The Citizenship for Change: Empowering volunteer activism was a global awareness raising project encouraging young citizen action for social change. This project has sought to deepen, widen and sustain youth participation in socio-political processes of democratic society addressing social inclusion and equality of opportunity. Impactful change requires that we organise ourselves and take action! Campaigns in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America have through the course of 2014 raised awareness of volunteering and of some of the most pressing social concerns of our times! The Volunteer Activist website was created as a result of the project, in order to offer the seventeen campaigns a common platform to share their work and inspire other volunteers, youth workers and civil society organisations to develop and implement awareness raising campaigns in their host and home countries.
International Training Seminar in Madrid, Spain, April 2014
Motivated by the desire to raise awareness about volunteering and bring about change in their local environments and communities, 33 young people from 17 countries came together at an international training seminar in April 2014 within the scope of the project “Citizenship for Change: Empowering Volunteer Activism”.
The five-day training seminar was filled with inspiring talks on activism and campaigning, on the Occupy London movement, the social market system – the Mercado Social, and a visit to Asociación Garaldea – an alternative association for people at risk of exclusion. Discussions, exchange of ideas and good practices vis-à-vis campaigning and activism served to prepare the ground for the campaigns in 17 countries in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa. The training seminar came to a close with the presentation of the ideas and plans for the 17 campaigns worldwide.
To those interested in campaigning and activism, we have uploaded some of the reference documents created on the basis of this project:
Quick Guide to Campaigning – Tips to keep in mind, when planning a campaign
Final Activity Report Madrid – Results from the International Training in Madrid
Final Activity Report Peru – Critical examination of the 17 campaigns
Evaluation Conference in Lima, Peru, October 2014
The project came to an official close with an Evaluation Conference in Lima, Peru, in October 2014. In-depth presentations of and discussions on the 17 campaigns demonstrated the diverse range of campaign issues identified by partners as priority for their local networks, cities and countries. A number of the organisations were implementing campaigns for the very first time, and many campaigns networked successfully with local NGOs, created new partnerships, strengthened cooperation with existing partners and reached out to large numbers of people worldwide; youth, local and international volunteers, and the general public. The campaigns were carried out in public spaces through marches, bike rallies, films shows or at music festivals, political events, on the social media, and in the form of workshops and numerous small events in: Austria, Bolivia, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Ghana, Iceland, India, Kenya, Nepal, Peru, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and Vietnam.
The project was to serve as an impetus and an invitation to volunteering NGOs worldwide to take their work a step further by entering the realm of political activism. In this we believe that we have been successful: a number of the participating NGOs have described plans for annual campaigns or continued campaigning work on the prioritized themes. The Volunteer Activist website will remain active even as this project comes to a close, presenting information on the new and continued campaigning work in the international volunteering sector.