Green Agenda for the Western Balkans should encourage energy savings, renewable energy, circular economy, as well as nurturing of the region’s exceptional biodiversity. Considering a relatively low number of inhabitants, standing at 18 million, change in the region should be a simpler endeavor compared to some larger economies – if executed efficiently, with consistent political […]
Busy summer is over as well as a very successful exchange of workcamp leaders in 9 countries
20 workcamps in local communities in 9 countries, 20 international leaders, 400+ international volunteers – a recipe for long lasting impact of voluntary service to to personal stories in terms of intercultural learning, active participation, promotion of gender equality, sustainable development and above all – peace and understanding.
Workcamps are usually organised in small villages, in places where an international group of volunteers may bring a long-term change in the attitudes of locals towards intercultural understanding and, with that, a change in the attitudes towards values and principles of volunteering for their mutual benefit and sustainable development of their community.
The types of projects are for example the construction or renovation of a community building, such as a school or medical block, cultural monument or community centre, or environmental work; for example, improving public gardens, building public paths, removing invasive species, or ecological research. There is also work with disadvantaged people, such as refugees, physically and mentally disabled, children, elderly, minority ethnic populations. There are sometimes cultural and study projects, agricultural projects and others depending on the identified need of the local population.
Although the work of the projects is important, the workcamp is also a learning educational process for everyone involved. The collective living and working experience brings about an awareness of people of various backgrounds, a contact with the local population, and a feeling of living solidarity. Workcamps educate not only the participants but also the local population, with whom the project is organised and who will continue the work started by the volunteers.
Of course, the effect of a project on a person’s life also depends on the experience and personality of the volunteer before they engage in it. It is however important to realise that a workcamp or any other youth exchange project represents a real chance to influence a young person’s outlook on life and changes some of their perceptions from then on.
This is what the XCHANGE project is about. All thanks to KA2 of Erasmus+ Programme and the support from the European Commission, as well as strategic partnership of the Alliance of European Voluntary Service Organisations and the consortium of 13 partners from 9 countries.
In January, we have started the implementation of the Green Incubator project. The project leader is Belgrade Open School, partners are Young Researchers of Serbia and the Environmental Engineering Group. We’re about to lunch our first activities, so get ready! More about projects on our “Current Projects” page.