The VOYCE project aims to formalise approaches and tools for evaluating learning and training content necessary to guarantee the quality of support for young volunteers. It has also explored the effects of volunteering on the life path of young people. A focus has been placed on social inclusion.
Today in Europe, more than one in five young people carry out voluntary activities, they often underestimate the value of this commitment for themselves and for society. However volunteerism brings together a set of conditions that will enable young people to participate in the local community, to give sense to this action for
themselves and for others and thus take their place in society.
Indeed, the voluntary dimension of these experiences, the nature of the activities proposed by the host organisations in terms of social utility and the investment of tutors and, more broadly, of the members of the organisation in monitoring young people, create positive conditions for learning and for the involvement of young
people in a group.
The richness of this experience comes as much from the quality of the experience as from the analysis of this process. This is precisely what VOYCE’s pedagogical materials propose to work on. The experience of volunteering is formative only if it is conscious. That’s why VOYCE project helps young people to formalise their learning and skills, but also to formalise their values, their involvement in the host organisation and the cause they wish to defend. To do this, different approaches are proposed beyond individual guidance and non-formal education has much to propose in this field. Debates, peer learning, project implementation will all be situations that make volunteers aware of their commitment, that help them to forge
a critical spirit, take responsibilities and take their place in the host organisation.
Learning to live together through awareness of a democratic culture enables young people to make life choices and give sense to this volunteering experience in their life path. It is also a space for meetings and networking that makes them feel physically their inclusion and provides them resources for their future projects,
whether they are professional, personal or activist. Volunteering is an existential journey that allows young people to become aware of their value, their aspirations and their social utility and thus participates in their social inclusion.