Volunteering offers significant opportunities for learning as being involved in volunteering may offer youth new skills and competences to improve their employability. This is of great importance in this economy crisis period.
In the European Union, almost 100 million citizens of all age invest their time, talents, even money to positively contribute to their community by volunteering in civil society organisations, youth clubs, hospitals, schools, etc. Volunteering is an active expression of civic engagement which strengthens common European values such solidarity and social cohesion. Volunteering plays an important role in various sectors such as education, youth work, culture, sports, environment, healthcare, social care, consumer protection, humanitarian aid, development policy, research, equal opportunities for all, and international relations.
May 3 â€“ 10 2014, “Volunteer Your Way to Employment” training was held in Nicosia, Cyprus, and was attended by a representative of the Institute for Youth Development KULT. The idea for the training arose over many years of experience of the Youth Power organisation, in collaboration with local volunteers and cooperation with organisations dealing with volunteering-related matters and volunteers in Europe.
Based on all these experiences they concluded that:
a ) There are many organisations across Europe working with young volunteers on a daily basis, but they miss strategy and long-term objectives to ensure volunteersâ€™ personal development on one hand and organisationsâ€™ sustainability on the other.
b ) Volunteering programs, although fulfilling the needs of youth and strengthening their competencies in the right way, can do a lot for their future employment. This is achieved by empowering and involving lifelong learning in their objectives.