Management and support of volunteers working with marginalised groups

: 2017-1-HR01-KA105-035247
: Education, employment and social policies
: 2.207,00 €
: 15-05-2017
: erasmus + Youth mobility
: 14-12-2017
: Grant
: 2.207,00 €

: Most of youth organisations rely since their creation on the contribution of volunteers. Although recent developments in the field of NGO’s have increased professions and professionalism in this area of work, volunteers remain the basis of a lot of projects and initiatives in various areas of the society. Nevertheless, rarely any of those organisations has approached volunteers and their work systematically, and with knowledge and practice of volunteer management. This has resulted in burnout of many volunteers, dissatisfaction and loss of belief in the values of the volunteerism among some volunteers. Voluntary work on itself is in constant evolution and the last years have brought in new challenges for organisations to attract and moreover to keep volunteers involved in the activities on short and long-term basis.
In addition to such “regular” problems with volunteer management, the volunteers working with specific groups of beneficiaries with fewer opportunities (like refugees; persons with special needs, etc.) are more likely to experience exhaustion and burnout, because the work with such population is stressful and demands huge emotional involvement of volunteers and thus burnouts are more likely to happen.
All the organisations involved in the project were organisations that base their work on volunteers’ engagement, exchange and local volunteer service. We have noticed that lately quite a few volunteers got burnout and felt overwhelmed. Thus, this project now.

The main aim of this training course was to develop youth workers’ / participants’ competences in sustainable and holistic work (management, supervising and mentoring) with volunteers that are engaged within our activities with marginalised groups, thus improving volunteering for inclusion at local and national levels in the countries involved.
- Exchange realities and practices from different countries on insights and perceptions about youth work and volunteering programmes with marginalised groups
- Motivate participants to and empower them for active promotion of combating social exclusion in their projects
- To provide opportunity to improve skills and knowledge on step-by-step development and implementing of the volunteering programmes for inclusion within our organisations
- To empower participants to act as effective volunteer managers, supervisors and mentors of the volunteers working with marginalised groups, and for the benefit of youngsters our beneficiaries and the local communities
- Introducing the E+-YiA, its connection with volunteering in general and the possibilities it can offer through different projects to our volunteers / beneficiaries
- Developing new projects and future European level cooperation among partners with the aim to raise quality of volunteers’ satisfaction and progress, volunteer programmes and volunteer management in our organisations.

The core activity of the project was – 8 days long TC. It was organised in Selce, from 10th till 18th October 2017. Project gathered 25 participants, trainers and staff from 8 organisations and countries (HR, MK, SK, CZ, PL, TR, IT, GR). Project involved 11 out of 25 people with fewer opportunities. The training course was based on the approach and principles of non-formal education and was designed as an open learning process based on participants’ experience and exchange. A combination of different creative, participatory and interactive methods was used and designed upon the profile of participants.
All partners will be involved in preparation, implementation and evaluation and follow-up phase and activities during the project, while the preparation team of trainers, facilitators and staff will be comprised of experienced youth trainers and youth workers from applicant and partners from Croatia and FYR Macedonia, expect partners from Bulgaria, who were preparing participants, but unfortunately they canceled.

As a result of this training course youth workers acquired more practical as well as theoretical tools and skills to better involve volunteers in their activities. They learned and improved their skills in teamwork, management of staff and volunteers, assessing needs and capacities, development, evaluation and follow-up processes. Also youth workers developed new projects for involving volunteers and young people in their activities.
As a result of the project on local level, more unemployed and other youth were involved in local activities of our partners. In longer term, this will result with increase of quality programmes and activities with marginalised groups and better inclusion and acceptance in society, on local and European level.