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Youth Exchange “Volunteering, Changing Lives, Changing Communities”, 28.04 – 06.05.2022, Floda, Sweden

Volunteering is at the very core of being human. Through volunteering, we leave a mark of good that will multiply and we leave an example for people to continue supporting each other and creating a better community for themselves and the future generations.

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.

Mother Theresa

Generally, volunteering is a voluntary act of an individual or group freely giving time and labour for community service.

Moreover, it keeps you in regular contact with others and helps you develop a solid support system, which in turn protects you against stress and depression when you’re going through challenging times. Also, volunteering can aid you to make new friends as it strengthens your ties to the community and broadens your support network. exposing you to people with common interests, and fun and fulfilling activities.

In addition to it, it could be stated that volunteering increases self-confidence since it provides a healthy boost to your self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction Not only that, but volunteering helps you stay physically healthy.

In conclusion, it could be declared that one of the better-known benefits of volunteering is the impact on the community. Unpaid volunteers are often the glue that holds a community together.

Erasmus+ funded Youth Exchange ”Volunteering: Changing Lives Changing Communities” has officially finished, but left big marks on us. It gave us the possibility to prove that volunteering is one of the best experiences in life

60 participants from 6 different countries gathered for 7 days in the Bockaberg campsite, surrounded by the beautiful Swedish nature. 60 participants had an opportunity to learn bout volunteering

The project was organized and hosted by the Swedish organization `NGO Positive Youth`, coordinated from the Macedonian partner NGO Next Generation and partnered with Be the change from Italy, Backslash from Spain, Academy of Success from Bulgaria and Biedriba European Center for Research and Regional Development from Latvia. The project took place in Floda, Sweden.

The project aimed to promote volunteerism and voluntary work by encouraging young people, including young people with fewer opportunities, to take part in volunteering activities at local, national or international level. The program itself was developed to increase self-confidence, self-esteem, give an opportunity to develop soft skills (communication, teamwork, problem-solving) and competences in different fields and make young people ready for the job market.

Moreover, this program focused on volunteering made young people increase their understanding of the issues in their communities and countries. To become more emphatic towards groups that lack opportunities, face social exclusion and discrimination, and realize the need of being actively involved in community life.

The types of activities on this youth exchange were non-formal education methods, combined with some workshops, and learning by doing. Every day was filled with working in teams, outdoor activities, researching, and the participants teaching each other. Working together towards a common goal and purpose, and tackling obstacles through collaboration, communication, and understanding. Every day also had a reflection time in which every participant had the chance to reflect on what they learned, give feedback, and prepare for the next day

The nights were reserved for intercultural presentations, playing games, lots of dancing, quiz night, movie night, and many other activities where participants were bonding and formed strong relations.

In the end of the project participants went away with good memories, new knowledge, increased presentation skills, improved English language, and new friendships that will last so many years.