Volunteering, Making a difference, eXpress, the ESN Magazine, 12th Edition, Autumn 2011
Young Volunteers Stand up!
On September 7-11, the European Youth Forum organised the biggest Civil Society event of the European Year on Volunteering proving and showcasing the impact and outreach of volunteers in youth organisations: the II Youth Convention on Volunteering.
The event, hosted by the European Parliament, was a space for young volunteers and youth organisations to work together, to discuss with European decision-makers and to celebrate the commitment of young people throughout Europe building a better Europe every day.
The Convention consisted of a wide range of activities, most notably the Stakeholder Conference on the Rights of Volunteers, the Volunteer Bridge dedicated to the EU-China Year of Youth, the Volunteers Village, hosting Member Organisations' and other partners' stands and activities, the launch of the European Youth Forum Alumni Network and the YO!Fest which celebrated 15 years of the European Youth Forum.
Part of the Convention was the Volunteer Bridge, one of the flagship events of the 2011 EU-China Year of Youth, organised by the European Youth Forum in partnership with the All-China Youth Federation, the European Commission and the European External Action Service and with the support of the Policy Dialogue Support Facility. A World Music Village Workshop, a Graffiti Workshop and the III China-Europe Symposium on Youth Work Development featured in this event. It provided an experience of volunteering and showcased the contribution of participatory youth organisations to the volunteering sector and to society.
The Village provided the space to more than 80 organisations, Members and non-Members of the platform, to present their work, to bring forward the added value of volunteering within their specific contexts and to engage participants and visitors in a set of workshops and interactive sessions. This Village showed the diversity and strength of youth work and the work of youth organisations. The Youth Forum therefore held a meeting in the Village with experts of the institutions who work on the new cycle of EU Programmes dedicated to Youth.
Overall the Convention gave visibility to volunteering in youth work, showcased the impact of youth organisations, provided them with a space for exchange and to learn from best practices and gave political visibility to the European Youth Forum across the institutions in Brussels. One of the first results was the support to the draft Charter on the Rights and Responsibilities of Volunteers from several important actors such as Mr. Staffan Nilsson, President of the European Economic and Social Committee, Mr. Gianni Pittella, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Ms. Isabelle Durant, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Mr. Jean-Pierre Vandersteen, Director General for Communication of DG Communications (EC), Ms. Marian Harkin, EP Coordinator of the European Year of Volunteering.
The video report of the Convention can be viewed on the Youth Forum's Vimeo page.
EUCIS-LLL key messages on the European Year 2011 on Volunteering
The European Civil Society Platform on Lifelong Learning (EUCIS-LLL) brings together 25 European networks working in education and training. Together, they cover all sectors of education and training including networks for secondary and higher education, vocational education and training, adult education and popular education. Together they represent millions of students, school heads, parents, human resources professionals, teachers and trainers, reaching out to hundreds of millions learners all over Europe and beyond.
Volunteering plays an indispensable and capital role in lifelong learning. EUCIS-LLL key messages on the European Year 2011 are the result of the discussions that took place during the EUCIS-LLL annual conference on "The role, place and value given to volunteering in education and training" (9 May 2011, Krakow) and EUCIS-LLL working group on the social dimension of education and training.
Volunteer Academy Kazan, RussiaExecutive Committee Kazan 2013 organized the camp for volunteers on 20th-24th September 2011 in Kazan, Russia in the cooperation with the Ministry of Sports, Tourism and the Youth Policy of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Tourism of the Tatarstan.
ENGSO Youth representatives, Natasa Jankovic and Damir Stajner, took active part in the Volunteer Camp as guest speakers during lectures and workshops on the following topics: "Communication and Motivation as important elements of the Volunteer Management process"; "How cultural and sport events influence on the development of volunteering" and "Recruitment and Selection of volunteers for major sport events".
Around 500 participants took part in the International youth volunteers camp "Volunteer Academy" which took place in the Universiade Village in Kazan. Participants on the Camp were young volunteers from all over Russia as well as from Europe.
The purpose of the camp was to gain together young people who are actively involved in volunteering and have experience in the field of international communication. Volunteers were given the opportunity to work with the representatives of the Executive Committee of XXVII World Summer Kazan Universiade 2013, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Tourism of Tatarstan, the members of the State Duma of Russian Federation and famous athletes. The educational program of the Volunteer Academy helped young people to get necessary knowledge and skills of how to involve, train and select volunteers for Universiade 2013 as well as to learn Russian and Tatar culture and traditions.
27th World University Summer Games will be held in 2013 in Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan. Universiade is the second major sport event after Olympics. Therefore, in order to provide successful organization of Universiade 2013, 20.000 qualified volunteers have to be recruited. The preparation for the Universiade 2013 in Kazan is gathering pace, the number of volunteers involved in projects is growing.
For more information abouth the volunteering opportunities visit the official website http://kazan2013.com
Volunteering in Sport - a priority topic for the French ENGSO Youth Member, CNOSF Youth CommissionThe European Year of volunteering offered the youth commission of the French CNOSF (made up of all volunteers) a priority topic for the year as volunteering is one of the main pillars behind participation in sports as we know it.
The youth commission thus, made a common reflection on the current situation and needs for both youth and the sports movement today. This brainstorm led to the creation of a tool-kit; "I am a sports person, but also a volunteer in my club" targeted to youth ranging from school students to university. This tool-kit elaborated not only on what volunteering is but additionally, offered an insight into the different tasks and levels a young individual could contribute to. This tool kit is accompanied by a pedagogical support document to be as user friendly as possible. The kit was presented and is disseminated in a variety of meetings and schools sports conferences in the hope to develop an even wider Volunteering Culture in France and Sports.
In addition, the French CNOSF with the youth commission contributed to a full day of panel debates around volunteering during the "volunteering caravane" which traveled around Europe. This day dedicated to sports and volunteering looked at issues around, youth, gender, disability, inclusion and access to volunteering in France and extended the debate to wider Europe. Overall a very successful day which brought, practitioners, leaders and politicians to enter into a trans-generational dialogue around the common barriers and solutions to volunteering in sports in Europe.
Even though volunteering is not a punctual action and demands long term commitment, strategy and initiatives, the focus of a European Year of Volunteering offered within the French Youth and Sport movement a valuable space for both reflection and dialogue.
ENGSO Youth on the II Youth Convention on Vounteering in BrusselsDuring the II Youth Convention on Volunteering in Brussels, 7th-11th September 2011, ENGSO Youth Committee Members took active part in the Volunteer Village on the Esplenade of the European Parliament together with their partners – Executive Committee of Universiade Kazan 2013.
Besides workshop "Motivational tools for volunteers – Best practices in sport volunteering - Universiade Belgrade 2009 and Universiade Kazan 2013" an interactive sport game "Funny Universiade" was organized for all the visitors of ENGSO Youth stand. Aims of the activities were: to improve the practical organisation of sport voluntary programs; to improve volunteering within organisation through good structured motivational programs; to motivate young people to become part of the project Universiade Kazan 2013; to promote sport and healthy lifestyles and promote sport volunteering as a developing part of youth activity in modern society.
"The Convention was a great opportunity to present our work, exchange best practices, to learn from each other and develop new ideas. Sport is the biggest sector for volunteering in Europe and a great tool for promotion of true values among youth. This kind of events are always inspirational and it was very excited for us to be in the European Parliament and engage with MEPs and political decision makers", said Natasa Jankovic, ENGSO Youth Committee Member during her speech in front of the workshop organisers on the closing ceremony.
During the ENGSO Youth workshops participants had the chance to hear good practices when it comes to motivation of volunteers in sport sector, as well as to discuss and give their own ideas and recommendations. Through second activity "Funny Universiade", an informative-interactive game, some sports of Universiade 2013 were presented with slightly changed rules. Participants had the opportunity to show their skills and team work in track and field, beltwrestling and football.
Each activity lasted for 1,5 hours. All visitors had a chance to sign up for volunteering positions and start their unique volunteering journey in sport sector.
To find out more about ENGSO Youth activities, visit our website http://www.youth-sport.net/
The AcademyOver 140 participants enjoyed 5 days of interesting workshops and a lot of fun at the 2011 Academy, organised jointly by the WOSM - European Region and European Region WAGGGS. The event took place in the inspiring city of Paris from October 28 to November 1. Participants from all around Europe had the choice between 22 sessions, all related to the overall theme of the event "Growth through Quality". Some of the sessions were dealing with the issue of volunteering, especially those on:
• Recruitment, management and retention of adults
• Advocacy and value of volunteering
• Development and recognition of skills learned through Scouting
• Mentoring and Coaching
• Reaching out to volunteers from immigrant groups
• Lifelong Learning/active ageing in Scouting
This year's Academy provided great learning experience, space for exchange of knowledge and best practices, but was also used for a lot of fun during the sessions and after the official programme. The hosts from Scouts et Guides de France organized a funny game to discover Paris by using mobile phone technology.
The Academy was extensively followed by Scouts and Guides through social media networks.
More about the Academy is available from http://academy.europak-online.net/.
The World Scout Jamboree
40,000 Scouts from all over the world gathered at the 22nd World Scout Jamboree held at Rinkaby near Kristianstad, in southern Sweden. Volunteer staff has been preparing the site for several weeks, with a full complement of ten thousand Scout volunteers from every continent.
The host for the Jamboree, the Guide and Scout Council of Sweden, has selected a theme of "Simply Scouting." Participants experience traditional scouting activities in a 10 day program such as pioneering (building with logs and rope) as well as experiencing the Jamboree with new media such as social networking. The camp programme is based on three main concepts: meetings, nature and solidarity.
The World Scout Jamboree is the premier Scouting event in the Scouting movement and takes place every four years. The event can be compared to the Olympic Games given the number of participants, the significance of the event to worldwide Scouting and the massive preparation necessary to make such a huge event go smoothly. This is the biggest youth event ever held in Sweden, both for the number of youth in attendance and the number of participating countries.
Up to 1500 of the volunteers have taken more than a month to build the camp. The remainder of the 10,000 volunteers necessary to make the camp work arrived on 25 July, 2011. With the arrival of the participants on 27 July, from about 150 countries, the Jamboree takes on the character of a sizable city with all the facilities in place. However, the best way to describe the event is a massive celebration for two weeks enjoying the fun and the shared values of Scouting.
Empowered with tools to take home to be better global citizens, Scouts were participating in interactive activities where they are learning about global issues. At night the Scouts explored a forest having to think about their abilities, make choices and live different realities. Perspectives are changing as Scouts see the world as a small child or what it means to be old while reflecting on what it means to be whom they are. Other Scouts were learning not just about themselves but about people from all over the world. The have contemplated what makes them think as they do and whether they are really the same as everyone else, as well as how much each has in common with people from throughout the world. Another opportunity has been to explore the diversity of our planet and experience the dance of the elements. Discovery of how much their actions can affect their world and the things they can do to help improve and sustain our world is challenging the Scouts.
During the Jamboree, two people from each contingent will get an opportunity to go offsite and be part of a "United Nations simulation", where they are representing their own country. The topic of the day is "Global Warming" and the participants will discuss and make resolutions on the personal responsibilities of scouts as well as resolutions recommending the WOSM position at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP17) later this year.
Challenges to explore different world faiths and learn how much in common each faith may share are encountered daily. Scouts were experiencing first-hand the ability of distinct faith communities to co-exist peacefully and learn how to live in tolerance and harmony. At the Jamboree Forum, Scouts hear outstanding keynote speakers discussing topics of global importance such as the role of Scouting in eradicating poverty and how Scouting is itself a Forum for interreligious dialogue.
One of the most exciting new features of this Jamboree has been "Camp in Camp" where Scouts have been heading out into the Swedish countryside, joining Swedish Scouts to experience "Simply Scouting" the Swedish way staying out over night before returning to the Jamboree location. A few lucky Scout troops had the pleasure of camping with H.M. King Carl Gustaf of Sweden. Another highlight of the Jamboree has been the "Safe from Harm" conference on preventing child abuse with keynote speaker H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden.
A global campaign, "Messengers of Peace" has been launched at the Jamboree. Scouts have learned of the contributions of Scouts worldwide to global peace and are trained to expand their own local impact.
Another key concept that marks Scouting at the Jamboree is giving. Scouts from the more wealthy countries donated their tents and gear to Scouts from less advantaged countries. Many had contributed to the One World Solidarity Fund which enabled more that 500 less well off participants to attend the Jamboree.
The closing ceremony on 6 August marked the spirit of the Jamboree, specially designed to reflect one of the greatest values of Scouting: solidarity. With a spirit of celebration and togetherness, the Scouts will return home charged up for scouting and ready to take on the challenges of their world at home and abroad.
Several thousand Scouts have each committed to provide over 100 hours of community service when they return home, and a total of over 250,000 hours have been committed. With around 1,120,000 hours devoted to the organisation of the Jamboree by around 10,000 volunteers, Scouts have proven their commitment to the European Year of Volunteering 2011.
More about the 22nd World Scout Jamboree is available from www.worldscoutjamboree.se
The role, place and value given to volunteering in education and training. General report of EUCIS-LLL Annual Conference - Krakow - 9 May 2011, published by the European Civil Society Platform on Lifelong Learning (EUCIS-LLL), September 2011.
The EUCIS-LLL conference "The role, place and value given to volunteering in education and training" was held at the International Culture Centre of Krakow (Poland) on "Europe Day", 9 May 2011. Volunteers play an essential role in lifelong learning. Being active as a volunteer contributes towards developing knowledge, skills and competences that one could not have gained in traditional systems. Today theses competences are seldom recognised within education and training systems whereas research shows that volunteering contributes to Europe's democratic life and social model but also to volunteers' civic, social and economic participation. It is thus important to look at ways of encouraging, supporting and recognising volunteering and volunteers within education and training. For instance how can the implementation of European frameworks (EQF, Europass, validation guidelines, etc.) be used to encourage and support volunteers of all ages? What can we learn from existing practices around Europe?