EUROPA - Youth - European Voluntary Service - Accredited organisations

European Commission

 

2012-MT-5
Koperattiva Kummerc Gust
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Accreditation   Sending organisation, Host organisation, Co-ordinating organisation
Approval Date  19/07/2012
Validity Date  19/07/2015
Location  Valletta (Malta)
Theme 1  Development cooperation
Theme 2  Other
Inclusion   Social difficulties

Project environment

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Project environment:
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The EVS project will be primarily carried out at the office of KKĠ which is located in Valletta. From our office volunteers will participate in various working-groups established in order to organize our outreach activities. Volunteers will secondarily be working at il-Hanut l-Arka for a number of hours a week, helping with the promotion and sale of Fair Trade goods and distribution of information about the condition of workers in developing countries.
There are four computers in the office (that share an internet connection), telephone and fax that will be readily available for the volunteers of the organization (and partner organization) to work with. There is also a wi-fi connection for volunteers who have a laptop and would like to surf the internet.
The volunteer will encouraged to work from our office since there are the establish KKG members present nearly every day. Volunteers can work there at their convenience or be present there for necessary meetings. On most days there are three to four people working in the office (either for Koperattiva Kummerċ Ġust or any of our partner organizations).
Volunteers will have to work on-site when projects are carried out with the local community. Such on-site activities include:
a. activities in schools, youths groups and other community groups,
b. helping at Fair Trade stalls during the weekends in Churches,
c. participating sub-committee meetings
d. helping us organize public events such as the WorldFest or Taste which are educational and informal or non-formal in nature.
More information about these activities (i.e. duration hours per week, and frequency of activities) is described elsewhere in this expression of interest.

Host Placement
Volunteers will be sharing an apartment, ideally with other EVS volunteers. People living in the apartment will have monthly meetings to agree upon rules and regulations that will apply to the people living in the apartment. Decisions are taken by consensus between all people living in the house and a representative from KKĠ will be during such meeting. Volunteers are asked to follow the rules that are agreed upon during such meetings and abide by to those rules in good faith.
Inside the EVS home there will be a fixed telephone line from which volunteers may receive telephone calls. KKG will take care of all bills related to the EVS home, but will make sure that volunteers are not using too much gas, water and electricity and/or other resources. Volunteers will receive money to purchase their own food which they will be able to prepare in the EVS home.

Food, Transport, Internet and Telephony
Volunteers will be given money to purchase their own food and money to make use of the public transport for leisure activities they wish to attend. Transport will be arranged for volunteers to reach events which we organize. Internet services are available at il-Hanut l-Arka and in the office which the volunteer will be working from. A SIM card will be given to each volunteer at the start of the project and some money is given each month to the volunteer to spend on mobile costs. This will help volunteers integrate more in life in Malta.

Pocket money
Volunteers will receive money to be spent on food, pocket-money, transport and telephone at the beginning of each month in a bank account. Our organization will assist the EVS volunteers to open a new bank account in order for volunteers to be able to organize themselves financially.

Language Training
Should the EVS wishes to s/he will be provided for language training of Maltese and English. KKG will identify beginners’ courses for Maltese and English and will encourage the EVS volunteers to take up such courses. The courses may be either for free or against payment, in which case KKG will pay for such courses, as long as such courses fall within the budget.
The courses which KKG identifies take between 2 and 4 hours of lessons time per week.

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Proposed activities for EVS volunteers:
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what you can offer to volunteers in terms of Service and learning opportunities,

By forming part of our working groups, volunteers will learn how to:
a. organize the logistics of professional activities aimed at raising awareness about development cooperation, such as the WorldFest and Taste the World activities;
b. perform certain administrative tasks and duties relating to the tasks embarked upon (e.g. contacting public authorities, carrying out procurement, writing letters, etc…),
c. engage new IT skills, such as email, HTML (used to post new content on our website), word document processing, create power-point presentations and possibly database administration;
d. plan and implement seminars and educational activities with people from different backgrounds;
e. deal with the media (predominantly when advertising our events);
f. effectively correspond with various members or partner organizations (as necessary when organizing events), in particular volunteers will improve their communication skills (whether verbal or written);

what will be the role of EVS volunteers in the Host Organisation,
From our previous experience hosting EVS volunteers we can safely say that each volunteer will have a unique project, since each volunteer has his or her own different interests, skills and abilities. During the project the volunteers will be integrated into the framework of KKG and they will themselves volunteer to embark on tasks which the organization participates in.
In particular the EVS volunteer will be participating in the different sub-committee of Koperattiva Kummerc Gust. During such meetings the volunteer will take up a number of tasks which s/he would like to carry for that particular sub-committee. The other volunteers from the sub-committee will assist the volunteer in the tasks s/he engages in. However certain tasks may be assigned by one or more of the committee of management of KKG, after agreeing with the volunteer.
The EVS volunteer will be helped to integrate within the working framework of the organization (namely through the different sub-committees, which the organization has). During the day the volunteer will be carrying out and helping others carry out the said activities as agreed during the committee meetings or agreed between the volunteer and the committee of management.

Work envisaged during an EVS project
The volunteers will be expected to involve himself or herself in a number of the following activities, according to the volunteers’ interests, abilities and natural inclinations:

a. Participate in the meetings of meetings of the sub-committees of the organization. Each week KKG has at least one sub-committee meeting. However on certain occasions, such as before the WorldFest, Taste the World or other large scale events there is more than one meeting taking place per week. Most meetings take between 2 and 3 hr.
b. Administrative and coordination work in connection with organizing festivals such as the WorldFest. This includes setting up the logistics for the event, dealing with the media, coordinating the various volunteers and other tasks. The WorldFest is usually held in May/June. Between each February and the Worldfest the volunteer will be working around 8 hours per week on WorldFest activities, however two weeks before the worldfest volunteers will be working around 18 hours per week on the WorldFest. The same can be said for the Taste The World, which takes place in December. However preparations for the WorldFest start around November;
c. Help coordinate activities with schools, youth groups, religious groups and other community groups. Each year we organize around 12 activities within different schools. Such activities are usually between 1 and 2 hrs long and take place in the premises of the said schools/youth/community groups. During the activities members of KKG (with the support of EVS) deliver educational activities (formal and informal) to raise awareness about development issues in the global south. For each session volunteers often spend between 4 and 8 hours preparing the educational content to be delivered during such activities.
d. Give support during outreach events. Koperattiva Kummerc Gust is often invited to organize a public stall at events that are organized by other organizations. Each year we are invited around 6 times to organize such stalls during such events. Such events may take up a whole day or only an evening, depending on the nature of the activities. During the said events volunteers of KKG and the EVS volunteers will be with the stall offering Fair Trade goods and raising awareness with the public about various related issues.
e. Contribute to the quarterly newsletter of the organization. EVS volunteers will contribute at an unequal degree to this project. Some volunteers may be working for up to 2 weeks (full time) per each newsletter to be published, since they would want to get involved in such activity. Others may merely want to publish an article and may spend up to 8 hr to write such an article.
f. Help in the administration of l-Hanut l-Arka (whether at the shop, ordering products, doing research on Fair Trade producers, arranging stock, etc…). Volunteers will also contribute at an unequal degree to this part of our project. Some volunteers enjoy carrying out research about Fair Trade goods and identifying which products are best to be promoted and which not. In such case ordering of products may take up to 40 hours of time for each time KKG order new Fair Trade goods (which it does 5 times each year);
g. Carrying out administrative duties (general correspondence, drafting letters to members, purchasing new equipment and materials, etc…). The duration of such activity will depend on the amount of time the volunteers wants to invest. From our experience certain volunteers spend up to 12 hrs per work on administrative duties, while other volunteers spend a smaller amount of hours;
h. Preparing content for online publication (whether on the website l-arka.org, which is then promoted to other social network sites). The number of hours volunteers spend on this task is between 5 to 10 hours per week.

i. Assist other volunteers or staff in the Fair Trade shop il-Ħanut l-Arka for around 4 hours week;

A typical schedule for volunteers a given week is as follows:
Monday: 10.00 – 12.00 and 13.00 – 15.30: Office duties (e.g. preparing content for newsletter, correspondence, etc…) 16.30-18.30: Work il-Hanut l-Arka
Tuesday: 10.00 – 12.00 and 14.00 – 16.30: Office duties (e.g. preparing for an educational activity or a public activity). 18.00 – 20.00: Sub-committee Meeting
Wednesday: 8.30 – 12.00: outdoor activity, e.g. in schools. 17.00 – 19.00: Office Duties and evaluation.
Thursday: 10.00 – 12.00 and 14.00 – 16.30: Office duties (e.g. research on FT goods, administrative support, etc…). 18.00 – 20.00: Sub-committee Meeting
Friday: 9.00 – 11.00: Language Training. 12.00 – 16.00: Office Work (Research on development issues), 16.30-18.30: Work il-Hanut l-Arka
Saturday and Sunday - free

the activities in which the volunteers could be involved and the activities the volunteers could create in your organisation. Please give examples of typical activities/tasks for the volunteers.

Each EVS experience will be unique. During the programme the volunteer may engage in activities that no previous volunteer has yet worked on or continues the work which a previous volunteer has started. To give a better understanding the following are some examples of projects embarked upon by previous volunteers (on their own initiative with the support of our members):
a. Editing the newsletter: Marc a Spanish volunteer started our quarterly newsletter “Just News”. He started out as the editor of the newsletters and others have continued when the service was over. Most other volunteers contribute to the newsletter whenever published.
b. Educational Activities on Development Cooperation: Giorgio from Italy (non-EVS) created an educational session for students (ages 11-13) to raise awareness about immigration issues, development cooperation and Fair Trade. The same activity was repeated on various occasions by other EVS and Maltese volunteers.
c. Living Library: Lina from Lithuania created an activity where the public can meet persons in society who are minorities and have an opportunity to take to them about the issues which makes them a minority. During the event there were persons from the following minorities: Muslims, Ghanaian, an HIV infected person, Feminist and a Gay-Rights Activist.
d. Petition Writing: Sophie from Luxembourg created a sub-committee whose role is to petition governments from working with governments that systematically carry out serious violations of human rights.
e. Technical Administrative Support: Bruno from Luxembourg used his computer skills to help us set up a small computer network inside our office.
f. Awareness about HIV/AIDS in Africa: Simona from Italy organized a film night in a local bar to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS problem in Africa.

The following examples are some of the activities engaged by some volunteers during the past years. Some of the said activities formed part of larger campaigns, e.g. the WorldFest or educational programmes in schools.

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Volunteer profiles and recruitment process:
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Profile of the Candidate
Koperattiva Kummerc Gust welcomes volunteers from all walks of life without any prejudice regarding educational achievements, social or cultural backgrounds. However applicants will be asked to send us a basic curriculum vitae. The potential volunteers may be asked to fill in a basic questioner in order to understand better the volunteer’s motivation to work with our organization and check that s/he is compatible with our working environment.
From experience whenever our administrative committee goes through a given CV we check for the following indicators, namely whether the volunteer:
a. is interested in working on issues or projects embarked upon by KKG;
b. is capable of an independent life in Malta;
c. himself (or at least his sending organization) can communicate well in a language which is understood by a number of persons from KKG;
d. shows a degree of motivation and to participate in our projects;
e. is well aware of the fact that an EVS project is not a recreation or tourist activity, nor only a language course, nor a vocational training abroad;
f. is also seeking to learn from his/her experience with our organization;

Open and Transparent Recruitment Process
The recruitment process is the following:
a. applications are received and a questionnaire is sent back for completion.
b. applicants will then be interviewed via Skype or telephone by two (or more) members of KKG (unless an application or questionnaire is manifestly unfound)
c. a decision is made by the committee of management of KKG in selecting the candidate out of all those who have been interviewed. The decision on which volunteer is to be received is to be taken by consensus by all members of the team (similar to most other decisions).

Type of Sending Organization we want to cooperate with
We are willing to work with any sending organization since we tend to place more emphasis on the volunteer rather than the organization s/he works for. However when determining which volunteer we’d like to host we will give priority to sending organizations that have work in the field of development cooperation. Moreover we will also give a certain degree of priority to our foreign partners abroad who are involved in the EVS programme, as this would strengthen existing links.

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Number of volunteers hosted:
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Koperattiva Kummerc Gust is able to host up to five volunteers at the same time.

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Risk prevention, protection and safety:
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how you will guarantee a safe living and working environment for the EVS volunteers,
The working environment for the EVS volunteers is the same working environment for the Maltese public and the other volunteers of KKG. In particular the EVS volunteers will be working from the KKG office, in public schools, during public events and in public places. Therefore volunteers will be working in places which are equally safe to any other member of the public.
Members of KKG will inspect the place where the volunteer is to reside, so as to ensure there is no working hazard. Moreover the volunteer will be encouraged to find residence in a place which is not so distant from the other places of work or is easily accessible with public transport.

how you will prevent risks and crises,
Each volunteer will have 2 persons from Koperattiva Kummerc Gust who will be supporting him or her in his day to day activities in the said organization. Namely the volunteer will find these persons in the office on most days of the week for more than 4 hrs per day and therefore s/he can relate to such persons with ease. These two persons will be supervising the work that the volunteer has agreed to do during the committee meetings.
However for each volunteer a mentor will be one appointed. The mentor will be a person who is familiar with the structure of KKG but is not active within the organization. Most likely the mentor will:
a. be a former EVS volunteer who remained in Malta and does not volunteer for KKG any longer, or
b. a member of a partner organization of KKG,
c. a non-active member or sympathizer of KKG.

KKG will make sure that the mentor is a person who:
a. is easily accessible
b. understands the nature of the EVS programme
c. has lived out of his country of origin for at least four months
d. has received a University degree
e. demonstrates that he is a person of well-integrity and is understanding and compassionate
f. is older than 28 years

Upon arrival the volunteer will be welcomed by the mentors and will be given an introduction of life in Malta. The mentor will then meet with the volunteer for a social in an informal setting to discuss with him or her how to get about life in Malta and life as an EVS volunteer with KKG.

In particular the mentor will have a great degree of intervention in the case of a crises, namely in case of problems between the persons working within KKG and the mentor. In such case the mentor will talk with both parties and agree to find a solution to the problem, should the case arise.

In case of other crises, e.g. volunteer is sick or volunteer has injured himself, this will not be dealt with the mentor, but with the persons active within KKG. In particular such persons will help the volunteer: fill in the insurance form, visiting the volunteer if s/he is at home for more than a number of days, contact relatives (if necessary) and similar precautions.

how – in the case of EVS volunteers aged 16 or 17 – you ensure appropriate supervision, protection and safety.
KKG has only had the opportunity to host 2 volunteers who were under the age of 18. The experience with hosting such volunteers was positive, in the sense that the volunteer did manage to integrate within the organization and indeed one of the volunteers is in regular contact with KKG. These 2 volunteers did their internship outside the EVS programme.

However, from experience KKG notes that in such case, the volunteer should be accommodated in an area which is near the residence of one of KKG’s active members as this would ensure a greater degree of supervision. Moreover in such case communication is made with the relatives or tutors of the volunteer before the project starts in order to ease communication.

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Expected duration and type of EVS:
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- 6 to 12 months
- 2 to 5 months

Motivation and EVS experience

Motivations to participate in the EVS program (Host, Sending and Coordinating)
Koperattiva Kummerc Gust is an organization that is founded on volunteerism. At the moment it has circa 10-15 active volunteers who help in the administration of the organization. Most of these volunteers are Maltese, however, KKG also encourages volunteers from abroad to work within the organization. In the past it has hosted volunteers outside of the EVS project (e.g. volunteer pays travel costs and KKG pays rent) and also engages in the Erasmus and Leonardo programmes. KKG would like to participate in the EVS programme because it wishes to continue receiving volunteers (especially since the EVS programme offers certain advantages over other programmes). In particular KKG’s motivations to participate in the EVS programme are:
a. hosting
Through the programme KKG will help hosting volunteers who can engage in the day to day activities of the organization and get involved in our activities and projects. This way KKG will have the support of other volunteers who work along with other KKG volunteers, whether they are Maltese or foreign.
Volunteers from abroad who become integrated will be helping the organization professionalize its activities. Indeed many of KKG’s activates are developed and carried out by volunteers who come to work with us for a temporary period of time.
Volunteers from abroad bring with them various best practices, ideas, methods and tools which help KKG in the activities it organizes. Moreover such best practices, etc… help KKG become organize activities which are more colourful, thus attract a greater audience. It is not only volunteers from KKG who come into contact with such new best practices, etc… but also other volunteers from other organizations who happen to be present during our activities or join us for a particular event.
We have noticed that whenever KKG hosts volunteers from abroad, whether EVS or otherwise, more people would be interested in working with us. The reason we believe is that volunteers from abroad tend to enjoy making many local friends, who in turn invite them to join our activities.
By hosting volunteers from abroad KKG also creates new ties with many other organizations and persons from abroad. Indeed KKG is still in contact with most of the volunteers from abroad who carried out an internship with our organization. In a few cases we have also applied for projects together or encouraged peer organizations to collaborate on an activity.
b. sending
Whenever KKG sends an EVS volunteer abroad the organization it will be welcoming a volunteer to become closer to KKG – this happens because the volunteer usually become tend more grateful towards KKG and would be more readily to participate in the organization’s activities. Indeed most of the volunteers who go abroad on projects through KKG often volunteer for the organization for a number of months years after the project.
By having volunteers who work for KKG do an experience abroad will gain best practices from organizations abroad as well as create new links and contacts with organizations abroad.
An EVS volunteer who may not work for KKG after doing the internship will may also benefit other Maltese organizations s/he wishes to work for after the project.
c. Coordinating
Given that the volunteers will be working closely with the members of KKG it would be easier for administrative purposes if KKG also applies for the project itself and carries out the financial and administrative responsibilities of the entire project. This would also facilitate matters as regards to reporting and as regards to the formalities of the project when dealing with the National Agency.

If the present expression of interest is an update or a renewal of a former accreditation, please indicate the EI reference number previously assigned:
This expression of interest is an application for a new EVS programme for KKG. However KKG has been participating in the EVS programme for more than 7 years. It has its own EI reference for another project (2008-MT-23) and has had volunteers helping in its activities through other organizations namely the Maltaform and Inizjamed.

Description of the organisation

Aims and Regular Activities
Koperattiva Kummerċ Ġust is a Maltese-registered Fair Trade Cooperative, set up in 1996. Since then it has been constantly active in the promotion of fair values in trade through regular outreach programs in the form of formal, non formal and informal learning processes. This work aims and achieves the empowerment of the Cooperatives members, its associates and partners, members of the civil society and the general public, who are educated in becoming more active, socially responsible and critical citizens and consumers.
KKĠ runs its educational process in a flexible and easily-adaptable way that meets the needs of particular communities within society, and different niches within the market (the latter group is further addressed through transparent and socially-oriented means of marketing). The Maltese population is small and technological changes have a rapid and wide-spread effect. KKĠ is very conscious of this and plans ahead in order to convey the message creatively and in a relevant way.
Reaching these aims has always depended on the on-going educational process the members of KKĠ and its associates undergo, which creates a shared pool of resources and developmental tools that are constantly improved and updated.

a. Aims of the organization
In brief, KKĠ runs its constant learning structure and addresses the educational needs it faces in the following ways:
• Encourages the empowerment of its members
• Promotes collaboration on projects inside the Cooperative
• Promotes understanding and collaboration with other voluntary and socially-committed organisations
• Also runs various education programmes which can be of an informal or non-formal nature

b. Regular Activities
KKĠ achieves the above by using various media within formal, informal and non formal learning processes. Chiefly, it:
• Administers a Fair Trade shop, called il-Hanut l-Arka. The aim of l-Arka is to raise awareness about Fair Trade and related Global Issues. This is achieved by promoting Fair Trade goods, have staff and volunteers explain to the public who visit the shop the basic principles of Fair Trade, distribute for free educational material to educators about Fair Trade, distribute for free fliers, leaflets and other promotional materials about sustainable development in poorer continents.
• Engages in various educational public awareness raising activities throughout the year. These are mainly: the WorldFest activity, the Taste the World Activity, organizes promotional stalls during other organization’s activities, etc…
• Transmits skills (both within and outside the cooperative) related to communication, presentation, education, management, accountancy, promotion, organisation and capacity-building through the setting up of seminars, meetings and the dissemination of printed material
• Works with other organization that work on global issues which are of a concern to the members of KKG and fit within its aims and objectives. Namely it collaborates with other organization that work in the field of development cooperation, anti-racism, cultural diversity awareness, environmental groups and pro-democracy / human rights groups.
• Actively assists its members in attending seminars and meetings (of a similar nature to the ones described above) and organised by other local or foreign bodies such as CTM-Altromercato, the Italian Fair Trade consortium and NEWS, the international network of World Shops
• Is actively involved in the Maltese Social Economy. KKĠ pioneered research in identifying and empowering a number of local NGOs that contribute to making the economy more sensitive to the social dimension. KKĠ originated and helped found together with four other foundations/cooperatives that work in the fields of disability, organic farming and social inclusiveness. The Social Economy forged stronger links between its representatives and created a ripple-effect that is currently leading to further collaboration
• Is actively involved in the Malta Forum for Social Justice and Development, and the NGDO Platform (Malta)
• Regularly sets up events that generate interest on a national level and are attended by members of the civil society, political representatives, religious representatives, the media and the general public. Chiefly, these are Worldfest, the celebration of World Fair Trade Day in May, and Taste the World, an open festival which achieves a healthy balance between non formal education and entertainment
• Runs formal education programs regarding Fair Trade and sustainable development in primary and secondary schools and higher education institutes
• Combines formal with non formal learning by collaborating with a local cooperative (Outlook Coop) in getting students involved in Fair Trade education and marketing both within the school structure and outside (thanks to extracurricular sessions and hands-on projects)
• Uses its website (www.l-arka.org) regularly and extensively in encouraging informal learning
• Disseminates a quarterly newsletter to all its members (via email and post)
• Regularly publishes articles about Fair Trade, fighting poverty and ethical consumerism in the Business Supplement of Malta’s leading daily, The Times (www.timesofmalta.com)
• Organizes a number of social activities for its members in order to foster a greater network of volunteers that can assist in the running of the organization.

Staff and members
At the moment KKG has one part-timer who takes care of the day-to-day duties associated with the shop. Depending on the projects embarked upon by the cooperative, people are employed on a short-term basis with specific tasks and duties. However the organization has a team of 11 volunteers from Malta who help in the administration of the said organization.
The steering committee is composed of unpaid volunteers and other members of the cooperative dedicate time to the organisation’s activities.
Target group KKG works with
KKG works with the following groups in order to achieve its aims and objectives:
a. when organizing public events, with the general public during the particular event;
b. partner organizations which are invited for our events and we attend their public events;
c. schools (primary, secondary and tertiary), youth groups, social groups and religious groups; and
d. local authorities (namely local councils)


Contact Point

Organisation:  Koperattiva Kummerc Gust
Address:  306, Il-Hanut l-Arka, Triq San Pawl
Postal code:  VLT1213
Town:  Valletta
Country:  Malta
E-mail:  evs@l-arka.org
Phone:  +356 21 244865
Fax:  +356 21315562
Contact:  Ms Joelle MIFSUD TALIANA



Last update: 26/09/2012