We are delighted to share with you a new resource that has been created, ‘From Volunteers to Active Citizens’, a publication that has been the result of a pan-European collaboration.
The resource, a curriculum for volunteer sending agencies, was produced by a group of 7 EU-based organisations working with returned international volunteers across Europe: GVC Italia (Italy), Alianza por la Solidaridad (Spain), Inex-SDA(Czech Republic), Zavod Voluntariat (Slovenia), Volunteurope (UK/ Europe), Deineta (Lithuania) and Comhlámh (Ireland).
As a group of peer organisations with a shared interest, our motivation was to build the capacity within our organisations, and beyond to other organisations within Europe and more globally, to deepen volunteers’ ongoing learning and engagement in international development.
The idea emerged to share best practice of development education in volunteering, through the design and production of a common curriculum for engaging returned volunteers in ongoing action for global justice.
This curriculum is the result of this initial idea, and we hope that the content within will enable those working with volunteers to further build the capacity of volunteers to address the structural and underlying causes of inequality and injustice to participate in social change making.
Through their personal experience at grassroots-level, returned volunteers have the power and will to mobilise greater support for action against poverty and injustice by promoting sustainable ways of living and changing attitudes towards the global south in their own societies.
They have experienced first-hand the effects of inequality and injustice in other countries, and can bring that knowledge home to educate others and raise awareness. They are also in a position to reflect on the structures and obstacles that are common to their home countries and the ones in which they volunteered, to identify ways in which change is blocked by the status quo, and to take action to challenge this.
The curriculum aims to guide volunteer sending agencies to support volunteers in the critical reflection aspects of the experiential learning cycle: this is a key part of the journey from international volunteering to active citizenship, but one that can often be overlooked.
Helping volunteers to engage in this process is crucial in supporting their development as active citizens who contribute to the push for change in the structures that create and perpetuate global poverty and inequality.
Read the publication over here.