The project Volunteers 4 ALL ( V4A) is long term Strategic partnership project in the field of youth under Erasmus + program and it involves partners from Bulgaria, Spain, Italy and Austria.
The number of people seeking refugee status in Europe has soared over recent years. This is due in large part to war in Syria and Iraq. As thousands of refugees and migrants move across Europe, many are making use of technology in order to make their journey safer and share life-or-death information. For refugees coming from war-torn Syria or Iraq, the digital infrastructure is as essential as food and shelter. It is a blessing but also a curse. The digital traces that they leave behind make refugees vulnerable to surveillance, intimidation and exploitation by state and non-state actors. Fears about security and privacy force them to depend upon unreliable and alternative sources circulating on social media by smugglers, dealers and handlers. Going digitally underground, for example by using closed platforms like WhatsApp, exposes refugees to even greater risks.
Nevertheless, there are gaps inside NGOs as to how ICTs and social media are employed by volunteers and youth workers for the purpose of helping migrants before, during and after their migration journey, as well as related to the use of social media by migrants for integration in host countries, to maintaining family relations, sustaining cultural identities and in supporting a family from abroad. NGOs opening new communication channels through social media and empowering their volunteers with new social media skills can transform migrant networks and thus facilitate migration by creating a rich source of “insider knowledge” on migration.
Volunteers 4 All (V4A) aims to foster digital skills of volunteers and youth workers in order to provide support to refugees during their journey to Europe but also to promote social inclusion, tolerance, respect for diversity and non-discrimination and to raise awareness.
All participants’ involved in the project will be youth workers or volunteers interested in working and dealing with young refugees and interested in the use of social media in their daily work of youth workers/volunteers.
The expected projects results are:
- Survey report reflecting on the experience and the needs of youth workers in the field
- Training event which will include 24 participants who will gain practical and theoretical knowledge after completing the course
- Intellectual output 1 –free online courses will provide youth workers and volunteers new skills and knowledge on use of social media networks for providing a lifeline for refugees on their journeys to Europe. Youth workers will get a better grasp of the surveillance and empowerment paradox in social media networks in order to identify how best and at which points to help the most vulnerable refugees
- Intellectual output 2 – Creation of a new resources, a “Volunteers 4 All Guide”, aiming to present current situation, challenges & opportunities as well as the main project results with best practices. The report will be populated with training resources as a tool-kit for youth workers. It will also provide a series of discussion forums for youth workers and professionals in each of the 4 partner countries to collaborate and exchange best practice at national and transnational levels.
- The Guide will also ensure the sustainability and improving the achievements made through the project. The Guide will establish also a list of tips and recommendations in order to continue improving the work in this field, not only inside the project partners’ organizations but for all interested organizations in Europe which are active in the migrant field. Indeed, a a chapter will be dedicated to a “Common European Framework for volunteers”. It will be a useful reference document for volunteers, youth workers and youth volunteers
Therefore the project will eventually results in the creation of self-sustained initiatives and activities in the field of youth. After the project implementation, the collaborative networks and cooperation consortiums of the partnering organizations will be an important channels to reach the target groups and disseminate the project further. Annual and periodical international conferences, seminars, workshops and other meetings, which are based on active working methods with sessions, workshops and seminar presentations, will provide excellent forums for reaching the project target groups and disseminating the project results. Thus the results of the project benefit not only the consortium members, but also the organizations throughout Europe, even globally.
Alternativi InternationalCoordinator of the project
Futuro DigitalePartner NGO
Alternativi International is a youth non governmental organization in Bulgaria with head office in the city of Blagoevgrad. The main object is to stimulate the personal development of young people trough non formal education. The organization is an alternative for youth to get the chance to realize their potential and to become active part of the society. Alternativi International is established by young people seeking the positive change for youth in the society. The association is trying to bring Europe and the opportunities that it gives closer to young people and to give them a chance to be a part of united Europe.
Alternativi International is giving you the unique chance to take the chance to make a change, to take part in various local, national and international events such as seminars, exchanges, trainings, etc which will give you the most precious thing in life-EXPERIENCE!
is a generation-connecting youth organisation, independent of any political party or religious obligation.
As a non-profit organisation, it offers 4,700 places to stay for students, pupils, apprentices, young workers, senior citizens and refugees in a total of 30 ÖJAB-houses nationwide, thus making it one the largest residency organisations in Austria. At present almost 4,200 young people, 470 senior citizens and 100 refugees are staying in 24 student hostels and youth residences, in three senior citizens’ residences and nursing homes, in 2 intergenerational residencys and in an intercultural hostel.