Volunteer and Empower: Enhancing Community Building and Social Integration through Dialogue and Collaboration amongst Young Europeans and Third Country Nationals

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  • Project duration: December 2018 - June 2021
  • Project status: finished
  • Funding:
    Other EU Funding (EU funding / Project)
  • Website: http://www.volpower.eu/


Following the 2015 “refugee crisis” and the subsequent increase in third-country nationals, many European countries saw migration polarizing politics and radicalizing attitudes towards 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 and creative arts/culture to youth interaction and processes of integration and empowerment (between EU and third-country nationals aged between 18 and 27 years). The project analyzes best practice tools for integration at micro-community level by exploring, harnessing and co-designing volunteerism in sports, creative arts and culture in seven European countries. Dialogue with others is the starting point of integration. The project focuses on sports and 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. The project partners have worked with young EU citizens and third country nationals who have volunteered in associations in the field of sports or creative/cultural arts, in order to analyze the role that volunteering has in processes of social integration.

VOLPOWER includes a consortium of universities, research centers and NGOs from the United Kingdom, Austria, Italy/South-Tyrol, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Croatia and Malta.

VOLPOWER is an European project funded by the Asylum and Migrant Integration Fund (AMIF)


Glasgow Caledonian University, UK


Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW), Austria

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), the Netherlands

Eurac Research, Italy

Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO), Croatia

Solidarity Overseas Service (SOS), Malta

Zavod APIS / APIS Institute, Slovenia

For further information: Andrea Carlà – andrea.carla@eurac.edu

VOLPOWER Guidelines and Policy Recommendations towards Fostering Youth Volunteering among EU Nationals and Third-Country Nationals
Carlà A, Flarer H, Lehner M, Mattes A, Reeger U (2021)
Volunteering in South Tyrol. General framework and results of an online survey among the youth
Carlà A, Flarer H, Psenner E, Bona M (2021)

More information: https://webassets.eurac.edu/31538/1612455697-country-report- ...


The role of volunteering: lessons learned from the VOLPOWER experience
Carlà A, Reeger U (2021)

More information: http://www.volpower.eu/2021/03/10/role-of-volunteering/


Empowering and integrating youth through volunteering
Carlà A, Psenner E (2021)

More information: https://matilde-migration.eu/blog/empowering-and-integrating ...


VOLPOWER Policy Recommendations: Fostering Youth Volunteering among EU Nationals and Third-Country Nationals
Lehner M, Mattes A, Reeger U, Carlà A, Flarer H (2021)

More information: http://www.volpower.eu/policy-recommendations/


Volpower: Summary report on innovative approaches to creative arts volunteering in relation to integration
Van Breughel I, Scholten P, Psenner E, Bona M, Hilli A, Lori F, Kolar N, Selo Sabic S (2020)

More information: http://www.volpower.eu/

Volontari, un ruolo decisivo
Carlà A (2020)
Alto Adige
Becoming a poet with Volpower
Psenner E (2020)

More information: http://www.volpower.eu/2020/04/29/becoming-a-poet-with-volpo ...


How can youth empowerment and a sense of belonging benefit from creative arts?
Laidlaw M, van Breugel I, Psenner E, Lori F (2020)

More information: https://discoversociety.org/2020/09/02/how-can-youth-empower ...


Beyond appearances: negotiating discourse and policies on diversity in Scotland and South Tyrol
Nicolson M, Carlà A (2020)

More information: https://discoversociety.org/2020/09/02/beyond-appearances-ne ...


The effect of volunteering on empowerment and inclusion among EU and third-country national youth: An in-depth mixed-methods research
Flarer H, Carlà A, Lehner M, Mattes A, Reeger U (2020)

More information: https://webassets.eurac.edu/31538/1612455573-comparative-rep ...


VOLPOWER: Innovative Approaches to Volunteering and Integration in the Creative Arts Sector
van Breugel I, Scholten P (2019)
http://www.volpower.eu/innovative-approaches-to-volunteering-and-integration-in-the-creative-arts-sector-2/: Volpower

More information: https://www.academia.edu/41614104/VOLPOWER_Innovative_Approa ...


Our partners
Project Team
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Eleonora Psenner

Team Member

Andrea Membretti

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Heidi Flarer

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