Thanks to the association E&D (Engagé.e.s et Déterminé.e.s pour la Solidarité), Eurasia net was able to obtain a grant to carry out its project “From international volunteering to local commitment”. This adventure was possible thanks to the cooperation between YMCA France and Eurasia net!
In 2020, following the Place aux Jeunes experimentation, Eurasia net and YMCA have produced a booklet to encourage the local involvement of young people in international solidarity associations. It is a feedback to give more space to young people, to create and support the initiatives of tomorrow.
THE FIRST WEEK-END
Former and current volunteers met for the first time on Friday 26 June for a weekend of exchange on post-volunteer involvement.
Meeting place: Nostradamus campsite in Salon de Provence.
To plant the seeds of post-volunteer civic engagement, reflection and sharing, all in good humour!
MOMENTS OF REFLECTION
The first workshop took place on Saturday morning. It consisted in brainstorming ideas around three themes of the Eurasia net associative project:
- Commitment from local to international… and from international to local;
- Social innovation and sustainable development;
- Accompanying young people.
After having detailed everything that these themes inspired us, we came up with project ideas to move on to concrete actions. For the moment, they are still at the brainstorming and idea stage: we need to evaluate our capacity to implement them or exchange with YMCA on what is being done and what has worked in their experiences to facilitate the creation of a network of volunteers and former volunteers/create a path of commitment.
Commitment from local to international… and from international to local
It is difficult for a young person to embark on a mobility project without contacts to whom he or she can address his or her questions. It is also complicated to create a solid network at the end of their mobility or to find people with whom to launch their project ideas. After identifying these problems, we came up with the idea of creating an application or a website in the form of an interactive map with the aim of bringing together former and future volunteers.
The ideal would be to classify and categorise each volunteer on the map according to the country where he or she has been mobile, his or her motivations and interests, but also his or her skills and areas of expertise. This organisation of our alumni network would facilitate the design of projects of general interest, as everyone could be a force of suggestion or a participant.
Social innovation and sustainable development
These are two major issues for our society. Our aim would be to have a wider impact. We first discussed projects that are close to our hearts, such as investing in social entrepreneurship or developing eco-villages and eco-districts. Whether at local or international level, we noted that we need to work with local people, create partnerships and co-construction to achieve a sustainable impact. We need to identify their needs in order to be in phase, to link our individual practices to the service of the collective. Several ideas emerged from our discussions, for example the desire to launch a training course to learn how to travel in an eco-responsible way. The project that was pitched was called “Sustainab’all” which stems from the motivation to strive for a more sustainable development of our eco-system. We proposed to develop a local civic service dedicated to this mission. We suggest a cooperation of local structures with a network of experts in this field. There are many calls for projects every year, and volunteers can seize these opportunities. To do this, we need to reach out to more young people by extending our network of partner organisations and by developing our skills in sustainable development through the network of experts.
THE SECOND WEEK-END
Meeting place : YMCA Centre Azur, Sanary-sur-mer.
– Promote the engagement of young people coming back from volunteering;
– Define typical engagement pathways;
– Building an engagement framework;
– Creation of a guide for young people coming back from volunteering (Eurasia net + YMCA);
– Propose a name for a hub that brings together the engagement pathways.
We have formed a hub of volunteers who are ready to engage at the local level after returning from their international mission. This will allow them to put into practice the skills they acquired abroad and will enable Eurasia net to expand its associative project.
These reflections led to the birth of the BEEZ’