Final event Global Volunteer Action

Networking, capacity building, non-formal education and innovation in international youth and volunteer work

The Final seminar of the Erasmus+ KA2 project “GLOVOLA: Global Volunteer Action” took place at the Advanced Volunteer University in Barcelona, Spain, from the 17th to the 22nd of June, which focused on a complete Evaluation of this Global project successfully carried out by SCI for the past year and half. The project included seminars and gatherings between different networks of international volunteering organizations in Europe and Asia, and so made visible the possible synergies, challenges and objectives for future actions.

It was a mixture of 20 local and international participants from Asia and Europe gathered on a common platform to discuss, exchange, evaluate as well as share ideas, knowledge and experiences.  Presence of a diverse group of trainers, SCI- volunteers, Branches and partner networks made a complete circle of people. It was a perfect combination of both Asian and European participants which paved way to a conducive and productive environment for the Evaluation meeting. The program consisted of 6 days of seminars, meetings, workshops focused on the whole assessment of the Glovola project. It also provided opportunity for members of the IEC (International Executive Committee) of SCI, representatives from Asian and European branches and partner networks, the Board members of SCI – Catalunya to explain more about their roles and responsibilities associated with the organisation and the project.

Photo taken during the Seminar, Catalunya,  Glovola Project, 2016 

On the First day, it was getting to know each other better with an atmosphere filled with joy and excitement followed by a short session on the Agenda for the coming days. A concrete plan was formulated on how the evaluation process is going to be carried out, focusing on the key aspects needed to be discussed. There were small groups organized among the participants. Expectations from the seminar were shared by the participants. There was a discussion on the Networking, communication and cooperation among SCI branches and partners in Europe and Asia active in International voluntary service, working hand in hand with each other.

The second day of the meeting was in a different venue a separate hall, this session mainly focused on how this project facilitated the process non-formal and informal learning opportunities for young people through International voluntary service in both Europe and Asia (in particular on the topics of intercultural dialogue and solidarity), active citizenship and common global issues as social inclusion, youth employment, global environmental challenges and other. A summary on the series of activities which took place under this project and the experiences from the same were also shared.

Third day, the results of the project, including the final toolkit, were presented to the Global meeting of IVS networks. There were inputs and contributions from the participants on their collective efforts to increase visibility and recognition of International volunteer and youth activities by better use of internet and social media tools on both national and international level, innovative and creative approaches in organizing international youth and volunteer activities. In the evening, the Glovola evaluation group, the volunteers and sister networks of SCI joined a demonstration in Barcelona on the International Refugee Day raising our voice on the ongoing Refugee crisis.

The 4th day was devoted to increase quality of awareness raising and educational activities in international youth and volunteer projects. 

The 5th day was one of the highlights of the week. There was a public event organized by SCI Catalunya" Making a Difference by Volunteering: Impact and challenges of international volunteering". This event aimed at analyzing the impact of the experiences that international volunteering have both on the volunteers themselves as well as on the local community that hosts them. Each year thousands of people participate in projects of international volunteering all around the world - but do we take a close enough look on the impact these experiences have on them and on the local communities? CCIVS (Coordinating Commitee of International Voluntary Service), invited to join the table of the speakers, presented a study  called “Changing Perspectives". From impact measurement to the recognition of international voluntary service” in order to answer these questions and to determine more profoundly all that is involved in international volunteering. The outcomes of the above mentioned study was presented by Oriol Josa and Matina Deligianni (CCIVS) and was further enhanced by the experiences in International volunteering of Abayomi Oyebade Oyekan (VWAN - Nigèria) and Hemamali Perera (SCI Sri Lanka). Examples illustrating the impact of volunteering on the local community were presented by David Llistar (Director of Global Justice and International Cooperation in the Ajuntament of Barcelona), Marta Rosique (area of cooperation of the Council of Youth in Catalonia), Clara Giberga (Servei Civil Internacional) and Pere Vidal (coordinator of the association ADeLA, Can Pipirimosca). The Glovola project and its results were also presented, and its follow up, Peers to Peace, was announced with great enthusiasm.

Apart from the above mentioned persons and the participants of the project Global Volunteer Action, there were also representatives of volunteering associations from Europe and Asia including Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, Sri Lanka, Belgium and Germany, amongst others. After this extraordinary event, there was an exciting Summer Dinner at the SCI – Catalunya office.

We sincerely appreciate all the great efforts made by the SCI- Catalunya team and volunteers who made this seminar an unforgettable and a delightful experience for all the participants and to make this event a Grand Success!!

Report written by a participant of the event.