Final project results and outcomes for the Europe for Citizens Project “MOVEfwd – Moving Forward in Europe with Volunteering“
Ref. no. – 625307-CITIZ-1-2020-1-HR-CITIZ-CIV
The project “MOVEfwd“ has been approved for a grant worth 95.760,00 EUR from the European Union via the Europe for Citizens Programme – Measure 2.3. Civil Society Projects. The project partnership covers 5 European countries (Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Italy and Bulgaria). The lead partner of the project is Pučko otvoreno učilište Varaždin – POU Varaždin (Pučko otvoreno učilište Varaždin), which is an adult learning institution of the City of Varazdin that is dedicated to enhancing education, creating employment and volunteer opportunities in the wider community, and building the knowledge and skills of citizens so that they match market needs. The specific partners on the project are:
- Hrvatski Crveni kriz Zajednica udruga Drustvo Crvenog kriza Varaždin/The Red Cross Society of Varaždin County (Croatia)
- Tourist Organisation of the City of Sremska Mitrovica (TO SM) located in Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia
- Regional Development Agency of Srem Ltd. Ruma located in Ruma, Serbia
- Ljudska Univerza Ptuj (LUP) located in Ptuj, Slovenia
- PROGEU – Progress in European Union – Istituto per lo sviluppo (Italy)
- Institute for Sustainable Business Development and Education
The project started on March 1, 2021 and it ended on July 10, 2022.
The project aims to enhance citizen engagement in volunteer-based actions relating to civil protection, social inclusion, culture, education and employment. It takes into account specifically the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on civil society actions and volunteering in the wider community. As a result of COVID-19, civil society organisations (CSOs), public bodies/authorities, educators and citizens have had to reinvent themselves. Promoting active citizenship and volunteering during these times has been especially challenging due to new restrictions on physical contact and movement. Due too many unknowns (e.g. infection), many citizens (incl. younger persons) think twice about volunteering. Each event and activity has been prepared in order to take this „new normal“ into account. Activities have been organized in a manner so that participants can learn how to organize volunteer-based actions in the times of COVID-19.
One preparatory event (activities) and five (5) 3-day events were organized in the project as follows:
- Preparatory activities/event in Varazdin, HR – held from April 7th to April 8th, 2021
- Focus: to ensure that stakeholders (volunteers, representatives of public bodies & CSOs, educators, young persons & other citizens) are properly introduced to the project and how COVID-19 has impacted volunteer-based activities in their countries. Participants will have the opportunity to exchange knowledge via the opening presentations. The second part of the event was dedicated to project planning, specifically planning and implementing the main events of the project.
- Event in Rome, Italy – held from May 6th to May 8th, 2021
- Focus: to raise awareness and understanding on the benefits of the EU agenda for younger persons and to enhance participants’ know-how on issues that have affected youth during the pandemic.
- Event in Varazdin, Croatia (Main opening event hosted by the lead partner POU Varaždin – Held from June 28th – June 30th, 2021)
- Focus: to show how education for young volunteers during COVID-19 was adjusted and improved during the pandemic. The other aim was to build citizens’ understanding on the importance of solidarity in the times of COVID-19..
- Event in Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia – held from August 25th to August 27th, 2021
- Focus: to present how volunteers are playing a crucial role in ensuring that persons with disabilities and elderly persons continue to have access to essential services; and to show citizens how solidarity and volunteer work contributed to new innovations and civil protection in the Srem region of Serbia.
- Event in Ptuj, Slovenia – held from April 11th to April 13th, 2022
- Focus: to show how intergenerational solidarity functions in practice, and emphasize how it functions as a EU value. The event also focused on engaging citizens from different generations in democratic processes, and gathering opinions of youth on the Europe that they want in the future..
- Final event in Plovdiv, Bulgaria from June 7th to June 9th, 2022
- Focus: to present educational initiatives and best practices connected to volunteers and show how their roles have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants learned how to converted learning goals into outcomes via “Design Thinking” in the times of COVID-19 and were able to discuss/debate about the necessary future skills and digital skills volunteers need.
In our to sustain cooperation and the results of this project, the partnership has concluded a network agreement which details future actions and activities after the project ends.
The following photos have been selected in order give you, the reader, a clear picture of how the activities per event were organized:
Pic 1: From the opening of the event in Varazdin; June 2022; held at Kino Gaj, Varazdin.
Pic 2: Demonstration at Sremska Mitrovica beach, August 2021, conducted by the Red Cross of Sremska Mitrovica to show how volunteers contribute to civil protection.
Pic 3: Špajza modrosti in Ptuj, Slovenia; April 2022; a great example of how volunteers can contribute to community growth.
For further information on the project and its results, we encourage you to download the OFFICIAL PROJECT SUMMARY:
We also encourage you to download or view the materials that we have created in the project:
- Volunteering guide (in your language)
- The project film (https://youtu.be/42ujo8K5Ylk)
- Volunteering quiz/survey (https://forms.gle/HEjkXvTCreLYFnU98)
The lead partner, POU Varaždin, has created a compilation of video clips related to the project (see https://www.pouvarazdin.hr/movefwd.html), and comments and testimonies are provided in Croatian, Serbian, Slovenian, Bulgarian and Italian.
We hope that you can use our materials for your own projects focusing on volunteering, and we look forward to working together further to enhance volunteering in these challenging times.
Disclaimer: The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.