VALLEY – Validation and Personal Empowerment of Young People through Volunteering

Friday 5 June 2015

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VALLEY Empowerment dei giovani attraverso il volontariatoThe kick-off meeting for the project VALLEY – Validation System in Lifelong Learning Experiences of Youth Volunteering was held on 11th and 12th May 2015 in Göttingen, Germany.

VALLEY is an exciting new two year project co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme, Key Action 2 – Strategic Partnerships in the field of Youth. VALLEY aims to enhance the learning dimension of volunteering work through the development of a new approach to promote volunteering among young people as a resource of personal empowerment and to validate skills and competences developed during their volunteering experience. The project will maximize the transferability of this learning to other dimensions of people’s life to help understand the global benefits of volunteering in terms of social integration and (re)engagement, civic participation, mobility opportunities, etc.

During the kick-off meeting, the partnership came together to plan the implementation of the project and to share their experiences of volunteering and methodologies to support the recognition and validation of skills and competences of learners. The partnership is made up of 6 partners from 6 different European countries which include Bupnet Bildung Und Projekt Netzwerk Gmbh (Germany- Coordinator), The Association for the Promotion of Women in Romania (Romania), BEMIS (UK), CESIE (Italy), Die Berater Unternehmensberatungs GmbH (Austria) and EUROCIRCLE (France).

VALLEY will target youngsters already involved in volunteer activities, who want to recognise, validate and certificate the competences and skills gained during volunteering and there will be a special focus on young migrants and NEET young people (not in employment, education or training) who have never experienced volunteering. During the project lifetime, 30 young people from the 6 partner countries will take part in volunteering activities applying the LEVEL5 validation methodology and validation system for competences. LEVEL5 is a flexible validation system developed specifically for validating learning outcomes in an informal learning setting and has been tested previously with senior volunteers in the project RIVER.

The project will also target staff in volunteering and youth organisations. At least 15 staff/trainers working for volunteering organisations across the 6 partner countries will receive training on the methodology and the topic of validation of learning outcomes in volunteering services.

The project results will create a VALLEY community and e-platform to share good practices and information on volunteering opportunities for young people and a validation methodology and system for competences. The results will complement existing EU validation systems currently used in the youth field e.g. Youthpass.

The main project outcomes will be compiled in a unique “VALLEY toolbox” consisting of the validation methodology, mentoring guidelines for volunteers, good practices from the piloting phase and information on how to join the VALLEY community. A VALLEY quality label will also be designed that will award volunteering organisations that work along the lines of the VALLEY validation methodology and will ensure sustainability of the project.

The partners believe the VALLEY approach can become a comprehensive European concept to promote the validation of learning outcomes in volunteering, especially for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The first phase of the project is dedicated to social research on youth volunteering to explore the needs of the volunteering sector. During the next four months, Partners will carry out research activities with volunteering and youth organisations through an EU wide online survey, interviews and desk-based research. The results will be compiled into a comprehensive report and used to support the development of the competences and the design of the reference systems.

The next partnership meeting will take place in Palermo hosted by CESIE in November 2015.

For further information about the VALLEY project, please contact:

[su_button url=”” target=”blank” background=”#336DB3″ color=”#ffffff” wide=”yes” center=”yes” radius=”10″ icon=”icon: file-pdf-o” icon_color=”#ffffff”]Valley – Fact sheet[/su_button]

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