“WITH FAITH AND COMPETENCE”

International programs

Providing Technical Assistance to European Organisations to Send Volunteers to Countries Outside Europe

Author: Főadmin Date: 2016. október 26., szerda 10:42

At the end of 2015, Volonteurope teamed up with its member Alianza por la Solidaridad, Hungarian Baptist Aid (HBAid) and GVC to support the implementation of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative. The four organisations, combining expertise in humanitarian aid and volunteer management, have joined forces and opened a call for interest to offer technical assistance to European organisations wishing to send volunteers under the initiative. The overall aim of the Technical Assistance project is to support organisations in upgrading their systems in line with the quality standards required by EU Aid Volunteers and by doing so double the number of accredited sending organisations.

As a first step, a cohort of 49 organisations, including 21 Volonteurope members, took part in an e-learning course on volunteering in humanitarian action throughout May 2016. Accompanied by two webinars, e-training allowed participating organisations to get to know the EUAV initiative, humanitarian action and specifics of volunteering in humanitarian contexts. Participants had also an opportunity to have first-hand experience from organisations and volunteers that had participated in the pilot EU Aid Volunteers projects.
(See Alianza’s testimony)

Following this, interested organisations were asked to fill in a short questionnaire, and by doing so allowed the consortium team to gather information to determine their suitability in the view of the requirements and specifics of the EU Aid Volunteers programme. Through this, they were able to set a base to select 16 organisations to receive technical assistance, giving priority to Volonteurope members.

Over the next months’ upcoming phases organisations will participate in online trainings on the selected EUAV quality standards, and the expert consortium team will work closely with each organisation to design and implement a tailored work plan. They will be supported along the path to certification with technical assistance visits, experience exchanges and mentoring.

During the accreditation process, organisations can access support through the new, specially designed Volonteurope platform, which will host community practice and training spaces. Finally, support and information will be also be available to other organisations interested in pursuing accreditation during the final phase of the project, via national focal points and activities.

The EU Aid Volunteers initiative is an opportunity to promote cooperation between European active citizens, working side by side with communities in countries that are experiencing humanitarian crises. If we look examine the initiative through numbers alone:  the EU Aid Volunteers project will give 4,000 EU citizens the opportunity to volunteer in third-countries, furthermore, the project will provide around 10,000 online volunteering opportunities.

Having seen synergies with our current ongoing projects, we consider the Initiative as an opportunity to link local, regional and global activities responding to challenges worldwide, and therefore exercise and strengthen active citizenship at the global level.

 

By Kasia Tusiewicz, Alianza por la Solidaridad

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