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Volunteering 101, Saint-Georges-d’Oléron, France

The Youth Exchange “Volunteering 101” was implemented in Saint-Georges-d’Oléron, France from 2 – 10 October 2021. It gathered together 42 participants coming from 6 European countries: France, Spain, North Macedonia, Latvia, Greece and Poland in order to motivate them to become active volunteers, to dive deeper into the topic of volunteerism and learn its core benefits.

During the Youth exchange the participants had an opportunity to discover different volunteer opportunities available in their countries, what encourages or discourages young people to volunteer, as well as, what are the benefits of volunteering on personal and societal level through presentations, discussions, creative workshops, role plays, outdoor activities, etc. Given that, they were able to share the realities in their countries related to volunteering, to discover what motivates young people to volunteer, as well as, to develop empathy with those who are less fortunate.

All the activities were chosen in a way that they built upon each other for getting participants in the right mind-set that allowed them to take ownership of the project and produce results. Given that, each day was started with an energizer and was finished with reflection focused on discussing the learning goals and achievements of participants. In the end, the participants created a video about volunteering, a digital Booklet about volunteering, as well as an Instagram page and a website about how to start volunteering abroad.

Thus, the Youth exchange also allowed participants to get to know each other and their cultures, to widen their horizons, to improve their soft skills, to challenge themselves and to create life-time memories.