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Access Volunteering in Europe! The impact of international mobility for disadvantaged young persons in Europe

Volunteering -

Itinéraire International, a French youth and popular education association, considers international mobility as a social and professional inclusion tool for young adults. It organises awareness- raising campaigns on different opportunities offered by building a project abroad (getting a job, internship or volunteer service), supports individuals to prepare their projects and offers training for youth workers. Together with la Ligue de l’enseignement, another French popular education movement, it set up a project “Access volunteering in Europe” in the framework of the EU programme AMICUS. The project “Access volunteering in Europe!” supported activities linked to transnational civic service and volunteering activities especially for disadvantaged youth. It aimed at developing guidance and support for volunteering dynamics within hosting and sending organisations to enable the participation of socio-economic disadvantaged young people. Volunteering taking place abroad has specific benefits notably in terms of personal development and identity (i.e. going beyond national stigmatisation) but also for social networking (i.e. breaking isolation). Such intercultural learning process stimulates and enhances European active citizenship. The project allowed 39 youth volunteers, 34 of which were from a socio-economic disadvantaged background, to spend an international 19 volunteering period of 3 to 6 months abroad. In total 139 months were spent (all volunteers together) in one of the 11 partner organisations coming from 7 European countries (Italy, Spain, Portugal, UK, Romania, Netherlands and France). The project activities focused on nonformal education activities (sport, cultural and civic activities, environmental actions, etc.) developed with youngsters from the hosting communities both in an organised environment (schools) as well as in the community at large. Volunteers developed on a personal and social level by acquiring and improving new skills and competences as well as by boosting their selfconfidence.

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Organisation : La Ligue de l’Enseignement

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