Calling Youth to Action in a Global Visibility Drive
ICYE BRAZIL – Associação Brasileira de Intercâmbio Cultural
Rua Almirante Barroso, n°665
Bairro Floresta – Porto Alegre/ RS
BRAZIL – CEP: – 90220-021
Tel: +55 51 3268.5168
The ICYE Brazil campaign seeks to improve and strengthen its network of local stakeholders, co-workers and volunteers by enhancing volunteering initiatives and opportunities at a local level and engaging volunteers in significant tasks. To reach more local youth, ICYE Brazil will organise speeches and presentations in (private) schools and universities on international volunteering and on the ICYE volunteering programmes. By approaching young people in their own environments rather than waiting for them to make contact with ICYE Brazil, the organisation hopes to stimulate their interest and motivation for volunteering.
In pursuit of their goal to strengthen their internal network, ICYE Brazil is working on a database for active volunteers and co-workers. The database will include data on skills, interests and availability of the persons in order to bring them together, inform them about events and motivate their participation in ICYE Brazil’s activities.
After the ICYE Brazil database was successfully created by a local volunteer, they were able to use it to contact old and new volunteers. In March 2017, ICYE Brazil organised a meeting with current and former volunteers interested in continuing to volunteer with ICYE Brazil. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce the visibility campaign to the former volunteers and to ask them to join in the campaign work.
After a short introduction of participants, ICYE Brazil staff held a short presentation about the ICYE network and ICYE Brazil. They also presented their partners AVESOL, a local volunteering organisation where ICYE Brazil rents its office space. The group then started brainstorming on the events that could take place in the near future. From the numerous ideas that were discussed, it was decided that ICYE Brazil would participate in a job fair at a local high school on the 27th of May 2017, where it would be presented as a viable and attractive option for young people to engage in volunteering at the local and international level.
On Saturday the 27th of May, ICYE Brasil joined their partner Change – Escola de Linguas at their stand at the yearly job fair in a high school in Alvorada. From 8.30 am until 12.00 noon they answered questions about intercultural exchange, volunteering abroad, hosting international volunteers, AND made waffles. The smell of the waffles attracted students and their parents visiting the job fair, and it smoothed the path to talking about ICYE Brasil and intercultural exchange. Everyone that received a free waffle was asked to like ICYE Brasil and Change – Escola de Linguas on Facebook. At 10.00 a.m. ICYE Brasil held a short presentation for a group of 20 young people interested in intercultural and volunteering exchange. The day was also the first time ICYE Brasil used their new promotion material.
On Saturday, 24th June 2017, ICYE Brasil and its current long-term volunteer Marlene Schwemer from Germany visited a language school “Lincoln Idiomas” in Canoas in the Metropolitan Area of Porto Alegre, where Marlene made an informal presentation of her country and of her work as a volunteer in Porto Alegre. After her presentation, the students and teachers had the chance to ask questions about Germany and about international volunteering. A short presentation held by Annekatrin Fahlke and Danila Baravalle from ICYE Brasil gave an overview on the different options of getting involved as a volunteer at the local and international level. The event was held in English so that students of the school could practice their English language skills.
For ICYE Brasil it was important to become more visible in Canoas as they work with a couple of projects in the area, and although Canoas is not far away from Porto Alegre, it is useful to have a group of people that know about ICYE Brasil and international volunteering.
There were many positive effects of the event: One of the teachers got so interested that she offered to become the “Brazilian friend” for ICYE Brazil’s future long-term volunteer from Japan. “Brazilian friends” are local volunteers that speak English and become a mentor for incoming international volunteers. The event also opened the door to a family in Canoas that has now agreed to become host family for the Japanese volunteer. Last but not least, a student that studies at a technical education institute in Canoas invited ICYE Brazil to join a fair at the institute in the beginning of August. The topic of the fair is “City views – travel experiences”, where ICYE Brazil will be able to present its work.
ICYE Brazil has participated in two different trainings organised by their partners, the volunteer organisations Avesol and Parceiros Voluntários. During both trainings, many NGOs, social projects and other institutions with social and/or environmental backgrounds came together to share experiences on voluntary work and receiving and managing volunteers.
The first training with Parceiros Voluntários called “Partilhando Vivências” took place on 26th June 2017. It brought together representatives of around 50 social institutions in Porto Alegre, as well as some of their volunteers (a total of around 100 participants), who joined in order to share their experiences on volunteering, managing and recruiting volunteers. It was a chance for ICYE Brazil to establish new connections with a variety of projects interested in receiving international volunteers.
On 29th June 217, the workshop “Ser+Voluntário” took place at the partner organisation Avesol who had invited several partner organisations and volunteers. Avesol had invited two speakers to the training: Mauricio Bagarollo, coordinator of Doutorzinhos (Little Doctors, an NGO that prepares volunteers to work in children’s hospitals) spoke about “Self-knowledge, leadership and protagonism of Volunteering”. The second speaker was Prof. Dr. Marcos Diligenti of the Architecture Institute and of the post-graduate programme in Social Service at PUCRS (Private University in Porto Alegre), who spoke about “Conscious Volunteering, Responsibility and Ethics”. The participants discussed changing trends, e.g. how volunteering today seeks qualifications of the volunteers as well as those of volunteer organisations, that voluntary work now encompasses new aspects such as planning, networking and building partnerships in a pluralistic, non-individualistic approach.