From September 1 to 7, in Vilanova i la Geltrú (Barcelona), the Fundació Catalunya Voluntària (FCV) has carried out the international seminar ‘Equal Volunteering Opportunities for All’, with the participation of 25 representatives of 16 not for profit and nongovernmental organizations from 12 countries, among them project coordinators, volunteer managers, mentors, educators, trainers and volunteers.

The aim of this seminar has been to reflect on how to help young people to become active volunteers and community leaders, putting a special focus on those who are nationals of third non-EU countries, those with fewer opportunities and at risk of social exclusion and poverty and those who are being discriminated against in Europe.

The five competences that we have focused on in this seminar were volunteer management, intercultural communication, management of cultural diversity, conflict management and global awareness, since we consider them relevant to foster volunteering among the most vulnerable groups of young people.

During the whole seminar week, using the methodology of non-formal education and intercultural learning, we have participated in different games, presentations, exercises, workshops and small groups to exchange good practices and experience, sharing thoughts about the lack of equal rights and opportunities for everybody to volunteer in Europe, as well as to learn from others about complex topics.

Therefore, during the activity we had the time to discuss ideas for new future projects that would further tackle the topic of obtaining equal volunteering opportunities for everyone and bringing definitive change that will allow everyone to experience volunteering no matter their legal status.

The FCV is very glad to report that the objectives of the seminar have been achieved, thanks to the contributions and active participation of all the seminar participants. Furthermore, the seminar was very well evaluated by the whole group of participants. To the question:

“To what extent are you satisfied with the seminar?” the participants responded: “I am satisfied, especially for the future projects”; “I’m very satisfied, it exceeded my best expectations!”; “I think that my expectations are fulfilled”; “I am really satisfied with the seminar, I really learned a lot of new things and now I am going home richer and wiser”; “The diversity of the participants was fantastic. I gained some new best practice tools and advocacy skills.”

The activity, coordinated by the FCV, has been carried out in partnership with the following entities:  Active Bulgarian Society, Association for Sustainable Development SFERA Macedonia, Associazione Xena, Aventura Maraô Clube, Bulgarian Youth Forum, CEIPES, Clube Intercultural Europeo, Egyuit Ható-Association for Community Development, Inter Alia, Pro Vobis National Resource Volunteerism Centre, System & Generation, United Societies of Balkans, Volunteer Centre Augsburg, Volunteer Centre Osijek, Volunteer Ireland  thanks to the support of the Erasmus + program of the European Commission.

For more information about the seminar and its results you can send an email to (Lluc).