This European Work Camp has been organised in order to foster the exchange of experiences between young returned volunteers from different European countries and to strengthen their potential to become active in raising awareness of global development issues throughout their home countries.
The Work Camp took place in Hamburg between the 8th and 12th of August 2011 with 58 participants from Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Ireland, Norway, South Africa, Tanzania and the United Kingdom, who have served as volunteers in local projects in around 28 countries, such as Algeria, Argentina, Bolivia, Cambodia, Cameroon, Ecuador, Ghana, India, Kenya, Philippines, Morocco, Mexico, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Syria, Tanzania, Vietnam, and Yemen.
CulturCooperation e.V. and returned volunteers from Hamburg developed a diverse programme of workshops that address issues surrounding good quality and best practice in the preparation and afterwork of a voluntary service, as well as during the service itself. The various workshops built a platform to discuss personal motivations and societal expectations of volunteers and drew out the challenges and aims of the voluntary services in development projects in the Global South.
Furthermore, the returnees discussed the challenges that they faced upon return, which related to feeling like “foreigners at home”, deciding what they would like to pass on to their home country and how to go about accomplishing this.
The outcomes of these workshops and demands of the participants regarding the improved quality of IYVS have been summarised in a resolution that will be presented and discussed at the European stakeholder conference of sending organisations, taking place in Prague from the 25th to the 27th October 2011.
We thank all participants for their active participation in discussions and workshops as well as for their commitment to passing on the results.
All results, discussions and the evaluation of the Work Camp have been documented in a magazine which you can download here: