:

8:00am– 9:00am Registration (Coffee/Tea will be offered during the registration)

9:00am - 9:10am Welcome by Maria Goranova-Valkova, Marie Curie Association, Bulgaria

9:10am – 10:20am Workshop session 1 "Accessible e-Learning for People with Disabilities" (Moderator: Maria Goranova-Valkova)
- Quality and Accessible Training II Project (9:10am – 9:30am) by Prof. Kostas Kotsis, University of Ioannina, Greece
- E-Access II Project (9:30am – 9:50am) PhoenixKm, Belgium
- ETTAD Project (9:50am – 10:10am) by Dr. Val Chapman, UW – UK
- Educational Platform for Physically Disabled People Project (10:10am – 10:20am) by Vaska Sabeva, MCA, Bulgaria
- Discussion / Questions

10:20am – 10:50am Coffee break

10:50am – 13:00pm Workshop session 2 "New Opportunities for Rising of Job Readiness for People with Disabilities" (Moderator: Maria Goranova-Valkova)
- GOAL.NET Project (10:50am–11:10am) by Prof. David Brown, NTU-UK
- Validating Mentoring 2 Project (11:10am – 11:30am) by Maria Goranova-Valkova, MCA-Bulgaria and David French, PhoenixKM, Belgium
- Social Employers Network: Common European Portal (11:30am – 11:50am) by Petya Grudeva, MCA-Bulgaria
- Ageing workforce project (11:50am -12:10pm) by Mr. Lieven Eeckelaert, Prevent, Belgium
- ESTEEM Project (12:10pm – 12:30pm) by Dr. George Taylor, MU-UK
- KEYCOMKIT Project (12:30pm – 12:40pm) by Andrean Lazarov, MCA, Bulgaria
- ENEVA Project European Portal Linking Projects in the Field of Disabilities (12:40pm – 13:00pm) by Andrean Lazarov, MCA, Bulgaria
- Discussion / Questions

13:00pm – 13:10pm Closing of the event

13:10pm – 14:30pm Lunch and continuation of networking.

The working language of the User Forum will be English.

The venue setting caters for wheelchair users. Whilst some assistance is available the organizers recommend talking to us about your needs and where possible bringing along additional assistance for your own specific needs.

Attendance is free, but because places are limited, please register before 4 September 2009. Registration is therefore necessary. You can do so via http://www.phoenixkm.eu/registration.php.

Looking forward to welcome you!

Remploy DVD addressing VM2

Remploy (UK) has given its permission for this DVD to be posted on the VM2 website. VM2 Project wishes to express its appreciation to the company for this agreement.
The DVD serves as a source of information concerning the work developed by the project team at the University of Worcester. Copyright for this DVD remains with Remploy (UK)

PhoenixKM dedicated workshop at Vitality in Organisations - Fit Until the Finish, ECLO's 16th International Conference

PhoenixKm presented at ECLO's 16th International Conference on 18-19 June 2009 in 's Hertogenbosch. The session entitled "Corporate Social Responsibility Towards the Disadvantaged: Mentoring as a Way to Human Success" tackled the issue of employing people with disabilities, and more specifically the way mentoring can assist in this.

Validating Mentoring Promoted within Seminar called European Projects in support of People with Disabilities and Disadvantaged People

Marie Curie Association held its traditional seminar on 22nd May 2009 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. This time the seminar was devoted to the European Projects in Support of People with Disabilities and Disadvantaged People. It was visited by 70 participants among which there were people with disabilities, professionals working in the field of social services and training, representatives of local authorities and non-governmental organizations. During the event, the results of 5 international projects, partially funded by the Lifelong Learning Program, were presented.

Among them was the project Validating Mentoring 2 and great interest caused the mentoring programme held in Bulgaria and the established European Social Employers Network. During the discussion, participants shared about the challenges that face people with disabilities while looking for a job. Some of the guests told about their experience and success dealing with the prejudices of employers.

Outside the European project as a guest lecturer at the seminar took part Ms. Teodora Sindzhirlieva - Regional Representative of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities. She introduced the audience with the current programmes of the agency established both to assist people with disabilities and to finance the jobs available to them

In the concluding discussion the team of Marie Curie Association stressed the principal difference between the objectives of European and national programmes. If national programmes are designed to solve everyday problems of people with disabilities and give them access to health and social services, the European projects aim to act in the long term. They develop innovative solutions and products, seeking to permanently increase the quality of life of people with disabilities.

Some participants with disabilities also shared their experiences in seeking a job position and so the forum has become a place to exchange ideas and solutions. Plovdiv media actively publicized the seminar and the Eurocom and Channel Plovdiv televisions broadcasted some interviews in their evening informational programmes. Photographs and presentations from the seminar can be found on the website of Marie Curie Association – www.marie-curie-bg.org.

Final Meeting of Mentors and Mentees for Acquiring Certificates of Participation in the Mentoring Programme

imageimageThe mentoring programme in Bulgaria ended successfully on 31st March 2009. The last and the most pleasant step was giving the Certificates of Participation to mentors and mentees. It happened on 29th May 2009 in hotel “Park Central” in the town of Sliven, Bulgaria. All mentors and mentees were individually given certificates describing their training and acquired skills. Besides, mentees received their certificates for successfully completed course “Basic Computer Skills” also held within the framework of the project Validating Mentoring 2. The mentees and the mentors expressed their fulfillment of their joint work and shared that during the programme they learned many new things both in professional and personal aspect. Some of the mentors told that those were their first meetings with people with disabilities. At the beginning they felt unprepared but afterwards they assured themselves that their mentees with disabilities can be useful and effective employees.
imageimageThe director of the Labour Office in Sliven also attended the meeting. She told attendees about the programmes through which people with disabilities could be employed. The festive atmosphere of giving the certificates was also maintained by the participants during the cocktail where they exchanged their contacts and promised to continue to meet each other and collaborate even outside of the project. Pictures from the final meeting can be found in Gallery.

The VM2 Project Presented during the International Spring Fair

From 12th to 17th May in the fair town of Plovdiv the Spring International Plovdiv Fair is being held. Marie Curie Association presents its projects in Pavilion 6. In the Zone for Business Consultations visitors can see and receive promotional materials describing the international projects of Marie Curie Association in the field of the vocational training and human resources development. Validating Mentoring 2 is also shown through its leaflets and other dissemination materials. Great interest was risen by Social Employers Network and Mentoring programmes in support of people with disabilities and disadvantaged people.
Some of the first visitors of the stand were the Minister of Economics - Mr. Petar Dimitrov and the Director of the Fair – Mr. Georgi Gergov. If you are interested come and visit Pavilion 6, Stand 6A7.
We are waiting for you!
Plovdiv fair dissemination material at VM2 stand Plovdiv fair visitors to VM2 stand Plovdiv fair visitors to VM2 stand

The Mentoring Programme in Bulgaria Ended Successfully

The Mentoring Programme in Bulgaria started on 1st October 2008 and ended on 31st March 2009. 12 mentoring couples who worked together on the preliminary defined tasks in their action plans took part in it. The fields in which the participants were mentored were preliminary defined by themselves. One of the couples worked on acquiring of woodcarving skills and others were mentored in the field of public administration. Some of them preferred to be trained in working with children and people with disabilities. There were also mentees who were trained in working with specialized programmes in the field of accountancy and staff management.
At the end of March 2009 the mentoring programme in Bulgaria ended successfully for 11 from 12 couples. Unfortunately, three months before the end of the programme one of the mentees stopped attending the mentoring meetings due to severe health problems. Although the team working on the project hoped that she would recover soon, she couldn’t finish her participation in the programme. However, the other 11 couples implemented the preliminarily defined tasks and at the end of March they carried out their final meetings. There mentors and mentees shared their impressions and summarized what they have learned during the process. In their opinion the mentoring helped and enriched both parties. During these 6 months they mutually taught each other. Mentees developed their professional skills and improved some of their attributes. According to the participants’ opinion the period of 6 months is only enough for setting the effective beginning of a vocational training. After the end of projects like this one it is necessary the state or NGOs to find ways to continue implementing the mentoring schemes in order to support more disadvantaged people.
The positive effect of the mentoring in Bulgaria was heard not only in mentors and mentees’ words but in concrete facts – before the end of the programme three of the mentees started working in their preferred field. They say that the mentoring became the main reason for them to feel more confident and to look for opportunities for professional realization.
You will find concrete examples for mentoring couples’ work and for their thorough opinion in specially prepared materials called Case Studies. Soon they will be published on the project website. Soon you will also find news and pictures from the certification event for the mentors and the mentees in Bulgaria.

 
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