EVS in Siska
We would like to offer you EVS volunteer´s position in forest kindergarten Siska in Brno, Czech Republic. If you are enjoying outdoor activities and want to learn something about pre-school pedagogy check the description of SISKA project and contact us via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
We host 2 EVS volunteers in our forest kindergarten, because we believe that we (and especially children) can learn a lot from each other. We can offer to the volunteers the background of our community and share with them the idea of living in touch with nature. We are trying to build up the space for meetings, common activities, enviromental education and civic initiatives. We believe that there is a space to support the volunteer to take part of the initiative and discuover something new about themselves and how can they influence their environment. There are several Czech volunteers cooperating with our association on different activites (forest kindergarten, enviromental workshops, gardening…) EVS volunteer can cooperate with. On the other hand we know that close contact with someone from different country opens the mind of the children and broaden their horizons. We want them (as well as our Czech volunteers and community of parents and friends) to meet other cultures and gain experience from this exchange. Volunteers can bring another point of view, their own ideas and skills into our activities (e.g. do with kids their favourite sports or hobbies). Invite new people for our events and if interested organize their own activities in our garden.
Siska has been hosting already 4 EVS from different countries. We cooperate with the coordinating organization (Luzanky – Centre of Leisure Time) so „our“ volunteer is also part of their EVS team. We believe that with the support of Luzanky we can offer to the volunteers interesting learning opportunities and safe background.
Description of the organisation
Lesni klub Siska, z.s. is non profit non governmental association, established in 2012. Our main aims are supporting active and responsible parenthood and education of children, supporting families and working parents, running forest kindergarten, building space for common activities and public events, informing about forest kindergartens and enviromental education.
Our main activites are:
- forest kindegarten – opened daily 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. from Monday till Friday during school year (1st September – 30th June), there are 15 – 17 children aged 3 – 6;
- activites for children and youth – regular afternoon courses for children during school year;
- public events (festival with games) for children and their parents few times a year – one afternoon during the weekend;
- educational and experience events for public (mainly adults or families), enviromental education – workshops and courses cca 1 afternoon during the weekend monthly;
- 3-4 summer holiday camps for kids (daily 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. from Monday till Friday), cca 20 children aged 3 – 6;
The association consists of cca 20 – 30 members – parents of children visiting the kindergarten, teachers,co-workers and volunteers. The staff consists of 5 teachers, 2-3 workers that alternate in helping during the lunch time and few volunteers that help with different tasks and also with adminitration.
Two teachers are emploeyd as part-time employees (17 hours per week), the chairwoman of the association has a full-time employment contract. The other teachers and workers work on the basis of different employment agreement and the other staff works as volunteers.
Brno is with about 400 000 inhabitants the second largest city in the Czech Republic. There are five universities and thanks to the high number of students (almost 100 000) the culture life is very various here. There are always a lot of possibilities to visit exhibitions, to see concerts, theater, music, to do different kinds of sports, visit pubs and restaurants etc. More information about Brno you can find for example here: www.brno.cz or brnonow.com
Siska, o.s. is located in the garden at one of the residental parts of Brno, Kohoutovice. Kouhoutovice is safe and popular among the inhabitants because of the small distance from the nature and good connection to the city center (15 minutes by the public transport). Our garden is in hilly terrain next to the forest. There is a Mongolic Ger, kitchen and longdrop.
The main activity of Siska is running the forest kindergarten during the school year and organizing camps during summer holidays (when kindergarten is closed).
A forest kindergarten is a type of preschool education for children between the ages of three and six that is held almost exclusively outdoors. Whatever the weather, children are encouraged to play, explore and learn in a forest or garden. The adult supervision is meant to assist rather than lead. The kindergarten is held outdoors in all seasons and under most weather conditions, although it is moved indoors in extreme weather, for example if the temperature is below −10 °C, or during storms. Forest kindergarten is composed of a group of 15 to 17 children and at least two staff (+ volunteer). There will always be one person whose role is to help volunteer with the process of integration, answers their questions, explains them how the kindergarten works and who give them support when needed. There are also local volunteers helping with programme and cooking etc.
Volunteer will live in rented single room, they may share the flat with other EVS volunteers. Volunteer will be provided by card for Brno public transport to travel from flat to work and around the city. There is a good public transport in Brno and good connection to other places in Czech Republic and abroad (European capitals Prague, Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava are nearby).
Volunteer will be in touch both with hosting (HO) and coordination (CO) organization. CO is responsible for overall evaluation of volunteer´s activity and organizes for volunteers Czech language course and regular meetings with the project coordinator in Luzanky where also the volunteers working in other HO take part. In this meetings we manage all the things connected to the project, learning process, evaluation, housing and other practical things and problems when needed. During their stay the volunteers coordinated by Luzanky will work on several tasks together.
Volunteer can count on coordinator of HO – a member of staff ready to help them with the integration process in the working place. Volunteer is meeting the coordinator also separately – every week in Siska. Coordinator of CO is also visiting the meetings of volunteer and their colleagues from time to time.
Volunteer will be also in touch with our Czech volunteers and local community – not just families of the kids from kindergarten are visiting our garden, but also people living nearby and visitors of our public events opedenned for everyone. The community meets mainly during the week (while comming with the children in the morning and picking them up in the afternoon), during numerous festivities and working days (appr.twice a month), Wednesday and weekend trips (once a month). The community is quite open and consists not only of the families (parents, relatives etc.), but also of volunteers, supporter and lectors.
The association activities and projects are still in progress. Some of the events take firm place in the year schedule (as trips, working days, festivals) and in addition to this Siska organises various short-term projects – e.g. this year open workshop of permaculture etc.
Volunteer gets monthly money for the food which they take care themselves about. They can order the lunch we buy or cook for children, make their meals at home or at work (there is simply equipped kitchen in the kindergarten) or go to the restaurant.
We keep animals in the garden of Siska.
Proposed activities for EVS volunteers:
• Volunteer will experience the pedagogical work in our forest kindegarten and get known the methodology (drawing inspiration also from Outdoor education, Enviromental education, Montessori Education, Waldorf education, Woodcraft etc.)
• Permaculture and sustainbility – we put stress on ways of reducing negative human impact. Volunteer will be in touch with permaculture, green building, sustainable agriculture and have opportunity to take part in workshops we organize for public on these topics.
• They will gain practical skills according to their interest and needs – sports, handicraft, arts, playing musical instruments, gardening…
• Digital competencies – volunteer will take photos, make the video, prepare the leaflets and posters, social networks campaign…
• Project management – preparing the project on their own or together with volunteers from Lužánky, they will be supported to plan, organize and evaluate their own events and projects.
• Language skills – volunteer will gain Czech language course, use English especially at the beginning and may use in their own language while working with kids (and teach them)
• Communication and culture – volunteer will be in touch with people of different age, social and cultural background.
Role of the volunteer
Volunteer in Siska will be working mainly as assistant of pedagogues (assist during common activities, accompany with them children in the forest, assist in regular courses for kids (music, arts, sports, handicraft etc.) according to their interest, during occasional events or summer camps). Volunteer will be also helping children while putting on, dining etc. and may be asked to help with practical tasks connected with the run of kindegarten – cooking, washing the dishes, cleaning and gardening. Volunteer will be supported to bring their ideas and organize their own activities for children.
The working time is 35 hours weekly including the meetings, Czech language course and time for personal project (5 hours). Volunteer will have regular shedule.
Activities in Siska:
Morning programme in kindergarten consists of morning circle, common activity, snack, walk and games in forest. After the lunch are children having a rest in ger, listen to the story or chat. Afternoons are the courses – everyday there is different course: music, painting, drama, sports, handicraft… – volunteer can choose which of them they prefer.
Volunteer can also offer the activities to the children according to their abilities and interests. This changes during holiday seasons when we organize camps for children (and discuss with volunteer their participation specifically) .
Activities in Luzanky:
Meetings with coordinator of CO and other volunteers, Czech languague course, common activities of volunteers – even though every volunteer works in different place than the others, every cooperation between them and making of the common projects is welcome. Volunteer can visit some of the courses (circus, handicraft, arts etc.) or activities organized by Luzanky according to their interest.
Volunteer has 5 hours weekly for developing their personal project. At the beginning of the activity they are working 5 hours a week together with the coordinator and volunteers from Luzanky on tasks connected with their integration and presentation of their presence in Brno. Common trainings organized by Siska or Luzanky outside Brno are possible. After 6 months volunteer can use this 5 hours weekly to prepare and realize their own project.
Volunteer have two consecutive days off per week and 2 days of holiday per month for the duration of the project. The activities take place mainly in Brno, our volunteers can take part also in trips, camps etc. in other places. While working occasionally during the weekends, volunteer takes days off during the week..
Example of the schedule of the volunteer:
Monday: 8:00 – 14:00 assisting to pedagogue in morning programme (Siska)
16:00 – 18:00 meeting with the pedagogues of Siska once a month (Siska)
Tuesday: 9:00 – 10:30 meeting with coordinator and volunteers (Luzanky)
10:30 – 11:30 Czech language course (Luzanky)
Wednesday: 8:00 – 14:00 assisting to pedagogue in morning programme (Siska)
Thursday: 10:30 – 11:30 Czech language course (Luzanky)
12:30 – 16:00 assisting to pedagogue in afternoon course (Siska)
Friday: 8:00 – 14:00 assisting to pedagogue in morning programme (Siska)
14:00 – 15:00 helping with cleaning (Siska)
15:00 – 16:00 meeting with coordinator of HO (Siska)
25 hours weekly assistance to pedagogue and meetings in Siska
3 hours of Czech language course (2 hours of classes and 1 hour homework)
1,5 hour meeting with coordinator of CO
5 hours weekly for volunteer´s own project or activities with other volunteers
Volunteer profiles and recruitment process:
We are looking for volunteer who is motivated to work with children outdoors, in touch with nature and natural conditions. Sometimes it may be difficult to stay outside when the weather is not good. Please be aware that because of the conditios (activities in garden and forest, presence of animals in kindergarten) the project is not suitable for people with allergies. Volunteer´s personal experience with outdoor activities, scouting, woodcraft etc is welcome. We will appreciate active volunteer willing to propose their own ideas and projects. This interest and motivation to work particularly in our project is the most important for us regardless the nationality, gender, language knowledge or personal skills.
We will be choosing our volunteers according to their CV and motivation letter connected to our project, selected candidates will be interviewed by skype. We appreciate cooperation with volunteer´s sending organization from the very beginning of the selection process and preparation of the volunteer. We are open to all possible partners.
Risk prevention, protection and safety:
Volunteer will be provided detailed info kit about the working conditions and neccessary equipment (outdoor shoes, clothes etc.) in advance. The volunteer´s involvement into outdoor activities will agreed according to their condition and we will make sure that volunteer feels comfortable regularly.
Volunteer will be in regular contact with the mentor – a person out of the association helping them with the integration in the city and the local community.
As we are organization working with children, we have to respect a lot of rules concerning work safety, hygiene rules or responsibility-taking at work. At work, all the working rules concerning risk prevention will be presented to the volunteer by their tutor. The important phone numbers and contact persons in case of health or other problem will be given to the volunteer. Volunteer will not stay with children on their own, there is always responsible person present. Volunteer can count on methodical help provided by coordinator of HO and experience of pedagogues of Siska (there are educated teachers in the team and we cooperate with extern psychologist).
In case of crisis we can count on experts from Luzanky´s associated help line (professional psychologues).
In case of any conflict volunteer can contact three different persons according to his or her needs: The tutor, project coordinator or mentor. By this we try to eliminate the situation that there is no person out of the conflict who can intervene and help with looking for the solution.
We are not hosting volunteers under 18.