HomeAllgemeinESC - Volunteering Teams´ Project “Solidarity, Inclusion, Creativity – Let´s Act”

ESC – Volunteering Teams´ Project “Solidarity, Inclusion, Creativity – Let´s Act”

Venue: Vienna, Austria Date: 03.08– 24.08.2020 Organizer: Grenzenlos – interkultureller Austausch

Participants/Countries involved: The 15 international participants from Austria, Denmark, France Italy, Lithuania, Russia, Slovakia, Somalia, and Spain. They were accompanied by an international leadership team from Georgia, Irland, Turkey, and Austria.

Partner Organisations: Deineta (Lithuania), ESDA (Spain), INEX-Slovakia, Link (Italy), Lunaria (Italy), MS (Denmark), and SJ (France).

“The theatre has been a challenging, funny, enriching experience”

Aims and Objectives were

  • To support solidarity among young Europeans through volunteering in a diverse group of volunteers;
  • To support the development of Social and Civic competences;
  • To create a volunteer opportunity where verbal and non-verbal expressions can be used;
  • To foster the importance of art as an intercultural learning tool;
  • To support active and sustainable life-style and independent living;
  • To promote entrepreneurship and active participation among young volunteers;
  • To create a meaningful non-formal learning space where volunteers can learn in an intercultural environment;
  • To promote inclusion and develop inclusion competencies through volunteering in a mixed ability team, involving volunteers with and without disabilities as well as volunteers coming from disadvantaged backgrounds;
  • To make volunteering and the ESK program visible as the volunteers work in a bigger group in a public park which is used regularly for leisure activities by the local communities.

Solidarity, Inclusion, Creativity – Let´s Act! was a Volunteering Team Project coordinated by Grenzenlos (Austria) and financed by the EU-Program – European Solidarity Corps (ESC), where 15 international and local volunteers with and without disabilities worked together in Vienna to for three weeks in the summer of 2020 to create a theatre play. Our international participants were supported by sending organizations of the Alliance of Volunteer Services Organisations, which helped us to guarantee the quality standards required to have an activity like this one.

This year was a special year because we were celebrating the 100 years of the workcamps movement, which was enhanced by the sense of solidarity and inclusion that this wonderful group of volunteers showed during the three weeks of the project. Important to say is that most of the celebrations were done at their minimum as the world situation did not allow most of the camps to take place, but we are extremely happy that this project was able to take place and that all our volunteers were able to participate and go back home without any problem.

As its name says, this was a solidarity, inclusive and creative voluntary project that focused on the development of a theatre play, which was written and performed by the participants according to their ideas, experiences, interests, etc. They were guided by a theatre educator to create the play that was the product of these 3 weeks of work. The whole project design was related to personal development, self-expression, intercultural learning, and mixed ability group experience.

At the end of the project, the volunteers had the opportunity to present their creations in a final public performance. The play was set in a post-apocalyptic world and dealt with different topics such as inclusion, exclusion, integration, tolerance, communication and anti-discrimination, peace, or solidarity.

The volunteers and the leaders were staying all together in the scout’s facilities where they cooked and cleaned together in smaller groups. One of the aims of the activity was to share tasks and responsibilities but also to define the rules and make clear who is responsible for what. They all cooked and cleaned together, created their own rules, and learned through this, how different people from different countries, cultures, and different languages can live in harmony.

We had the great opportunity to host some local volunteers who were asylum seekers and some with different abilities, such as reduced mobility. For Grenzenlos it is a privilege to be able to provide opportunities for the inclusion of all volunteers regardless of their backgrounds through the support of the EU-Programs such as the ESC-Volunteering Team, and we hope to see them again going abroad to volunteer to other countries.

“I have learned to include the people with disabilities in a way without making them feel different and giving them space”

If you as well would like to take part in a Volunteering Team Project that aims to include all volunteers in an enriching and challenging project, please check our website our: https://www.volunteering.at/freiwilligendienste/workcamps/ Or send us an email: camphosting@grenzenlos.or.at or camps@grenzenlos.or.at