CAEL stands for Confident Ambassadors for European Learning, and according to one Google search, it also means “victorious people”. Through the CAEL project, we hope that volunteers and staff of social enterprises and voluntary organisations will have greater opportunities, wonderful experiences and much to share as confident ambassadors in the value of learning in Europe. We also aim to help them spread their learning to organisations around Scotland and in Europe.
The CAEL internships organised by Light on the Path in 2013-14 were funded through the Leonardo da Vinci action of the EU Lifelong Learning Programme. The project included five trips to Sweden, Prague and Spain. As you can see, the results were fantastic, and we will now be developing new applications under Erasmus+ funding, which replaced the Lifelong Learning Programme. We are looking at two new projects:
- one in partnership with Glasgow Public Social Partnership for Employability for people of any age over 18 in recovery from addictions who are in vocational training or have recently completed it
- one for young people in vocational training or apprenticeships in Glasgow in a range of sectors
The work experiences on offer will be similar to the previous project. On the first four trips – two to Sweden and two to Prague – participants worked in places where they could speak English but they were living in another culture and gained brand new experiences as well as finding similarities between cultures and making friends. In Sweden, they lived on-site at a social enterprise in the countryside south of Stockholm. In Prague they lived in shared flats with other interns. They came back with greater confidence and motivation, told many people about their experiences and went on to college or work.
The final trip of the project was to Úbeda, in Andalucia, Spain for four weeks. For this trip, the placements were in Spanish and lasted four weeks, so we needed people a bit further along their path. We were looking for people who had been on a journey in life and had been volunteering for awhile, so they were confident and motivated and looking for a new challenge. We found four great people who brought just those qualities. You can find out more about them and their experiences on placement in Spain through their blog posts.
We are delighted to say that Billy, who features at the end of the video, has really blossomed since he went to Spain with the project. He has been back to Úbeda twice and worked at his host employer. As a result of this experience and his dedicated volunteering around Glasgow as a talented cook, he will be travelling to London in December to receive his award for Scottish Volunteer of the Year in Parliament. Well done, Billy!