Volunteer and Empower: Enhancing Community Building and Social Integration through Dialogue and Collaboration amongst Young Europeans and Third Country Nationals
Following the 2015 “refugee crisis” and the subsequent increase in third-country nationals, many European countries saw migration polarising politics and radicalising attitudes throughout the EU. Social integration and community building were identified as priorities. Volunteers proved crucial in providing immediate relief to refugees and assisting their first steps for integration. Furthermore, research shows that participation in sports, creative arts and culture forges intercultural dialogue, creates role models and enables shared experiences across youth groups.
About the project
VOLPOWER aims at exploring the contribution of volunteering in sports, creative arts and culture to youth interaction and processes of integration and empowerment (between EU and third-country nationals of age 18-27). The project partners will develop best practice tools for integration at micro-community level by exploring, harnessing and co-designing volunteerism in sports, creative arts and culture in 7 European countries. Dialogue with others is the starting point of integration. The project focuses on sports and creative arts/culture as two spheres where dialogue often takes place, by circumventing language barriers and, thus, enabling EU and third-country youth to “speak” to each other.
VOLPOWER runs from 2019 to 2021 and includes a consortium of universities, research centers and NGOs from the United Kingdom, Austria, Italy/South-Tyrol, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Croatia and Malta.
"Working together in sport, creative arts or cultural activities has the power to break down language barriers and enables young people to truly connect with one another. We hope that our research will demonstrate the power that volunteering can have in terms of empowering individuals within their local communities and helping to foster mutual understanding.”
Professor Umut Korkut, lead coordinator of VOLPOWER at GCU
VOLPOWER IN SOUTH TYROL
VOLPOWER project will involve the South Tyrolean society in different moments. First local volunteering associations will be engaged, and a number of volunteers will be selected and given the opportunity to be involved in the co-creation and implementation of a new activity in the ambit of creative arts and culture. This will be supported by trainings in digital tools as well as intercultural skills and will be finalized by an exhibition in Rotterdam, where the volunteering experiences will be portrayed. A second aspect concerns an online survey with the aim to investigate the world of volunteering, its motivational factors and its importance for social inclusion. A further outcome of VOLPOWER will be the creation of an application which aims at connecting volunteers with searching associations, but there is more on VOLPOWER to be discovered!
You can learn more about about VOLPOWER by visiting the project website. You can also follow the latest updates by following VOLPOWER social media channels and websites of the project partners.
Follow us on Twitter: @VolpowerP
Andrea Carlà, PI – Institute for Minority Rights – firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrea Membretti – Institute for Regional Development – email@example.com
Eleonora Psenner- Institute for Regional Development – firstname.lastname@example.org
Heidi Flarer, Institute of Minority Rights – email@example.com
Marzia Bona - Institute for Regional Development – firstname.lastname@example.org
Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW), Austria
Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), the Netherlands
Zavod APIS / APIS Institute, Slovenia
Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO), Croatia
Solidarity Overseas Service (SOS), Malta
Glasgow Caledonian University, UK – Project Leader