The reciprocal multilateral EVS project, “InterACTive Citizenship” takes up the motto of the 2013 “European Year of Citizens” by mobilising and coordinating young people’s active engagement in citizenship activities around the globe. Through volunteering, an essential element in active citizenship, this project aims at developing in young citizens a commitment to society and to political life in society.The 11 volunteers – 6 from the EU, 5 from Asia, Africa and Latin America – in this 9-month EVS project will not only live in another country and be exposed to its cultural diversity, they will also actively engage in the most diverse range of civil society projects addressing community development (UK), human rights, refugees & the homeless (Italy, Iceland), the disabled (Spain, India), health and education (Nigeria), street children (Bolivia), the elderly (Indonesia), poverty alleviation, empowerment and education (Uganda, India) and voluntary service and active citizenship (Poland). Thereby, the 11 young active citizens will interACT with and for people with fewer opportunities. An intercultural learning approach will enable the building of socio-political consciousness that empowers these young people to critique unjust social structures and reflect on what active citizenship entails, because a responsible, actively engaged citizen is one who can critique prevailing inequalities and assist in bringing about change in the living conditions of the marginalised, the oppressed. The volunteers’ practical work will serve to infuse an obligation to intervene, to disseminate good practice and encourage actions that lead to change. They will be interACTive agents of citizenship, creating awareness and stimulating debate on the need for the larger involvement of civil society in the EU and far beyond. The project thus aims at solidarity and trust, and opening up possibilities of learning and exchange on active citizenship and the responsibilities that go with it.
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