Venue: Vienna, Austria Date: 03.08– 24.08.2020 Organizer: Grenzenlos – interkultureller Austausch
Participants/Countries involved: The 13 international volunteers from Austria, Afghanistan, France, Guinea, Italy, Somalia and Spain. They were accompanied by an international leadership team from Austria and Colombia.
The 13 international volunteers from Austria, Afghanistan, France, Guinea, Italy, Somalia and Spain. They were accompanied by an international leadership team from Austria and Colombia.
Partner Organisations: Cocat (Catalonia), Concordia (France), Link (Italy), SPIN-Europe (Portugal) and YAP Italy.
“I would advise everyone to have this experience because it’s really wonderful, you can learn about yourself and make a lot of friends from all the world”
Aims and Objectives
- To support solidarity among young Europeans through volunteering in a diverse group of volunteers;
- To support the development of Social and Civic competences;
- To support multilingualism and language learning among the volunteers and gardeners;
- 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 promote sustainable living and awareness on urban nature through volunteering with the local gardeners and get work practice in gardening and renovation;
- 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.
History Meets Diversity – Äktschn in Park! was a Volunteering Team Project coordinated by Grenzenlos (Austria) and financed by the EU-Program – European Solidarity Corps (ESC), where 13 international and local volunteers with and without disabilities from diverse international organisations of the Alliance of Volunteer Services Organisations supported the work in the Augarten garden for three weeks in the summer of 2020. Our international participants were supported by sending organisations 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 special 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 its 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.
The group was engaged in different activities on the facilities of the Augarten, a very famous park in Vienna. This work was, for example, painting the walls that protect the garden or cleaning and taking care of the green areas in the Augarten. Thanks to this work, thousands of people can enjoy the garden, as well, it was a great opportunity for visitors of the park to get to know about international and inclusive projects supported by the EU-Programs like this one.
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 with 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 Teams, and we hope to see them again going abroad to volunteer to other countries.
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/