Step Up To Change 2015
Start date: Apr 1, 2015,
End date: Mar 31, 2016
The aim of the project was to support young people with fewer opportunities to participate in short-term volunteering activities in other European countries. The project was structured in a way that would provide achievable challenges to young people who could gain the most from them.
The project worked with a group of nine young people from South & West Wales and all with fewer opportunities, to develop and support their involvement in short-term international volunteering activities in different European countries. None had previous comparable experiences before joining this project. The young people received intensive preparation, support, mentoring and pre-departure training, both in 1:1 sessions and collectively, to ensure they were ready for the experiences, and best-placed to gain maximum benefit from them.
While the participants took part in different volunteering activities - in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Russia and Spain - there were common factors to each of the projects. All were international groups projects, made up of young people from different countries who lived and worked together for 2-3 weeks, working on community based initiatives. Most of the activities were environmental (footpath improvements, renovation, gardening) but some involved work with children.
All of the young people participated very successfully – they overcame their fears (especially for the travel), they built strong friendships, managed differences such as food, money, language, etc. Six of the young people had never left the UK so the experiences were very challenging but equally rewarding. All evaluated their projects very positively, all reported strong impacts and several have become more engaged on their return to Wales – with work, study and social situations.
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