VOLPOWER studies how volunteering could contribute to youth interaction and empowerment. It investigates the impacts of personal politics, geography, mobility and creativity on community building and integration. We aim to tackle this via an analysis of the manifold interdependencies between the social and the spatial catchment areas of volunteer initiatives, and a thorough inventory of the specificities and structure of micro communities. Our impact will be to provide volunteering opportunities focused on interactive efforts and harnessing digital tools for community building, between EU nationals (EUN) and third country nationals (TCN). For community building and social integration, VOLPOWER will deliver, first, direct, active and participatory processes; second, enhanced dialogue, collaboration and resource sharing to promote cultural exchange; third, youth volunteering projects in sports, and creative arts and culture; fourth, mentoring activities to help volunteers to facilitate intercultural dialogue; fifth, gender focus in community building with a concentration on diverging gender roles and identities, including the LGBTQI communities; and sixth, volunteering hubs – VOLHUBs – and a volunteering app – VOLAPP – for sustainable volunteering. In a pan-European fashion, we are an academic and activist network based in Scotland, the Netherlands, Austria, Malta, Italy, Croatia and Slovenia. We work with young adults between the age of 18 and 27. Our beneficiaries are in the short term TCNs including refugees and asylum seekers, NGOs and local governments at the EU border zones; medium-term, EUN and TCN volunteer participants to gain soft-skills for integration; and long-term, public authorities and local stakeholders dealing with migration, communities facing unanticipated arrival of TCNs and the governance of interculturalism across the national and EU levels.
Published December 12, 2018 by Alison