EU Aid Volunteers Info Day – UK edition
Volunteering Matters Office, The Levy Centre, 18-24 Lower Clapton Road, London, E5 0PD
29 September 2017, 9:30 – 13:00
The EU Aid Volunteers initiative brings together volunteers and organisations from different countries, providing practical support to humanitarian aid projects and contributing to strengthening the local capacity and resilience of disaster-affected and vulnerable communities. The initiative focuses on strengthening the European Union’s capacity to deliver needs-based humanitarian aid by engaging European citizens and long-term residents, from a wide range of backgrounds and with a diversity of skills and professional experience, to get involved in humanitarian aid and engage in volunteering opportunities, through deployment and online volunteering.
Alianza por la Solidaridad, GVC Italia, HBAid and Volonteurope have been working together in a consortium since 2015, proving technical assistance to organisations which would like to become certified sending organisations within the context of the programme. As part of delivering technical assistance, the consortium have also been working to establish Focal Points in European countries in conjunction with organisations receiving technical assistance; Focal Points within the programme act both as centres of knowledge about the programme and for dissemination. Volunteering Matters has received Technical Assistance from the consortium, and as part of the continuation of the project, has elected to make the UK a Focal Point, a centre of activity, interest or attention regarding the dissemination of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative and opportunities that the programme may provide for both British organisations and volunteers.
The EU Aid Volunteers Info Day on Friday 29 September will be an important step in the promotion of the programme in the UK. Running from 9:30 until 13:00, it will provide an opportunity to increase visibility of the initiative and make contact with other interested organisations training on the EU Aid Volunteers initiative and the certification mechanism. Furthermore, it will allow Volunteering Matters to establish themselves as the contact points for information about the initiative in the UK – especially for interested prospective future sending organisations, as well as volunteers.
The content of the Info Day will begin with an overview of the initiative, and then a presentation covering the journey to and through deployment – for both volunteers, and the organisations which are sending and hosting. We will also hear testimonies from volunteers and organisations – from those currently deployed in the field, and from those who took part in the pilot project and were instrumental in shaping the programme as it is now. Plenty of opportunities will be given for attendees to ask questions and learn more about the implications of becoming involved, particularly for sending organisations.
The second half of the Info Day will be dedicated to providing information on the Certification process itself. Members of the consortium who have provided Technical Assistance to organisations will be on hand to answer questions and there will be practical tips for British organisations on how to get involved, and how to approach their preparation. Participants will also have a chance to receive and get to know the guidance materials on the certification mechanism and quality volunteer management standards required within EU Aid Volunteers, produced by the Technical Assistance project. The day will close with an open discussion of the potential opportunities and challenges for Romanian organisations relating to the EU Aid Volunteers programme.