Seminar on volunteering projects in rural areas.
From March 6 to 12, we participated in a seminar entitled “Image Mapping: Engaging International Volunteers and Making Impact in Rural Communities” in Kötschach-Mauthen (Austria), organized by SCI Austria. Twenty-three young people from 9 European countries participated.
During the seminar, with various non-formal learning methods, through common thought processes, we were searching for solutions to some of the problems we face in working with young people in rural areas, as well as new ideas for future work in local communities. In addition to the good practices presented by all seminar participants, we had the opportunity to talk about past and future projects and open up new views and insights to each other about the main topic of the seminar.
We discussed questions like: what is the difference between international volunteering and tourism, what volunteers can gain by participating in projects in rural areas, what can community gain from such projects, what is considered a heritage, what kind of volunteering projects we can carry out within the local heritage, how to reach the local community and involve the locals in interaction with international volunteers, how to reach the youth in rural areas and involve them in volunteering, what activities can be carried out in the communities, what are the needs of the youth and the community in rural areas, etc. One of the activities was writing the manual based on our experiences.
The great advantage of this seminar was also getting to know the work of associations and individuals across Europe dealing with the same or similar issues, and to make new contacts, partnerships and open up future cooperation opportunities that we look forward to.