VM2 presented at Istanbul event
On 24th Sept. 2008 in Istanbul, Turkey an international conference dedicated to European projects was held. The projects are in the sphere of support for people with disabilities and professionals working with them. The event was organised by Business Consultancy Development centre “BCD” Turkey in cooperation with several organisations – partners in different European initiatives implemented under the Life-long learning programme of the EC.
The main goal of the conference was to share experience and good practice within four European projects: “Validation of mentoring2”, “Empowerment Through Study, Training Enabling Education and Mentoring” (ESTEEM), “Quality and Accessible Training 2” (QATRAIN 2) and ETTAD. In this relation, panel sessions dedicated to different themes were organised:
- support for people with disabilities through mentoring programmes;
- accessible training for people with disabilities;
- training for low-qualified professionals in social work;
Lecturers on the themes were the coordinators of the four European projects. They shared experience and demonstrated the products of the four initiatives. The focus of Petya Grudeva’s presentation from Marie Curie Association was put on the European Social Employers Network uniting organisations form Poland, Bulgaria, UK, Belgium, Greece and Slovenia. She gave additional information on the development of the mentoring programmes and the impact that they have on the work-readiness of the mentees.
Kostas Kotsis from the University of Ioanina demonstrated the resources and the innovative methods developed within QATRAIN 2 project. They are designed for teachers and trainers aiming accessible training for their students with disabilities. The theme of the presentation of Dr. Val Chapman form the University of Worcester, UK was similar. She presented the experience of her educational institution in the development of accessible educational programmes and adapted teaching for people with learning difficulties. Another lecturer was Dr. Charles Pace form the University in Malta. He pointed out the results of ESTEEM project, emphasizing on the need of quality in the preparation of professionals working in the social sphere.
In the following discussion the idea of creation of Thematic Network linking together the four projects emerged. It will facilitate the successful mainstreaming of the results and increase of the impact amongst target groups.
Guests at the conference were representatives of NGOs from Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria, teachers and trainers in higher education, consultancy companies and people with disabilities. The event was visited also by a representative of the Turkish National agency “Leonardo da Vinci”, running the Lifelong learning programme in Turkey. He warmly greeted the participants and gave some advice in good and effective partnerships establishment.
The conference was closed with a traditional Turkish dinner, where the participants had the chance to continue the conversations in an informal atmosphere.
The project Validating Mentoring 2 to hold its third meeting in Istanbul, Turkey on 22 and 23 September 2008.
The project Validating Mentoring 2 will hold its third meeting in Istanbul, Turkey on 22 and 23 September 2008, hosted by Bolu Research and Guidance Centre, one of the six project partners.
Do you wish to participate in a prestigious European Project?
As part of promoting the project and attracting the interest of potential mentors in Herefordshire & Worcestershire (H&W), the local Chamber of Commerce published an article "Do you wish to participate in a prestigious European Project?". The article set out in a "Frequently Asked Questions" format and gained full page coverage in the H&W Chamber’s Newsletter, ‘New Direction, Issue 44, July/August 2008, Page 15. The newsletter has a circulation of 8,000 copies and can be found on www.hwchamber.co.uk.
On 15 July 2008, a news release and accompanying download concerning the project was included on the website of Community First (an umbrella organisation that serves voluntary sector providers in Herefordshire & Worcestershire). Community First has a membership in excess of 2,000. For further information, see www.comfirst.org.uk.
Through a range of promotional activities the project based in the University of Worcester, has attracted 20 expressions of interest from potential mentors from a range of public and private organisations.
In the early stages of the project and as an interim measure, we produced a promotional leaflet for local distribution through a range of organisations in Herefordshire & Worcestershire for a range of range of events and occasions.
VM2 leaflet (pdf)
A number of local meetings with small groups and individuals in the public, private, community and voluntary sectors have taken place and will continue to do so concerning (i) awareness raising and promotion of the project, and (ii) the possible recruitment of mentors and mentees. The nature and scope of VM2 has also been highly publicised by the Project Director, Dr Val Chapman both regionally and nationally across the Higher Education sector through seminars and training events.
Dr Chapman co-presented a session with Dr Martin Ohridski at the transnational Workability Europe Annual Conference ‘Employment Solutions through Innovation’ in San Sebastian, Spain, 20-23 May 2008 - this provided an excellent forum for raising awareness of VM2, the distribution of promotion literature and through responding to delegates’ questions and expressions of interest in a wide range of disability and employability issues.
An article concerning VM2 focused particularly on the recruitment of mentors has been submitted to the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce for inclusion in its bi-monthly publication 'New Direction', July 2008 edition. The circulation of this publication is in the region of 8,000 copies – the article will also appear on the website.
A similar article has been submitted to Community First (an umbrella organisation that serves the voluntary sector in Herefordshire & Worcestershire). The article is due to appear in the August edition of NewsLine. Its circulation is in the region of 2,000 copies.
The project Validating Mentoring 2 held its second meeting in Edinburgh, UK on 14 and 15 April 2008.
The project Validating Mentoring 2 held its second meeting in Edinburgh, UK on 14 and 15 April 2008.The main items of discussion during the first day included update presentations on the partners’ activities during the first six months of the project, learning how to set up and operate Mentoring programmes, a revision of the Code of Practice for Mentoring and investigation of the possibility of setting up a European Quality Mark in Mentoring. The second day focused on administrative and financial issues and quality management.
The next VM2 project meeting is scheduled to take place in Turkey on 22-23 September 2008, hosted by Bolu Research and Guidance Centre, one of the six project partners.
Marie Curie Association will conduct training of the personnel of Shell Bulgaria
The team of Marie Curie Association organised widespread PR campaign in order to attract companies and organisations as members of the newly-established Social Employers network. One of the companies who replied to the call was Shell Bulgaria.
On 13 February 2008 in Shell office in Sofia representatives of the team of MCA Petya Grudeva and Tanya Lazarova met Yulita Decheva and Kamela Slaveikova – Managers from Shell Bulgaria.
The aim of the visit was to present in detail the function principles of SEN, to exchange ideas and to clarify the details on Shell’s future membership. During the conversation Mrs. Decheva, HR Manager, offered MCA to elaborate and implement team training of the personnel of Shell on the theme: “How to work and communicate effectively with people with disabilities”.
The idea is to conduct a three-hour training, including case studies, role-plays and practical guidance. Thus the visit transformed from a simple introduction to a foundation of a successful future cooperation.
At the moment the team of Marie Curie Association is in a process of preparation of the training. Psychologists and authors of training materials for employers will be engaged in the training itself.
More about the advance of the case will be available soon
The good practice of “Marie Curie” Association was shared with students and employers, applicants for funding on EU funds
The good practice of “Marie Curie” Association during the work on European projects was shared within a “Master class” seminar, held on 29.01.2008. The seminar was organised by European college of Economics – Plovdiv together with “Education for democracy” Foundation. The students in the college as well as employers and representatives of non-governmental organisations had the opportunity to gain practical guidance on how to prepare proposals on European projects and how to manage them after they have been funded. A discussion was held on the theme how to maximize the effect from the products developed within the projects.
The Life-long learning programme was presented during the seminar along with other programmes and funding opportunities. Petya Grudeva from “Marie Curie” Association presented the experience of the organisation during the implementation of various projects under LLP of the European commission. The successful results provoked interest among the participants and they asked many questions for the essence of mentoring programmes and the opportunities for distance vocational training. More information about the projects of “Marie Curie” Association was given to the participants via the promotional leaflets distributed in the auditorium.
Conference “ABILITY AGAINST DISABILITY EUROPEAN PROJECTS RESULTS”
Within EU project ENEVA the International Conference “ABILITY AGAINST DISABILITY EUROPEAN PROJECTS RESULTS” was organised from T.U.C.E.P. Consortium Italy and Regione Umbria. The event was held in 31 January 2008 in Perugia, Italy. The schedule of the conference includes presentations of different EU projects tailored to VET for disabled and disadvantaged people. Marie Curie Association was presented by Mr. Andrean Lazarov who explains the main activities of the organisation and successful experience in the EU projects. A great interest provoked the presentation of two successful projects – “Virtual Incubator for Prequalification into Resource Tutors for disabled people” and “Validation of Mentoring”. The participants of the conference asked questions about sustainability of the project results and about future opportunities for mainstreaming of them in other European countries or different target groups as well. All of them also received a specific folder with projects leaflets and other promotional materials describing the activities of Marie Curie Association. Special guest invited for the event was Maria Prodi – Assessore alla Politiche Attive del Lavoro, Pari Opportunita e Formazione Regione dell’ Umberia and Maria Sol Dominguez Parrado – European Commision, Direction “Education and Culture” Transversal Programmes and other experts in the field of VET as well as policy makers.