Volunteering Activities in the Netherlands (2021- 2027) coordinated by the Rock-Solid Foundation
Dear volunteers or future volunteers and Sending organizations,
We are looking forward to meeting you maybe in one of the coming years in the program of ESC 2021- 2027 and starting a new ESC Volunteering year with you, in one of the four projects coordinated by Rock Solid Foundation: De Glind, Humanitas, Norschoten and Siza or directly under Rock Solid foundation as worker in one of the family homes or as worker in the social restaurant / hostel in Lunteren. You may be one of 14-20 future volunteers coming to the Netherlands. We hope that in the year ahead you will learn not only about the Dutch culture and language, but also each other. The ESC Volunteering year will be a challenge for you to meet yourself, to meet other people, to meet the world and find out about your own culture and belief. You can be sure that it will be a life changing experience!
I am Chris van Maanen, president of the Rock-Solid Foundation and organizer of the ESC Volunteering projects described in this info pack. Our organization has years of experience in collaborating with sending and hosting organizations in the field of social care for people with mental and physical disabilities. In the Netherlands, we work with the hosting organizations Humanitas, Siza, De Glind, Norschoten and directly under Rock Solid. They have many different locations and possibilities for volunteers to get to know the Dutch social care system, such as various living groups and working places, or our own social and non-profit restaurant ran by volunteers of the organization.
During the ESC Voluntary year, volunteers will focus on learning the differences in the society regarding this work field. Next to that, they will try to motivate local youngsters as well as clients from the organizations to participate in national and international projects, such as youth exchanges and training courses. Also, they will learn how to improve the conditions in their own country, step by step, after going back home. They will be actively involved in the different activities of Rock Solid, on local and regional level. The volunteers will also attend Dutch classes for foreigners. The duration of the majority of the ESC Volunteering projects is 12 months (360 days according to the guide) and they mostly start on the 1st of September.
Next to that we organize a few short-term projects for people with disabilities including a helper. These are tailor made projects so will not be described in this info pack. Most of the general info for them is the same, but of course living conditions and working conditions will be specified to their needs.
• At Humanitas volunteers you work in the same house for the whole year, as this is easier for the clients. The different houses are located in Ede and Amersfoort. An extended description of the working places is further in the info-pack.
• At Siza volunteers are placed in one of the living groups and work with that group for one year. Some of the groups include people with heavy disabilities, so it is important that the volunteers are aware of that. An extended description of the working places is further in the info-pack.
• In De Glind volunteers will be hosted in the same village, where they will stay for the full year in the same working place. They will work in the family homes and at the school and will do all kind of practical jobs that belong to the practical work in a family home, but also will do as much as possible activities with the kids that live in the family home. An extended description of the working places is further in the info-pack.
• Under Rock solid there are different working places, a few in different organizations like family homes and a day care center (theatre and so on) for disabled people, and a few homes for elderly people with dementia.
• New under Rock Solid in 2021 will be a social restaurant with a small hostel (3 double rooms, with bunk beds). For this restaurant we need a cooking and serving staff of 4 people and a floor manager, all of them will be under professional guidance by the restaurant manager.
Lunteren, a village right in the middle of the Netherlands, will be a little bit the ”center” of the projects (where most of the volunteers will be hosted, language courses and team building activities will be organized etc.), so traveling time to work by bike, bus or train can take between 25 minutes till 1 hour and 20 minutes (if there are no delays). However, the working hours are adjusted to the traveling hours, so less travel means more working and more travel means fewer working hours, so it will be “fair” for all. In total the volunteers are active between 36 and 40 hours a week,
including the Dutch classes, travel and other mandatory activities (excluding team builders).
Volunteers can apply for all projects or only for one of them, but they cannot choose a specific working place. We will divide these together with the hosting organizations in the way we feel how is best according to your profile and the needs of the working
place, we do this after the interviews and after an assessment of the skills of the candidate and the needs of the organization. Of course, you can give a preference, but if you are open to work in any of the three organizations, your chance of being selected is bigger for sure. Be aware of the fact that only a few working places include “the working with children” part
Rock Solid Foundation has workers with solid practical experience concerning all the aspects of the project cycle in a project:
• Projectcoördinators: Chris van Maanen and Jeanine van Maanen • Overall Mentors and facilitators for all volunteers: Tim van Maanen + Cece Ristov. They will have very often contact with the volunteers and the working places, they will arrange a lot of practical things and organize most of the team building activities.
• Fixed worker in the working places who is the direct contact for the work • The contact persons in Siza in case of problems that the volunteer cannot discuss with the mentors: Filomeen Pfeiffer and Jessy Vogt.
• The contact person in Humanitas in case of problems that the volunteer cannot discuss with the mentors: Roberto Bon.
• The contact persons in de Glind in case of problems that the volunteer cannot discuss with the mentors: Elly de Jong.
• Teacher for Dutch lessons (all year long 2 hours a week)
This all-in combination with the experience and expertise will give a solid base for a good ESC Volunteering placement.
The goals for the volunteers:
• Contribute to a just society.
• Develop and discover new skills, knowledge and work experience. • Increase the ability to (learn to) live and work in groups.
• Take note of and being part of Dutch culture, society and language. • Meet other young people from different cultural, social, economic and religious backgrounds, in a respectful and open manner.
• Reflect on their own spirituality and to be open to other religions, cultures and lifestyles.
The goal for the volunteers is divided into two dimensions:
• Engage – participating in social projects, being part of a community, learning how to live together with other volunteers, with different backgrounds, beliefs and ideas, becoming actively involved in cultural exchange.
• Personal growth - getting more mature and become independent, learn how to work in a team, getting a broader understanding and perspective about
society and social work, discover and develop in themselves new qualities, skills and talents.
Profile of the volunteers and selection process:
• We aim for volunteers who are interested social work and/or people with disadvantages in general.
• One of the conditions to apply is a good knowledge of English
and good social skills because the volunteers have to work with people with mental challenges. • Another condition is a proof of good conduct, because this is obliged in Dutch youth and social care.
• The candidate can send his or her application to Chris van Maanen by mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, this should contain a CV, motivation letter and photo and preferably Facebook contact.
• The information we request is not intended to reject a candidate, but to get an idea of what the candidate's interest and abilities are and how he/she can grow as a person and what they can add to the project. In this way we can
make an assessment in which project the volunteer fits best and have an idea about the support that the volunteer will be needing throughout the year (that’s why it could be important for the volunteer to check if all the projects would suit him/her)
• When we think a candidate is suitable, we invite the candidate for a Skype call. This will be done by the mentors and/or Jeanine and Chris van Maanen (coordinator). During this conversation we're trying to get to know the candidate, talk about expectations and provide them with extra information about the projects and our organizations.
In the interview, we mainly discuss the following topics:
• Motivation: Why do you want to volunteer in these organizations? • What do you wish to learn and what do you think you could contribute? • What do you expect from life with a group of other volunteers? • Are you supported in this by family and friends?
• Did you have recently difficult experiences of what we need to be aware of? • Are you aware of the travelling and working hours? Are they ok for you? • Are you aware of the fact that travelling home in between is not in the budget? • We prefer working with the sending organizations we already have and know; would you mind switching to them?
• If you are selected you have to sign the activity agreement which is an agreement about the conditions and the rights and responsibilities of all parties between volunteer, SO, CO and HO.
In Rock Solid Foundation we keep the selection process transparent and in fair shape, with direct involvement of the sending organizations and volunteers. In our communication we pay much attention to the expectations of the volunteer and the placements, and we try to prepare the volunteers as well as possible for their ESC Volunteering months in the Netherlands. We work accordance to the standards and rules for employees in youth and social care, which state that a volunteer always provides extra help
to serve and never can replace professional workers. (for sure
you can work alone with a client if there is no danger, but there will always be backup) .
After the final selection of the volunteers we start all the practical arrangements.
Rock Solid will always arrange an advanced planning visit for the ESC Volunteers (outside the budget). For this visit, we try to involve all volunteers in another activity funded by Erasmus+ (training or youth exchange), so there are extended possibilities for getting to know each other and getting acquainted with working and living places, During this activity the volunteer can visit the volunteers hosting organization, meet the present volunteers, mentors and coordinators and so on. After this there still is a possibility for the volunteer to withdraw from the project (but because of the good preparation we don't expect this to happen).
• Rock Solid is a nonprofit organization, we need to pay the workers of course and all the practical things but we only want to make the best projects and give the best opportunities for the volunteers, so all the money is going to the organization.
• For the Sending organizations we decided if you want to send volunteers, we will pay for sending costs up to 350 euro/volunteer, if you don’t need the money and you allow me to put it in the projects, even better. This is the same agreement for all partners.
• If you need visa to come and stay in the Netherlands (as a non-EU citizen for example), just lean back and do nothing, because we will arrange the entire application for that.
• We always subscribe you in city hall, and because of that you will have the possibility to get a Dutch bank account. This means you never have to walk with cash in the Netherlands (besides the first 6-8 weeks) you can pay almost everything and everywhere with card) and you will get your week money automatically in time. Also, you will have internet banking.
• In our organization you will get an OV- card, with this card you can travel by train for free everywhere in the Netherlands, unlimited in the weekends and during the week only not in the rush hours: 6.30 to 9.00, and 16.00 to 18.30, (volunteers at De Glind will even have a car to get only to Lunteren Station or
the nearest supermarket).