Young Europeans for Global Development (EuropeAid)
CYVA „Deineta“ together with partners EstYES (Estonia), JASMA (Latvia), CuCo (Germany), INEX-SDA (Czech Republic) is implementing a common European Union EuropeAid project “Young Europeans for Global Development”, with the goal to raise public awareness of development issues, promote development education in the European Union, and disseminate information about the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. This is a two-year project and it was launched in January 2013, on the first day.
www.contribute-to-change.eu website gives a lot of interesting information about the project activities such as international conferences and youth camps for returned volunteers. Among other things, on this page you will find articles about international studies, researchand practical approach to international volunteering and development education.
Information on all activities carried out by the five partners, and articles with links related to volunteering and global development can also be found here www.facebook.com/yegd2013
The Two Years of „Young Europeans for Global Development“
The first year of the project was quite generous activities-wise for “Deineta”. The first step in this project was the establishment of the volunteers’ club. Partners INEX-SDA (Czech Republic) contributed to the club’s founding and kindly agreed to share their experiences as their volunteers’ club had been already running. “Deineta” volunteers’ club is a place where young people can meet, exchange experiences, use the club as a platform for the implementation of their initiatives and projects.
15 volunteers club meetings were organized in Kaunas and also rural areas of Lithuania on various topics – volunteering programs for young people, global education, global citizenship, MDG’s, fair trade and raising motivation of local youngsters. During our meetings in rural areas we established little initiative groups of youngsters who became active in their communities. The 15 meetings directly invited 150 young people, and more than 4500 people received indirect information about the club being operational.
Four meetings with local partners (Lithuanian national / regional parks and public libraries) were held, which presented the two forthcoming years of cooperation, possibilities of cooperation in joint activities and events were discussed.
5 local stakeholders meetings took place in 2014, during which running and future project events and collaboration was discussed with the local hosting organizations. The stakeholders (mostly state parks and reserves, public libraries) were deeply involved throughout all organized events in their counties and did a lot publicity through their channels in order to reach as many people as possible.
“Deineta” was very pleased to have been able to organize “Young Europeans for Global Development” project partners’ meeting in Kaunas. During the meeting project partners discussed the financial side of the project, made necessary changes to the project for it to be more successful.
3 preparation and 3 follow-up seminars took place. Meetings (follow-up) were organized for reflecting and sharing an experience of volunteers, who have just finished their voluntary service. The training course (pre-departure) had an aim of preparation for youngsters, who were going to start volunteering in different fields and surroundings. Training courses were based on practical and interactive activities, individual and group work. During the follow-up meeting volunteers shared their personal expierences ( advantages and disadvantages ), their expectations, which they had before the voluntary service and reality they faced. Participants shared the things they learned and gained during the projects and made an evaluation of it. Also there were some activities consentrated on the future of participants: wishes, plans and aims. Volunteers discussed on using the experience they acquired during the voluntary service in their daily life and professional field, in future. They gained an useful tool of raising their aims, by setting first concrete steps for reaching it. During the pre-departure training course volunteers got the theoretical input about voluntary service in general. Youngsters have presented the projects they have chosen to volunteer in, shared their fears and expectations, related to the coming voluntary service, learned how to face challenges and deal with arising problems. Finally, acquired the basis of raising the most important aims for the period of volunteering, learned the essence of teamwork and colaboration. At the backgroud of each training topics of Global education were explored on a practical level.
The six meetings provided space for 90 young volunteers to share their experiences and prepare for their volunteer engagement.
2013 November 24-30 days the first Baltic volunteers’ caravan took place in Lithuania spreading the principles of volunteering, ecology and development education. The volunteers’ caravan consisted of five volunteers from Lithuania, one volunteer from Cyprus and two volunteers who had come from the neighboring Latvia. Caravan traveled to the northern part of Lithuania visiting organizations such as the National Park and Žemaitijos, Platelių gymnasium, Kurtuvėnai Regional Park and multifunctional center, Bazilionų school, Gražutės regional park and the village school. The Caravan even visited the municipality of Ignalina, where meeting with the Ignalina youth was held.
In October 2014, “Deineta” organized the second traveling volunteers caravan across Lithuania. Our volunteers team had three guests from abroad who were very exited and motivated to participate in this great action. Two volunteers were from Italy Gioia and Francesca. During the tour they shared lots of experience which they gained during their volunteering service in Nepal and Brazil. They spoke about the importance of getting to know the culture of the country that you’re volunteering in, about being active in the community life and what it brings for a person. Our next volunteer from Germany, Judith, shared her almost ten years experience in volunteering and participating in all kinds of actions, and most importantly she spoke about, as she herself calls, the best year in her life. She spoke about her project in Armenia, which she finished only a few months before participating in our Caravan. All week we were visiting different organizations every day in the whole Lithuania. We met young people in public libraries, regional parks and youth centers. Sometimes it was a challenge for our team to adapt to the audience, because in some host organizations youngsters already knew quite a lot about volunteering oppurtunities, so we had a great possibility to start from that point and touch subjects like fair trade clothes, chocolate, UN millenium development goals and eventually get more deeply into the Global education topic. All the people that came to meet us, were really interested in a subject and even a few weeks later our caravan we got e-mails asking more information about it, which shows that level of interest is growing. Over the week of the caravan we direcly met more than 100 youngsters. More than 1800 received information about the caravan from social media.
On the fifth of December 2013 volunteers celebrated the international day of volunteering. ”Deineta” team, with the help of active volunteers organized an event at a local university. During the event, young people were able to get more information about volunteering opportunities in Lithuania and abroad, the project “Young Europeans for Global Development, Deineta club for volunteers and lay a hand stamp for this particular occasion on large sheet of paper, prepared by the children’s home Atžalynas pupils. Later all hurried to the Town Hall of Kaunas city where volunteers held a march in the old town.
In 2014 we had a joint youth action day with other partner organizations in Kaunas central street “Laisvės alėja”. Free hugs action was initiated and little cards with a question “What good have you done today”? were distributed. The one who answered the question had to pass the card to other person (the idea was to make person think for a second if he really did something good today. People passing by had an opportunity to stop at volunteers desk, have a cup of tea, speak with foreign volunteers, get information about volunteering, global education, fair trade and the impact volunteering has globally.
The most active volunteers of the vlolunteers’ club carried out 10 presentations in schools all over the country. The general topic of such meetings were introducing pupils to the principles and ideas of volunteering and the effect an individual can have in the global arena.
C o n f e r e n c e „ I N T E R N AT I O N A L VOLUNTEERING AS A TOOL FOR S T R E N G T H E N I N G G L O B A L
CITIZENSHIP“ took place in Kaunas (Lituania) 25-27th September. It is part of a large scale multilateral EuropeAid project „Young Europeans for Global Development“ (2013-2014) which aims at increased support and stronger integration of young volunteers as multipliers and peer -educators in awareness – raising and global education measures in the non-formal education sector in new member states of EU, especially in the Baltic states. The European stakeholder conference provided decision – makers and practitioners with suitable background information and best practice exchange platforms in strengthening young volunteers’
potential as peer educators and active global citizens. Space was given to:
share knowledge/practices on development education actions and
MDG awareness-raising in Europe with a focus on its mainstreaming in the new member states; to build stakeholder capacities in terms of knowledge, infrastructure and human resources for all participating representatives and their organisations. The conference took place with 40 participants including 4 guest speakers delegated by partners of the project (organizations from Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America).
Over the three working days of the conference a number of varied topics was covered:
- The different perspectives of Global development and education
- Approaches and methods on how to introduce global education in different local realities and target groups.
-Quality in volunteering and global education
-Practices in setting up educational offers in specific fields of global
-Volunteer recruitment continuum:best practices and challenges.
More participants were involved than we planned and more were from the global South countries than planned.
We estimate that the information about the conference indireclty (email groups, social media) reached around 1000 people. Additional audience was reached by the produced memo for decition makers and information included in the newsletter of the project.
25 photos were taken from volunteers private albums showing their daily life at home, volunteering places (volunteer activities), leisure time and travels. From these photos one can see the reality of life how it really is. Photo exhibition visited 12 places (public libraries, national/regional parks, youth centres) across the country. At each stop the exhibition was displayed for 3-4 weeks in a publically accessible place. We estimate that all in all the exhibition was directly visited by at least 5000 people, and information about the exhibition reached more than 10000 people through social media and websites of the host organizations. After the project the exhibition will rest displayed in the office of CYVA Deineta.
Memos from Conferences
A guidebook developed by project partners: