“Making a difference: From conservation and health care to art, culture and education”
ICYE’s volunteering programmes centre on the idea of cultural ex-change between a volunteer and the local community and the long-term benefits this can lead to for both sides. Voluntary service is regarded as creating greater well-being for the international volun-teers and potentially for others/local communities as well. The rea-sons for volunteering abroad are varied, but a mix of personal and altruistic motivations drives most young people. The findings of the impact study conducted by ICYE within the scope of the former Erasmus+ project “Communicating Human Rights in Diversi-ty” (2014-2016) reveal that volunteers tend to stress learning and personal growth as outcomes of their voluntary service. The idea of mutual learning is evident in their narrations on encountering diver-sity. Thus, the volunteers’ role is understood in terms of planting seeds of change through exchange and dialogue during the volun-tary service. Moreover, their role in the well-being of others is learned through their experiences of making a positive difference. In this issue of the ICYE Newsletter, we focus on Making a differ-ence: From conservation and health care to art, culture and educa-tion and examine what exactly it means to ‘make a difference’ – be it in environmental conservation, healthcare, art, culture or educa-tion – to have an impact as an international volunteer.
In Volunteers Voices, we present articles by six young people volun-teering in Colombia, India, Finland, New Zealand and Poland, who reflect on their volunteering experiences and illustrate how in small ways each one of them is making a difference in their own lives and those of others. As the Costa Rican volunteer in Poland tell us in his article, “The power of one must never be underestimated”, which is further emphasised by the German volunteer in New Zealand, who explains that, “Even if it’s just small changes […]. It will help them to continue to make bigger steps and changes.”
ICYE News feature: Maailmanvaihto – ICYE Finland celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2018 and ICYE Colombia’s Multiplier Training on Intercultural Learning. News from Int’l Organizations feature: 12 August 2018 – International Youth Day on the theme “Safe Spaces for Youth” and Beyond 2030: Youth Taking Charge of the Environ-ment: World Environment Day – June 5th 2018, on #BeatPlasticPollu-tion. News from NGOs report on the UNITED for Intercultural Ac-tion European Action Week Against Racism 2018 and UNITED has updated its List of Refugee Deaths
Wishing you an interesting reading, we look forward to receiving articles and pictures for the next issue of “Worlds of Experience”, dedicated to “Skills and Competences for a Global World”. Please send your contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org, before 30 September 2018.
ICYE International Office
This and previous issues of “Worlds of Experience” can be viewed and downloaded from: www.icye.org.