Gramada

Date: 25 August 2011

Venue: in front of Gramada municipality  
Zolder, Belgium

Date: 03 September 2011

Venue: Circuit Zolder  
Sofia

Date: 09 September 2011

Venue: in front of Ministry of Health
What does it mean to be a volunteer?

A volunteer is someone who has the ability and willingness to work in service to others and to create, to be empathetic to human pain, has strong moral values, skills, is teamworker and socially responsible. Volunteers should have leadership qualities, be able to maintain good relationships with people, be disciplined, be able to communicate and take care of themselves and others.

 

What is voluntary work?

In short, volunteering is an activity that takes place without paying the person to carry it out. It contributes to a specific cause for the good of those who chose to deal with it, and to the society as a whole.

Volunteering exists in various forms and is performed by a wide range of people. Many volunteers are specially trained in the areas in which they operate, such as medicine, education, or rescue operations.

Often the volunteer does not receive payment for their effort, but there are initiatives such as charity events and other campaigns in which one can take part against payment as appropriate.

In the modern society, most people are accustomed to putting their time and effort on something, even when they cannot see the "return" - usually financial profit, and wages. However, for those who have worked as volunteers, the biggest reward is the gained experience, which often exceed any form of financial reward. Here are some of the benefits and reasons why a person chooses to become a volunteer:

Building confidence

Although the work of volunteers does not include any financial reward, it can be quite challenging and many people find it a useful way to overcome obstacles and barriers which in turn may increase their self-confidence, and be useful to them in other areas of life.

Decision making

Often one can find that performing a series of voluntary work activities can assist in the decision to choose a job or objectives to pursue.

Finding new friends

Volunteer supporters gathered in one place with the same aim, working for a common cause. As a result of common ownership and sharing the same values it is likely to build lasting friendships.

Making contacts

With the ability to create friendships, volunteer work can connect you to other people who can help you convert unpaid voluntary work from hobby to paid work.

CV enrichment

Volunteering enriches your CV with existing skills that can be transmitted in a particular workplace. Big advantage is the experience of teamwork.

Health Benefits

It has been shown that volunteering has many physical and psychological benefits for our health. It can give you a sense of wellbeing, improve your immune system to help resolve issues with anxiety and depression, and others.

To become a volunteer, a young person must have strong motivation. It is most often expressed as a desire to:

  • be useful;
  • do good;
  • have fun;
  • learn more;
  • show others what you know;
  • meet people with similar interests to yours;
  • share skills and qualities;
  • meet a new culture;
  • engage with a particular cause;
  • acquire leadership skills;
  • use your imagination;
  • help a friend or a relative;
  • feel proud;
  • find new friends;
  • improve professional experience;
  • do something different;
  • do what you love;
  • criticize when necessary;
  • be part of a team;
  • be an agents of change;
  • confront difficulties.

In order to acquaint you with specific initiatives in the areas mentioned above, we present a description of some of the best European practices carried out by European youth organizations and their volunteers. All are made through the peer-to-peer communication model!

 
Just say it!

Responsible Young Drivers - The Netherlands

Making young people aware of the importance of talking/discussing with your partner/friends in risky situations, such as driving back home as passenger with an impaired driver, or having sex without condom and not daring to frankly talk about it with the concerned person, because afraid of consequences. The aim is not to change behavior, but to change attitudes regarding the intimacy between friends and partners.

Drive responsibly

Open Youth - Bulgaria

Objectives:

-    to reduce the road accidents, caused by young people;
-    to improve the driving habits of the young drivers;
-    to reach directly a large number of young people through positive peer-to-peer communication and attractive tools.

Road of illusions

Road Safety Institute „Panos Mylonas” – Greece

Objectives:

- To convince, mainly young people, to drive safely without being under the influence of alcohol
- To inform the participants about the results of hyper-consumption of alcohol when they are driving and not only
- To change the mentality of drink and driving

Condom Race, sensitizing about the effects of alcohol

SIDA STUDI - Spain

Objectives:

-    Sensitizing about the effects of alcohol on driving skills.
-    Sensitizing about the effects of alcohol on condom use.
-    Make free condoms available to everyone who wants.

 
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