Whilst we are all constrained by the necessary travel and physical distancing restrictions, the work in our sector nevertheless goes on! Thus, we want to showcase some of the amazing work that our members and partners, and their volunteers, are doing, all over the world.
These few examples below celebrate the value of solidarity, despite the current challenges. They also reflect the current surge in people volunteering to help their communities during this pandemic.
And in this context, we are delighted to be joining with Voluntare, an international network for the promotion of corporate volunteering in Spain and Latin America. We are currently working on a framework to present the results of a study on the ‘State of Corporate Volunteering in Europe’ at working breakfasts across Europe in November 2020. Read more about our partnership in a piece written by Juan Ángel Poyatos, Director and Founder of Voluntare, HERE.
Our Vice President Constantin Dedu has launched his first podcast on the #Erasmus+ programme in the context of the Coronavirus pandemic. In it, he talks about the current status of Erasmus+, the measures already announced by the European Commission (new deadlines, payments, etc.), contingency plans for activities and the use of collaborative tools/tutorials. You can listen to it HERE.
We also encourage you to check out the latest Q&As published by the European Commission, concerning Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps activities in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
La Ligue de l’enseignement is a French federation of associations acting in different sectors of activity, sport, culture, citizenship, youth work, social work and international relations, in Rennes (Brittany) and Arras (Pas de Calais/North). During the confinement and physical distancing, examples of their work include tips for keeping active, particularly if you have children at home, and help for sections of the population. During the health crisis, ‘stay at home’ works if you have a home. But for persons such as refugees or Roma people who have no stable place to live in Calais, life is harder during this time. The federation is working with The Brotherhood Brotherhood Collective in Calais to help a collective of association’s fragile citizens.
Our Italian member We World-GVC have been sending volunteers to third countries as part of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative. It provides opportunities for European citizens and long-term residents to be involved in humanitarian aid projects, supporting the local organisations in third countries and engage in volunteering opportunities, through deployment and online-volunteering. EU Aid Volunteer, Martino Chiappa, is currently deployed in Mozambique, supporting the communication activities of We World GVC. During this crisis caused by the Covid-19 outbreak, he is supporting the activities of raising awareness and prevention of the virus. The article you can read HERE is courtesy of the European Union in Mozambique.
Plateforme pour le Service Citoyen has a number of European Solidarity Corps volunteers based in Brussels. Lisa from Italy and Mathilde (pictured) from France both decided to stay as the Coronavirus struck and have continued with their projects and work supporting other volunteers. Mathilde said: “I’ve decided to stay in Brussels because I’m happy here, but also because I think I can make more of a difference here. If I’d left, I couldn’t have carried on supporting the Network and I would have had to give up my projects. This way, I can also stay independent; I would have found it hard move back to my parents’ at 25 years old…..” Read their stories in full HERE.
The CEO of Volunteering Matters, Paul Reddish, has recorded a short video about how the UK organisation (and the sector) is responding to Covid19. Watch it HERE. Meanwhile, full-time EVS volunteers from Spain and Germany, based in Ipswich, Suffolk, have continued to work from home, delivering Youth Social Action, lobbying for change and supporting the most vulnerable individuals in the community. The team, which includes Michael, Elsa and Sara, are putting together a new platform to deliver social action digitally and to discuss how to take care of wellbeing. One of the events organised by the team includes a virtual Capoeira class!
Sun Young Park, our partner and Associate Professor at Korea National Sports University in Seoul, has written about how the Coronavirus is affecting South Korea and more specifically how it has effected the students, the teaching body and the university, as the new academic term was due to start last month. She writes that “the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our normal lives completely and pushed us into a never-experienced, strange world……Read the full story HERE.
Alen Novit, President of DKC – Društvo Kultlab Celje our member in Slovenia, has written a piece about their activities as the crisis unfolded and continues to impact on peoples’ lives. As founders of national food bank – SIBAHE – Alen writes how they’ve seen a 30% increase in demand for their services with more and more people and organisations looking for their help….Read the full article HERE.
André Hudepohl, Policy Advisor at Humanitas, has written about how the Netherlands has responded to Covid-19 and the value of existing volunteers working alongside new volunteers. He also cites how the government’s initiative to get 17 to 28-year-olds volunteering as part of a civil service period has really been mobilised during the crisis. Read more HERE.