This is Erasmus+ 24 month’s strategic partnership project (2018-2020) for five organisations from Estonia, France, Germany, Italy and Sweden. Coordinator is VINC Learning UG (haftungsbeschränkt) from Germany.
Volunteer work is closely linked with social, civic and intercultural competences, with critical thinking and with the fight against discrimination, segregation, racism and violence. Volunteer work has an economic value, increases social well-being and social prosperity. Lots of volunteers life the European values and stand for it. They are active citizens and contribute to the civil society in Europe. Democracies thrive from the engagement of their citizens, their readiness to help in society, to feel a part of it and to take over responsibility. With other words: Democracies need volunteers!
In 2011 the European Year of Volunteering was designated. Since then the number of volunteers grew up, but by far not as much as expected. There are remarkable differences of volunteering between the European countries, influenced by their tradition, politics and history. Statistical data about volunteering are different in the European countries and often not sufficient to reflect the real situation. There exist already European programs like the European Voluntary Service that provide opportunities for volunteering for young people. Nevertheless, transnational exchange, promotion and education champagnes are needed in Europe in order to raise awareness among persons of all ages, organisations and companies for voluntary activities and its great benefits. It is the main objective of the project to get a picture of the current situation of the voluntary sector on local and regional level and to introduce examples of best practice to a larger audience on national and transnational level.
The project partners will analyze the voluntary activities in their region: they will make photo reportages, videos, interview volunteers and representatives of organisations active in the field of volunteering. Different kinds of voluntary activities and volunteers of all ages are taken into consideration. Additionally the teams will photograph situations where volunteers could be active in society.
The partners’ countries have different traditions in volunteering. Three NGOs and two education providers contribute to the project with different backgrounds and skills: they already were involved in projects with volunteers, some of them organise voluntary work, they have high qualifications in PR, journalism, photography and the organisation of exhibitions, meetings and conferences.
Transnational exhibitions of the photos as a tool of non-formal education shall provide information and encourage people of all ages to become active as volunteers. Meetings with volunteers and representatives of organisations for volunteers will allow an exchange of knowledge and provide possibilities to enlarge the networks. A tangible result of the project is an e-book (OER) that summarizes the information and photos gathered during the project lifetime. Additionally the results of the project will be summarized in a transnational webinar at the end of the project.
Sharing international methods and approach will guarantee a wide spectrum of possibilities and options for further project applications. International exchange will open possibilities for new perspectives. Partners will develop materials and methodology themselves, thus inspiring and stimulating one another to new impulses, ideas, and activities.
Informative and human resources will be generated through the developed initiatives and partnerships with different stakeholders on the local, national and international levels.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.