Invest in young people – the GLUE Project.
“Invest in young people – the GLUE Project” is a youth exchange that will gather 42 unemployed youngsters coming from Croatia, Macedonia, Romania, Turkey, Portugal and Bulgaria; from families at the risk of poverty and facing economic difficulties, with no previous experience in project of this type. These youngsters belong to the largest group of youth population in history – 1.8 billion young people (between 15 and 28 years of age) that live in the world today.
Young people are key agents for social change, and are providing the energy, creative ideas and determination to drive innovation and reform. The main theme of the project is promoting volunteerism with all its benefits and presenting voluntarism as a mechanism for young people to bring positive change in society, and engaging young people in ensuring peace and sustainable human development. Volunteerism complements formal education in teaching the skills that are required for the job market, such as leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, planning, management, creativity, communication. This is especially important given the current unemployment rate and a labour market where competition for jobs is increasing. Researches shows that volunteering is associated with a 27% higher chance of employment, and the effect is especially strong for those with only a high school diploma or who live in rural areas. This is one big reason why every young person should consider doing volunteering. The number of young people involved in volunteering actions is increasing but very slowly. According to European Commission Reports only 5-35% of the young generations (depending on the country) have been involved in volunteering action. Not even half of the youth number! Personal and professional skills acquired through voluntary activities are important resources for enhancement of one’s education and employability. Not only that, active participation of youth in international activities as well as volunteering actions on local level gives great contribution to promotion of tolerance, respect, social inclusion, integration and social cohesion.
Objectives of our project are: to engage 42 participants from 6 countries in a project promoting and practicing voluntarism, benefits we gain from voluntarism on all levels, opportunities we have to volunteer; to recognize and reward volunteering work and share practice among the countries involved; to provide opportunity for 42 youngsters to experience volunteering in practice while working for benefit the local community (help in elderly home, work for the local primary school, work in gardening, work in ecological action, work on drystone walls); to develop set of skills, attitudes, knowledge and sense of belonging among the participants through promoting active participation in their society; to introduce the idea from volunteering to employability; to speak about values and norms of a good citizen – active citizens in society are those who care about others; to tackle the topic of how volunteers can help immigrants integrate in society.
Through non formal methods of learning, learning by doing, role play activities, teambuilding, simulation, analyzing case studies, sharing practice workshops, discussion participants will learn more about the volunteers and how volunteers become the glue of the community, how they help you as individual gain skills needed for the labour market, how they establish links between society and people, how volunteers can help social inclusion of all groups in the society (including refugees, immigrants, youngsters with disabilities) Our group of participants will have a chance to organize 5 open local volunteering actions in Murter (eco action for cleaning the coast, build drystone walls, social activities for the elderly and cleaning elderly home, gardening in local houses in Murter with old people, re-painting walls in primary school) and through them practice volunteering. As well study trip to InfoZona Split will be organized where participants will learn more about volunteering in NGO, civil society organization etc. The last day will be organized in a form of local promotional open stand in the centre of Murter. Pictures from the project and information about benefits and opportunities for volunteering will be offered to local people and students.
Following the project local volunteers actions will be organized in each country simultaneously on the same day and will be broadcasted live on the facebook page that will be developed for the project. These actions will be designed by the participants on the project.
As well, through the project establishment of an e-newsletter for volunteering will be done. First and hopefully second edition of this newsletter will be published during the implementation of the project and follow up activities.
Partners hope that this will stay as one regular sustainable activity for our 6 organizations. Promotional movie will be as well developed.