Get Involved: Lend a Hand!
Start date: Feb 1, 2015,
End date: Sep 30, 2015
During one of our weekly discussions, the subject of volunteering cropped up. After some deliberation, we agreed that helping others without expecting anything in return is one of the most satisfying things we can experience. Also, this experience could offer young people an opportunity to understand a variety of work environments. We also felt that we needed to bring more awareness amongst young people about the various aspects of volunteering. Research was conducted regarding the title to gather more information and ideas. With all the background data in our hands, we made an initial evaluation of alternatives, where we summarized our ideas to come to the final theme. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis) were established to analyze our project in order to improve where necessary and take advantage of our assets.
The main aims and objectives of our project included:
1. To make participants aware that volunteering is important as it has a positive impact on the health and well being of the communities.
2. To empower participants to take initiatives and actions.
3. To help participants gain professional experiences through non-formal and informal learning.
4. To unite people from diverse cultures and collaborate together towards a common goal.
5. To promote personal growth and self-esteem.
6. To promote teamwork and learn new skills.
7. To build self-esteem and self-confidence in the participants
8. To enable the participants to expose their hidden talents and abilities
9. To help youths to develop leadership and communication skills
10.To motivate young people with fewer opportunities in participating
Aims number 1, 2, 3, addressed the topic 'Recognition'. The topic 'Labour Market issues' was addressed by aims numbers 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 whilst aims numbers 4 and 10 addressed the topic 'Youth Participation'.
Hence, the aim of our project was to enable and encourage young people to volunteer and work amongst people in our society, whilst giving them the opportunity to develop themselves and thus grow stronger intellectually. We aimed to work with youngsters and youths some of whom were less fortunate than others, as well as youths from Spain and Greece.
Through this project we showed that giving up some of our free time is rewarding and helps one grow emotionally whilst giving something without expecting anything in return. Through non-formal education, over a period of eight days, we organized several activities which were both fun and appreciated by society. The activities we organised included:
1) A clean-up activity at the Majjistral Park. This activity introduced and reinforced the idea of commitment to Mother Earth and encouraged the participants to strive to safeguard our environment for the benefit of all.
2) A session Civil Protection personnel. This activity introduced the group to the varied work this department carries out in order to safeguard our well being.
3) A Flashmob - this activity helped us with the visibility of the project.
Due to high temperatures, the dog walk and helping on the farm were cancelled. These were substituted with 1): an activity with the elderly. The elderly were invited to come to our premises and a number of activities were held. The elderly were very happy with the event and expressed their wish to repeat it. 2) designing a mural as a lasting reminder to participants that collaboration and volunteering is beneficial for both givers and receivers. The mural consisted of a large tree and all participants put their hand print as a sign of commitment to the community and environment. 3) A visit to the Reverse Osmosis plant in Pembroke made participants aware of the importance of being environmentally responsible.
Hence, it is safe to say that our varied activities gave the participants opportunities to work in different environments and thus, making them more employable, aware of the environment, committed towards the community besides learning new skills, meeting new people and having fun.
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