Volunteering for the Future
This is a three-year project which brings together partners from four different countries to promote active citizenship among international volunteers who want to learn and grow. The outcomesof the project generate resources about active citizenship, including research and training manuals for returned volunteers, training opportunities for volunteers and volunteer-sending-agency representatives, and shared learning events to share the useful practice created through collaboration.
What is the project about?
The project focuses on developing high quality learning opportunities tailored to young volunteers, returning from the global south, to upskill them as active citizens on international development issues. Utilising innovative outreach and delivery methodologies, it aims to nurture the transformative potential of these young people’s overseas experience and translate it into a deepened sense of identity, as active global citizens.
This project is funded by Erasmus+ and the project brings together four different organisations: INEX-SDA (Czech Republic), Comhlámh (Ireland), Volunteering Matters (UK) and finep (Germany).
Outcomes of the Project
What Next? – A training resource for working with returned volunteers
This training resource is one of the key outputs developed for the project: it’s aimed at volunteer sending agencies and any other organisations or groups that work with volunteers who are returning from placements in the global south. It provides a practical guide to supporting volunteers in their journey as active citizens. There are two manuals available: pan-European version in English and version for specific Czech national context in Czech language (A co dál?).
A companion manual for working with returned development workers and volunteers
This manual supports trainers to facilitate high quality active global citizenship training within their youth volunteering programmes. The Companion is divided into two sections, both of which aim to support trainers in their ongoing work on encouraging volunteers’ active citizenship journeys:
Section 1: reflection and critical examination of our contexts
Section 2: embedding these reflections into practice
Online Course: What Next?
This is online course for returned development workers and volunteers to explore how they can become active citizens. The course has four stages:
- Explore and reflect on your experience
- Develop critical literacy skills
- Inspire and connect with projects and actions
- Learn skills and tools to plan and implement projects
Engaging returned volunteers in active citizenship – research, learning and best practice from four countries
The first step in the project in 2016, a research report, collects best practices from across the EU on fostering active citizenship within international youth volunteers. The research involves two main elements: a literature review and the dissemination of a survey to organisations throughout the EU that are engaged in international volunteering. The findings from the literature review and the survey response were developed into ‘Twelve Steps to Active Citizenship for International Volunteers’, which have subsequently been incorporated into the training course and manual.
Training: What Next? – Returned volunteers mobilizing for global justice
This course brought 35 participants from 4 different countries in Europe (Ireland, UK, Czech and Germany) to Doubravka in Vysočina. All participants have lived and worked/volunteered in the global South at some point. The course looked at ways participants can take the learning from this experience into their lives and communities in order to work on social justice issues.
Event: Summer Gathering of Facilitators
In July 2018, a non-formal summer gathering of global education facilitators was held in Prague. Participants had an opportunity to reflect on their background as facilitators, hear about outcomes of the Volunteering for the Future project and discuss about current trends in international volunteering. Participants also enjoyed delicious vegan dinner and tested their knowledge in a funny quiz.
Training: Project Planning Day
In January 2018, a one-day project planning training took place in Prague. The training was a space to share project ideas, to work out the ideas in the project planning concept, to find co-workers and to receive feedback. Altogether 13 high-motivated participants took part of this training.