InterACTive Citizenship

EVS project in the EU (Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Spain, Sweden and the UK), Switzerland, Latin America (Bolivia, Columbia, and Peru), Asia (India, Nepal, and Vietnam), and Africa (Ghana and Kenya).
11 long-term volunteer placements from September 2013 to June 2014.

The reciprocal multilateral EVS project, “InterACTive Citizenship” took up the motto of the 2013 “European Year of Citizens” by mobilising and coordinating young people’s active engagement in citizenship activities around the globe. Through volunteering, an essential element in active citizenship, the project aimed at developing in young citizens a commitment to society and to political life in society.

The 11 volunteers – 6 from the EU, 5 from Asia, Africa and Latin America – in this 9-month EVS project lived in another country, were exposed to its cultural diversity, and also actively engaged in the most diverse range of civil society projects addressing community development (Freshwinds in the UK), human rights, refugees & the homeless (Associazione “Volontarius Onlus” in Italy, The Salvation Army in Iceland), the disabled (Fundación Betesda in Spain, Association of People with Disability in India), health and education (Action Health Incorporated in Nigeria), street children (Alalay Eguino in Bolivia), the elderly (Panti Wredha Rindang Asih I Nursing home in Indonesia, Rifugio Re Carlo Alberto in Italy), poverty alleviation, empowerment and education (Mengo Youth Development Link in Uganda, We Serve Charitable Trust in India).

The project aimed thus at solidarity and trust, while opening up possibilities of learning and exchange on active citizenship and the responsibilities that go with it.

Youth & Intergenerational Solidarity

EVS projects in the EU (Austria, Iceland, Italy, Poland, Spain and the UK), Latin America (Colombia, Honduras and Mexico), Asia (India and Indonesia), and Africa (Morocco, Kenya, South Africa), as well as the Russian Federation.

16 long-term volunteer placements from September 2012 to June 2013.

The multilateral EVS project “Youth and Intergenerational Solidarity” took up the priorities of the 2012 European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations, promoting intergenerational support and solidarity. Ageing populations present considerable challenges to existing infrastructure, welfare, health and pension financing, which in turn puts a strain on relationships between generations. Simultaneously, age coupled with aspects like social class, gender, disabilities, etc. compounds the problems of the elderly, creating an environment of inequality within which they -sometimes barely- survive. Enhancing the quality of life of the older generation, the volunteers in this project have been working to create a holistic society that is just and equal, and sustainable across board for all generations.

This reciprocal 9-month EVS project enabled 16 young people to participate in intergenerational projects or those primarily addressing elders from disadvantaged backgrounds on four continents. Accordingly, projects include an intergenerational community development centre (UK), homes for disabled adults and elders (Austria, Spain), homes for elders (Italy, Iceland, India, Honduras, Kenya), a nursing home for the elderly (Indonesia), homes for disabled elders (Poland, South Africa), veteran’s hospital (Russia), and support centres for the elderly (Mexico, Colombia, Morocco).

The project aimed at developing a “society for all ages” and enabled the mobility and participation of youth by placing them in intergenerational projects or those adressing the elderly from disadvantaged backgrounds or elders with disabilities. It promoted intercultural learning and dialogue, challenging discrimination, marginalisation and exclusion, and thereby also strengthening mutual understanding and respect between youth around the world. It initiated a process of self-reflection to counter preconceived notions, perceptions and attitudes of volunteers and local communities not only with respect to the older generation but also socio-cultural practices in the host country, promoting in this way social inclusion and cultural diversity.

The volunteers in this project have therefore served as bridges between generations – raising awareness, stimulating debate, fighting exclusion and having a real impact on the lives of people.