Having experience in the field of volunteering both with youngsters and seniors and in coordinating international mobilities throughout the years, our Association Mais Cidadania was chosen to be the responsible for the compiling of a guide on international and local voluntary work.
This work have been conducted having as guideline the voluntary service itself as life experience combined with the learning pathway it represents and the competences it brings to the participant; we wanted to consider not only the perspective of the volunteer but also the one of the worker acting in the backstage and accompanying the process. That’s why we decided to edit a unique guide but having two perspectives: the workers’ and the volunteers’ needs. The goal of the handbook is to prepare and support the organizations and volunteers to conduct more efficient and successful voluntary service projects.
The first part, the workers’ chapter aims to enhance the workers and the organization with deeper understanding of the general concept of volunteering and its dimension, to enforce them with a clear idea of the voluntary service project cycle and to equip them with some necessary practical skills.
The second part, the volunteers’ chapter is thought for the participants; it starts with the presentation of the Concept and Dimensions of Volunteering, followed by Success Stories, Planning, Implementation and references.
This handbook is designed for all the people interested in volunteering, who have an intention to become a volunteer, who are selecting future volunteers or are currently volunteers. The objectives are to increase the awareness about the concept, importance and types of volunteering and voluntary service, to create a complete idea of the project phases the volunteers go through and to provide space for further research, reflection and real steps.
In the guide there is a specific reference to the method used throughout the Senior Plus project: each volunteering experience is a learning process guided by each one’s needs and supported by an advisor (the worker) prepared to accompany the volunteers and to help them to fill and create their own portfolio, a creative curriculum which has the aim to potentiate and underline the personal skills and competences of the participants.
In this moment the draft is completed, we are in the phase of receiving the feedback from the partners to perfect the tool in order to be ready during the autumn.
Meanwhile we are working on the graphic design taking into account the target group the tool will reach. As a little appetizer you can see the image which is a shortcut of the cover…connecting people through volunteering!
Project Coordinator, AMC
Lisbon, Portugal, 17 august 2016