What Is a Volunteer and Does it Grow Here?

With the project “What Is a Volunteer and Does it Grow Here” we aim to stimulate the active participation of youth in the community and volunteer initiatives at a local and national level, to educate the local community about European citizenship and European values. With the project, we will help young people to acquire professional and soft skills in a non-formal way and thus support their future professional and personal development. Additionally, we will encourage social inclusion and equal opportunities for young people with fewer opportunities.

Project’s objectives

We will provide participants and organizations with a voluntary service at a national level that is structured, complies with European quality requirements and provides validation of acquired skills by volunteers. We will increase the capacity of organizations at a local and national level to participate in such projects.

Throughout the project, we will raise awareness of the local community and organizations about the possibilities of European youth programs, in particular the European Solidarity Corps, the power of non-formal education, the opportunities for local and international volunteering, the opportunities for youth solidarity initiatives. In the long run, we will attract new program participants to both local solidarity initiatives and volunteering, as well as European partner projects for exchange and volunteering, and we will support the efforts to create a national regulatory framework about volunteering.

The project will include disadvantaged youngsters who will acquire new skills and knowledge and support in their transition from education to employment. Local organizations will improve their capacity to organize structured volunteering, work on European projects and work with young people.

Through the project, will increase the awareness and the access of young people, youth organizations and the local community to the opportunities available for organizing and participating in quality European solidarity and volunteering programs and the role of the European Solidarity Corps.They will become aware of their role as responsible and active citizens of present and future Europe and will start thinking about European society and its values, tolerance and understanding of the differences in society as a whole will be fostered. In the long run, our goal is to synchronize the European standards for volunteering, attract new participants in future projects, create new opportunities for cooperation between organizations in Bulgaria, the European Union and the World, also to disseminate the common European objectives and tasks in the social field.

Planned activities

This project includes 4 young people from Bulgaria who will participate in 10 months of voluntary service in Varna. The volunteers will start their service in early February 2019 and will end at the end of 2020. 2 Varna European Youth Capital, and 2 Association FOR YOU. The young volunteers will be involved in leisure activities for disadvantaged children and young people (disabled, people with low education and those living in poverty), non-formal education, youth mobility promotion, as well as youth counselling, information campaigns and events on volunteering and active inclusion, organization of sports, youth and cultural events, organization and creation of art workshops, marketing and advertising activities, reuse of waste materials, the study of local, national and youth policies, work on international projects.

Who will participate?

The volunteers are aged between 18 and 30, motivated to participate in the proposed activities and open to working with different people in terms of their social background or ethnicity. They are interested in working with children and young people and willing to organize public events. Volunteers in this project have completed their education or are at the end of their training cycle and wish to gain more practical experience. These are young people whose interests are in the following areas – social activities and social management, pedagogy, youth activities and policies, physical education and healthy lifestyle, media and communication, design, visual arts, fine and applied arts, music and cinema, working with children, non-formal education, foreign languages, international relations, public administration, culture and cultural management. As one of the volunteers will be in a disadvantaged situation.

During the project, Association FOR YOU will have the role of supporting and coordinating organization and will be responsible for the preparation of volunteers and organizations, ensuring the quality of the volunteering project and ensuring the achievement of goals and results. FOR YOU will provide an overall project evaluation, administrative and financial management of the project. Additionally, FOR YOU will also play the role of a host organization of 2 volunteers. and Association Varna – European Youth Capital will be the other hosting organization. They will be responsible for organizing quality volunteering activities in their organizations and will provide support for the implementation of the activities of their volunteers. The organizations will participate in the implementation of the additional activities and conduct the activities for visibility and dissemination of the results. At the beginning of the project, the relationship between all parties will be negotiated in activity agreements and further agreements will be concluded between the partners for the implementation of the planned activities, the additional event and dissemination of the results. The communication between all interested parties will be through e-mail, personal meetings, telephone, mail.

The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.