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  • Ifigenia Katchie

YECh- Youth Volunteering Certification

Volunteering makes an invaluable contribution to society. It is an important driver of inclusive growth, which contributes to both social and human capital, and fosters intergenerational solidarity, while also offering significant economic value. Involvement in voluntary activities is a tangible expression of participatory democracy and there is a strong connection between volunteering and active citizenship and participation.

The Italian-German Chamber of Commerce (ItalienischeHandelskammer München-Stuttgart)coordinates the activities foreseen in the innovative Erasmus project “Youth Volunteering Certification - Youth Voice”. All the results will be spread at European level and achieved thanks to the close collaboration with six other organizations, namely, Institute of Entrepreneurship Development (Greece),Social Policy and Action Organization(Cyprus),GramignaOdV(Italy),Rightchallenge(Portugal), Out of the Box International (Belgium) and Go Digit All(UK).

YECh and its partners wantto foster active youth participation and enhance their employability thanks to the establishment of a certificate of volunteer work, that will be officially recognized in all European countries. In this framework,the project relies on already established and validated tools such as the European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET): a powerful tool for increasing cross-border cooperation in education and training. The project targets youth organizations, young volunteers, NGOs’ staff members, team leaders, youth leaders, trainers, youth and social workers: all interested parties will be regularly informed about the opportunities available during the course of the project.

Volunteering" refers to all forms of voluntary activity, whether formal or informal, undertaken of a person's own free will, choice and motivation, without concern for financial gain. It is estimated that there are over 100 million volunteers in Europe, making an important contribution to the development of the society, the economy and the individual.

Within this context, the project’s objectives are:

· To promote skills, competencies and knowledge that young people in participation countries and in general Europe gained through volunteer work and informal and non-formal learning processes

· To foster the inclusion and employability of young people, including people with fewer opportunities and young immigrants and refugees

· To support improvements in quality and innovation in youth work and volunteer work in NGOs, organizations and institutions (private and public) and further develop and train people involved in the field of youth

· To foster the recognition and quality of volunteer work and promote the networking, training and exchanging of good practices among youth workers in a local, regional and European level.

Up until December 2019 partner organizations will work on the development of a universal profile of the volunteer and a methodology for the relative certification.From 20 to 24 January 2020 in Larissa, Greece, a training activity for young volunteers and staff members of volunteering organizations will be organized by the Institute for Entrepreneurship Development. Employees and young trainees will have the opportunity to learn more creative teaching methods for the young people and to exchange their knowledge and experience with other employees.

The training is aimed at a selected team of 28 youth trainers (4 participants per country) aged between 20 and 29. Participants must be able to understand and speak English, be open to new ideas and show motivation to participate in the transnational activity. Interested participants should get in contact with the spokespersons of their country. Contacts can be found here. The costs of travel and accommodation will be covered by the project up to a certain maximum amount.

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