International Youth Volunteering
Start date: Jul 1, 2014,
End date: Sep 30, 2015
The British Red Cross International Youth Volunteering Project's mission is to provide high quality international volunteering experiences to meet the needs of 25 young people in their diversity aged 18-30 and the needs of host projects and their communities, thereby promoting active global citizenship. The programme prioritises young people with less opportunity to access other international programmes and those who will benefit most from the personal and social development opportunities which the scheme offers. The volunteers are hosted by British Red Cross services/departments as well as some external ‘host projects’ where they support the delivery of a service for vulnerable people.
In line with wider EVS goals, our International Youth Volunteering Programme (IYV) has a number of specific objectives:
- To encourage young people's active citizenship and participation in civil society;
- To facilitate opportunities for young people to develop international friendship and understanding;
- To provide a mechanism for young people to actively contribute to building more resilient communities in Europe through their involvement in service delivery;
- To encourage social inclusion by ensuring participation among disadvantaged youth as well as projects with an inclusion focus;
- To enhance the employability of young people and develop their knowledge and experience of volunteering in the social sector.
Volunteers will be based at host projects across the UK, living with other EVS volunteers from different European countries. With a range of host projects delivering different services, we can ensure that the volunteer is well matched to a project which meets their interests. All of our host projects are thematically linked by a common commitment to the inclusion of vulnerable groups, both at the local and community level; this focuses primarily on work with people with disabilities and on humanitarian education. The over-arching themes of the programme are also drawn out in greater depth through our seminar programme. This allows a forum for the volunteers to contribute their unique experiences from the host projects into the programme as a whole, whilst also exploring broader themes around active citizenship and European identity. Through a range of non-formal learning activities and experiences, volunteers will be supported over the course of the year to take an active involvement in society, and will also have the space for personal development, self reflection and informal-learning.
The young people involved in this project will develop both 'soft' and 'hard' skills crucial for their future employability. Through a range of personal development and training opportunities, participants will develop skills crucial for future training or employment and have the chance to be engaged as active citizens in civil society. At the local level, the participants will be directly involved with the delivery of services to vulnerable people in the community. Their contact with community groups who may otherwise have little contact with people from overseas enables the intercultural learning from the programme to spread more broadly than the participants themselves. The volunteers will also be encouraged to proactively engage the communities they volunteer with to engage with issues around European identity.
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