Harmonious Pathways group EVS project

Eolas Soiléir hosted a two week short term Group Erasmus+ EVS project for 10 young people from five countries, Austria, Spain, Montserrat, Romania, & Czech Republic.

We wanted to create a place of creativity, nature, imagination, play and beauty for everyone!

 The group EVS took place from July 5th to the 19th 2014.

The venue was our developing training centre in Clonmines, Co. Wexford, a rural location in the south of Ireland.

 Project description: The volunteers helped create an outdoor space in our developing learning /permaculture centre.

Through guidance, non-formal learning methods and creativity the volunteers along with members of Eolas Soiléir took part in a 2 week project to transform a small piece of land into a multi-purpose common area.

We transformed this area into a space where groups and individuals who visit our centre can make use of an outdoor area that has multi-functional uses.

This space includes: a reflection area, a break-out space for groups to use, a zen meditation area, an art installation, a fire pit, a pond, a rockery and a shelter. These are all part of nature and we hope will promote creativity and an appreciation of the outdoors for the group who will use the centre.   This project was about sustainability therefore we used reclaimed materials where possible.

Permaculture: As our organisation promotes sustainability and permaculture we promoted the use of permaculture principals within this project. We are linked up with a past pupil of the Permaculture course in Kinsale College of further education to advise and assist us in the planning and implementation of this project. Geraldine stayed with us for the two weeks and gave some inputs on permaculture principles as well helping us on the design and creation of the area.

Heritage: As this area has many heritage features we visited them to gain knowledge and inspiration from them. Heritage sites included Hook lighthouse the oldest intact operational lighthouse in Europe and Tintern Abbey was one of the most powerful Cistercian foundations in the South East and other smaller ruins in the area.

Learning results: The learning was multi-fold for the whole team. Within this project we all learnt about:

Teamwork Permaculture
Sustainability Intercultural learning
Horticulture Creativity
Project management Heritage

This EVS was perfect for any young person who wanted to learn more about permaculture, horticulture, sustainability, heritage and project management. The young people worked exclusively in the outdoors – in nature and as part of the project management team. This gave the young person an opportunity to assess if they would like to study these areas, it also enhanced their CV and gave them very real transferable skills to bring to potential studies and/or jobs.

They had the opportunity to improve their English language skills.

Mentor: They had a mentor who guided them in their learning and Youthpass.

The mentor also supported them on a personal level.

Youthpass: Eolas Soiléir see Youthpass as giving the young person an opportunity to assess, recognise and validate their learning and skills acquirement.

This reflective learning was a feature of the EVS project with time set aside every day for the young people to reflect and assess their learning in a structured environment.

Benefits: The benefits to the young person was their increased mobility within EU, enhanced language development, intercultural learning, increased employability, appreciation of the outdoors and its positive impact on mental and physical health.