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Volunteering: A Youth Empowerment Instrument
Start date: Jan 1, 2015, End date: Dec 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The training course took place in Kobuleti, Georgia on 29 June - 07 July The course brought together 21 youth workers in their function as project coordinators, mentors of volunteers, volunteer coordinators from Italy, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Moldova, Georgia and Portugal. Activities and events of non-governmental organisations are very often based on the voluntary engagement of young people willing to contribute their enthusiasm and time. If well managed, voluntary work is a win-win situation for all parties involved: 1) the volunteer as s/he earns specific hard and soft skills raising self-confidence and qualification for the labour market, 2) the organisation in which the volunteer dedicates her/ his time as it gains support and extra accomplishments, unmanageable without the commitment of the volunteers, and 3) the local community in which the volunteer works by benefiting in diverse ways depending on the specific activities realised by the volunteer. In this context, the training course aimed to improve organisational capacities in managing local and international volunteering projects by addressing the following objectives: - To conceptualise with the project partners their approaches to volunteering in their work context - To foster organisational and individual competences in planning, implementation, mentoring and evaluating local and international volunteering projects - To develop organisational strategies for inclusion of young people in volunteering projects, specifically those with fewer opportunities - To develop organisational check lists and procedures for the most essential steps in volunteering projects As a result of the course, in the end the participants got competences to: - motivate, manage and coach international and local young volunteers - set learning objectives and monitoring outcomes together with the volunteers - develop strategies of inclusion of young volunteers with learning difficulties - promote successfully volunteering and active participation in their local community - Develop own check lists for the most essential steps in volunteering projects The training course was be based on methods of non-formal education defined by its learner-centred, flexible and adaptable, inclusive, planned and evaluated approach based on voluntary participation of the learners. The training course has provided space to the participants share their experiences in volunteering projects, and facilitate an open exchange of competencies among them. The specific methods applied ranged from workshop, debates, exercises to participants-led programme parts.
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