Action 3.2 – “Citizenship for change: Empowering volunteer activism”

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.

See: http://activist.icye.org/

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 2014Page-3-Image-6

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.

Action 4.3 – “Training on Cross Cultural Volunteering Impact”

The “Training on Cross-Cultural Volunteering Impact” took place in London, UK, from April 15 – 22, 2013 and aimed at training and empowering youth workers to support and carry out impact assessment by identifying and developing practical and easy to use research methodology that is best suited to test the impact of long-term international volunteering.

26 youth workers from Austria, Germany, France, Iceland, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, UK and Switzerland participated in the impact training in London, United Kingdom.

The training commenced with a session on intercultural learning and the questioning of representation practices in general and in the mass media. It focused thereafter on the why and what of research and impact assessment, (re)defining volunteering and clearly outlining the need for impact assessment, leading to elaborating the key research aims, methods that can be used (qualitative and quantitative), research tools that already exist within ICYE and the participating host organisations, as well as identifying methods and tools that best suit the field of long-term international volunteering. As the last phase, participants developed methods (questionnaires for surveys and for focus groups) for testing impact of long-term international volunteering. These tools and methods were tested after the training by four organisations (Italy, Denmark, Austria and Finland) through sample assessments they undertook with long-term volunteers and host organisations in their respective countries. The training and overall project was guided by the research head of the Institute of Volunteering Research (IVR), UK.

In October 2013, the Steering Group of this project and one representative of each organisation conducting the sample assessment (from Austria Denmark, Finland and Italy) will meet for a final Evaluation Meeting in Helsinki, Finland, to examine the results of the training and sample assessments. A toolkit with guidelines and methods for impact assessment in the field of long-term international voluntary service will be developed and finalised during the Evaluation Meeting.

Youth Action for Civil Society

Building Capacities and partnerships for youth volunteering programmes between European, African, Asia/Pacific, Caribbean and Latin American Countries

  1. EU- African Training Seminar on EVS Capacity and Partnership Building (Dates: 29 March – 04 April 2009 / Venue: Accra, Ghana) / Final activity report
  2. EU – ASIA (Different European and Asia/Pacific venues / Timing: between March and October 2009): A 2 month reciprocal job-shadowing between selected ICYE EU members and partner organisations in China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Taiwan and Vietnam)/Final activity report
  3. EU- Latin America and the Caribbean Training cum Planning Seminar on “active role of women in Society (Dates: 12-18July 2009 / Venue: Quito, Ecuador)/ Final activity report

The Project “Youth Action for Civil Society” aimed at enhancing the exchange of experience and good practice in the field of youth volunteering as well as the development of sustainable partnership between youth organisations in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific. The project consisted of distinct objectives and strategies to enhance: the training and transfer of know-how around long-term EVS projects between ICYE members and partners in Europe and Africa; on-the-job training and exchange of good practice between Europe, Asia and the Pacific; and training cum planning for partnership development and volunteer exchanges between youth mobility and women organisations in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. The main activities were: a Euro-African training seminar in Africa on EVS programme management followed by a 7-month action plan to pair organisations thru in-country job shadowing, on-the job training and joint EVS activities; 2-month reciprocal job shadowing to enhance partnership building and the capacity of AP youth organisations to plan, implement, report and document long-term EVS projects between Europe and the Asia/Pacific regions; and a Training and Partnership Building Seminar in Latin America on the active role of women in society and to promote EVS exchanges between participating organisations.

 

Promoting Interethnic Dialogue and Intercultural Learning

Training for EVS sending and host organizations in EU, African and Asian countries

  1. Training for Trainers/Berlin. January 11-16, 2008/Final activity report
  2. EU – AFRICA Training Seminar/Cape Town. March 10-15, 2008/Final activity report
  3. EU – ASIA Training Seminar/Bangalore. April 20-25, 2008/Final activity report
  4. Final Evaluation and Follow-up Meeting / Berlin. July 1- 5, 2008/Final activity report / Practical Guide for ICYE/EVS Trainings in EU & Partner Countries

Within the larger framework of the “European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008, the objective of the training programme “Promoting Interethnic Dialogue and Intercultural Learning – Training for EVS sending and host organisations in EU, African and Asian countries”, was to enhance the skills of staff members, co-workers, mentors and project supervisors of EVS sending and receiving organisations by sensitising them to the importance of promoting cultural diversity and fostering intercultural learning at every stage of the EVS project. This objective was achieved by introducing trainers and youth workers to diversity-thematic and to intercultural learning methods. A group of experienced trainers from the 3 continents developed training modules based on the specific country and cultural context. This training project enhanced the skills of the participants giving them fresh inputs, which will reinvigorate their work with youth towards achieving greater understanding and respect within a globalising world. At the end of the project, we believe that both participants and trainers have deepened their knowledge and experience in the field of intercultural learning and have gained a better understanding of the cultural, social and political dynamics to be considered in working with volunteers from different cultures and countries, particularly between the EU, African and Asian countries. Furthermore, the tools and methods introduced during the trainings will give participants the expertise to infuse intercultural learning concepts in their own work with youth, thus functioning as multipliers.

Youth United Against Violence

Training Course for Youth Workers from EU and LA countries/Antigua, Guatemala /09-15 February 2007

Final Activity Report

ICYE International Office, the Central American Alliance for prevention of youth violence – CCPVJ and APREDE – Asociacion para la prevention del delito, jointly ran this  training course aiming at building up the capacity of youth organisations and of agencies/networks specialized on youth violence prevention and to enable them to cooperate with each others in providing volunteering and non-formal learning opportunities to young people, with particular focus on the European Voluntary Service programme. The programme included inputs by experts, transfer of know-how, discussion groups and workshops as well as a project visit to a youth centre involved in violence prevention campaigns in Guatemala City and an official reception at the Ministry of Culture in the National Palace followed by a field excursion to “La Linea” a neighborhood badly affected by youth gang violence. Participants from both continents expressed their concern regarding the increase of violence particularly in Central America and their motivation to cooperate with each others in providing challenging and meaningful non-formal learning opportunities to socially excluded young people by implementing EVS projects related to this field of work.

Training Course for youth workers in EU and SEE countries

Training course for youth workers in EU and SEE countries/Chisinau, Moldova/07-13 December 2006

Final Activity Report

The aims of this training were twofold: on one hand to enable partner organisations in EU and in EECA countries to improve the quality of youth mobility activities, especially in relation to the management of volunteers under the EVS programme scheme, and on the other to share knowledge and expertise on how to recruit, retain and recognize volunteers within their distinct national/local structures and contexts. The programme included inputs by experts, transfer of know-how, discussion groups and workshops as well as project visits to two EVS host organisations: a child care centre (Small Group Home) and to a refugee centre (Main Direction of Refugees), providing first hand information by the respective volunteers and hosts and multiple learning opportunities for the participants

Exploring the potential of volunteers in HIV and AIDS education and prevention

Training course for youth workers in EU and SEE countries/Birmingham, United Kingdom/23-29 September 2006

Final Activity Report

ICYE International Office, Freshwinds and ICYE UK jointly ran a training course for youth workers in the EU and SEE countries from 23rd September to 29th September 2006 at Freshwinds Birmingham headquarters. The course was entitled – Exploring the potential of volunteers in HIV and AIDS education and prevention. It brought together youth workers of ICYE member and partner organisations as well as representatives of HIV/AIDS prevention and care agencies to prepare them for their tasks in an upcoming EU-SEE multilateral EVS project on HIV and AIDS as well as to empower them to network and to develop partnerships around innovative projects. The Birmingham TC was particularly successful in developing new – and strenghthening the existing – partnerships between the present EU and SEE organisations which have agreed on a number of concrete follow-up activities.

Youth volunteering in sensitive contexts-Training course on Refugees, Migrants and IDPs in EEAC and EU countries

Training course for youth workers on Refugees, Migrants and IDPs in EEAC and EU countries/Baku, Azerbaijan/19-25 June 2006

Final Activity Report

The project aimed at building up the capacity of EU and EEAC youth and refugee/IDP/migrant organisations by enabling a transfer of know-how in view of their engagement in current and future bi- and multilateral EVS projects. The programme included inputs by experts, transfer of know-how, discussion groups and workshops as well as project visits to refugee and IDP Centres in Baku and surroundings providing first hand information and multiple learning opportunities. The participants shared experiences about the work with refugees/IDP’s and migrants in each others countries with a particular focus on the context of IDP’s and refugee issues in the Caucasus region. They also acquired soft skills for their future tasks in hosting and sending EVS volunteers in sensitive contexts.

Youth in Action / Juventud en Accion

EU – LA Seminar on youth participation, active citizenship and local governance/Porto Alegre, Brazil/4-10 February 2006

Final Activity Report

The seminar  brought together 25 youth leaders from 7 European and 6 Latin American countries: Austria, Germany, Italy, Lithuania Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Bolivia, Brazil Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Uruguay. The main aim of this seminar was to foster youth mobility and volunteering as a means to enhance positive youth action with emphasis on youth work models which empower young people through their active participation in local development. The activities included an exchange of experience regarding best practice in fostering youth participation and active citizenship; training on aims and procedures of the YOUTH programme (Action 1 and 2) as well as an assessment of the impact of YOUTH projects run between the present EU and LA organisations over the past years. Participants reflected upon priorities and needs of youth work in their countries and developed innovative forms of cooperation between their organisations. By doing interviews and visiting public youth-serving agencies and local youth NGO’s, participants were able to gain insight into youth work practice and the situation of young people in Porto Alegre.

South Balkan Youth Dialogue

EU SEE Study Visit to Macedonia and Albania/Skopje, Bitola, Ohrid, Struga, Pogradec, Tirana/ 19-25 September 2005

Final Activity Report

The study visit, supported by the Youth Programme of the European Union, was an activity implemented by the International Cultural Youth Exchange (ICYE) in cooperation with the Macedonian and Albanian partner organisations: YCS, YMCA Macedonia, Youth Forum EYE Struga (Macedonia) and Albanian Society in Development (ASD). It aimed at enhancing the co-operation on youth work and youth policy between EU countries youth workers and Albanian and Macedonian representatives of youth NGOs, voluntary service organisations, public institutions and local authorities, with a particular focus on youth exchange and voluntary service opportunities provided by the EU YOUTH programme. By organising an itinerant study visit in the above mentioned countries and involving youth from different ethnic, religious and social backgrounds, the project provided participants with a safe space for dialogue as well as intercultural learning opportunities.