Validation System in Lifelong Learning Experiences of Youth Volunteering
One of the most powerful informal learning contexts is represented by the volunteering sector where people have the opportunity to experience different situations, putting into practice their own skills and getting new experience. Most of this new knowledge can represent an asset for volunteers in other areas of their life, as for e.g. in their professional career.
VALLEY aims at providing a new approach to promote volunteering among young people as a resource of personal empowerment and to validate the skills and competences they have developed during their volunteering experience.
To support this the “VALLEY community” will evolve to connect young volunteeres with volunteering organizations and stakeholders at European level who are strongly committed in recognition and promotion of the learning dimension of the volunteer experiences. This growing community will be actively involved in the development of the project and will represent an excellent multiplier for the dissemination and valorisation of the project results.
The VALLEY appraoch will especially focus on youngsters already involved in volunteer activities but also those young people who have never experienced volunteering, with a specific focus on the so called NEETs (young people who are neither involved in education, training nor employed), who can benefit from becoming a volunteer and from the validation of the competences acquired in this context, having the opportunity to (re)establish social networks, build social capital, connect to educational and occupational possibilities and to focus again on their own future, embedding a sense of achievement.
The second important target groups are Young people with migration background. For them volunteering represents an ideal opportunity for their integration and to make new social connections, share their skills and help people in need, develop community knowledge, increase language skills and acquire new competences potentially valuable in terms of employment opportunities.
This shall be achieved by
- Identifying the potentials for competence developments of youths, especially such with special needs in volunteering activites and which successful approaches in terms of validating these exist, but also which needs volunteers and volunteering providers have in this respect.
- Creating a networking platform that shall connect youths and volunteering organisations, but also offering them tools and support to assess and validate the competence developments acquired in volunteering with the LEVEL5 appraoch.
- Creating a training course for staff in volunteering organisations on the topic of validation of learning outcomes in volunteering services.
- Creating a label of good practice based on distinct quality criteria that volunteering organisations can use to express their expertise in providing evidence of competence developments of young volunteers.
- Announcing the European VALLEY award for volunteering organisations
- Organising community events in the partner countries where young volunteers share their experiences with others and promote the value of volunteering towards their peer groups.
- Organising a european training event for staff of volunteering organisations, who are working with youths, and to promote the VALLEY approach to enable them to assess and validate the competence developments of young volunteers.
- VALLEY is coordinated by BUPNET, Göttingen, Germany
- Involved are 5 partners from five countries (FR, IT, UK, RO, DE)
- It is funded by the German National Agency under the Youth in Action Programme
- Duration: 03/2015-02/2017
- Website: http://valley-eu.org