“Social Connection ” was a volunteering program based on enhancing engagement and participation for young people in the local community. This program was the connection that joins the local community with European volunteers through activities that promote solidarity. Three volunteers joined the program for six months (one left within a 3 month period due to health issues).
This project mainly promoted:
-European identity and values
– Social and Cultural awareness and inclusion
-Social assistance and welfare
“Social Connection” was an educational project using non formal methodology involving 3 young people at the age of 18-30 from 3 countries (volunteers from Italy, Serbia and France). The project was taking place in Limassol from December 2019 to June 2020 (with a one month extension due to Covid-19).
The project aimed on promoting citizenship and democratic participation, cultivating European Identity and values, enhancing inclusion. Participants involved in this project learned and increased their competences. Specifically, in short term basis by working with marginalized young people and less privileged children empowering them to work together in a common project cultivated their educational social and civic competence. Leaving the language barrier and focusing on ways to cooperate together with other activities like dancing, crafting, sports, boosted their intercultural awareness.
Volunteers worked in an afternoon school with less privileged children twice per week. Specifically, this afternoon school is a high-quality programme under the hospices of the welfare office and approved by the municipality. During their interaction with the children, volunteers created workshops using non-formal methodology and creativity. These workshops might include crafts/art/music/cooking/ traditional games etc. that promote their own culture and have a positive interaction and impact with the children.
The main idea was to blend different cultures gaining cultural awareness on inclusion on both sides. Moreover, volunteers backed youth clubs with local activities interacting with them and support the community.
Due to Covid-19 and quarantine the volunteers unfortunately, seized volunteering at the school and engaged in online activities. After some measures from the government that came out they helped at the Metropolis by volunteering and supporting the community work.
By developing the creative and innovative potential of young people through non-formal learning volunteers learnt to deal with real problems and finding ways to overcome obstacles creating a sense of initiative and engagement on the project that boosted their self-esteem. Taking part in decision making consultations, learn the process of reform policy papers and discussing on youth strategy increased their motivation for further in engagement in solidarity activities and created a better awareness of the EU values as an EU citizen.