Young people in the EU face the risk of marginalisation and social exclusion, with the countries involved in this project being on the top of this list. Different studies made at EU level have pointed out that the skills and qualifications of the volunteers do not always match with the needs of the developing countries or the volunteer organisations. As volunteers, advocates and practitioners of volunteering affirm, specific attention must be given to young people as agents of change, providing them with volunteer opportunities for civic participation and life-long learning through formal but also non- formal education. At the same time, professionals working with youth and particularly with disadvantaged youth, do not have the necessary capacities and tools required for effectively promoting them towards volunteering in a sustainable manner that will enhance their participation, civic engagement, and active citizenship.
The VOLUME project aims to foster the active participation of youth (between 18 – 29 years) at community level, utilising volunteering as a vehicle. This will be pursued through a user-led approach and by developing a capacity building programme and respective tools tailored to the specific needs of this target group. High quality preselected informal learning content will be developed, which will equip young people and professionals working with them with key personal, professional and technical competences and crosscutting common values. Therefore, the main project target group considers young adults wishing to be engaged in volunteering actions while a secondary target group includes professionals working with volunteers, policy makers and civil society actors.
VOLUME will attain its objectives through:
- Creating an environment (e – tool) that accelerates the access to high quality informal training for youth volunteers, locally and globally.
- Providing young volunteers, educators and professionals working with volunteers high quality preselected informal learning content for personal development.
- Equipping young volunteers with professional skills through electronic and physical informal learning materials; online discussion boards, and webinars by well-known influencers and specialists.
The project’s innovative aspect rests on the learning tools and methodologies it intends to implement. More specifically, the informal training offered to volunteers will be based on an online platform and a mobile application deploying pioneer tutoring pedagogies and innovative features (i.e. social bookmarking), on a wide range of thematic areas relevant to building capacity and skills of young adults wishing to volunteer.
During its 24-month duration the VOLUME project will produce the following outcomes:
- The development of an online learning platform for training young adults wishing to be involved in voluntary activities, available in 6 countries, with its content uploaded and made freely available along with a mobile version.
- The development of informal online training sessions, freely available on the platform and mobile application to enhance and develop target groups’ skills and competences in volunteering.
- The creation of a discussion group and a social bookmark feature integrated into the online and mobile learning platforms
- A pilot testing of the web platform for training of young volunteers wishing to engage in volunteerism
- Enhanced competences, knowledge, skills of at least 100 young adults including 30 low-skilled/low-qualified young adults in France, Greece, Austria, Turkey, Ireland, and Cyprus.
- 5 info days and 1 final conference for the promotion of the project focus on introducing the online and mobile platform and promoting the training sessions and learning methodologies/tools developed by the project.
- The production of 6 national reports for the identification of potential training areas, skills and knowledge needs and 1 comparative transnational report
VOLUME at a glance:
- Realisation of online survey targeting 180 young adults (30 participants per country).
- Realisation of Interviews and focus groups on each country with professionals working with young volunteers (10 per country).
- Realisation of one-to-one interviews and focus groups with young volunteers will be also organised aiming 15 participants per country.
- At least 100 volunteers or potential volunteers and trainers participating in the pilot testing of the platform with a provision of 5 young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds per country.
- At least 200 young volunteers or potential volunteers expressing interest about the project
- At least 1000 persons having visited the online platform
- At least 300 persons having downloaded the mobile platform
- Reach at least 480 participants through multiplier events
- Reach at least 10.000 national and EU stakeholders through dissemination activities about project outputs.