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Volunteers Assignment: Case Study

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Context:

ASIRYS organisation is a non-profit and non-political organization, established in 2009 in Romania, that aims to develop communities through active participation, volunteering, cultural and non-formal education. The vision of ASIRYS is to engage citizens, especially youth, in order to develop them into leaders of positive and sustainable change for their communities.

The organization runs mostly based on volunteering work. The most active years of the organization were in 2015-2016 when they managed to engage in one year, 120 volunteers that organized 360 educational events involving 6.000 beneficiaries from all the county of Iaşi, and 2018-2019, when the organisation coordinated 5 different and complex projects that involved 32 international volunteers, 20 local volunteers and more than 10.000 beneficiaries from 20 small communities.

70% of the volunteers and beneficiaries are coming from rural area, the organisation works in general with children and youth (6 to 35 years old), but lately more and more teachers and artists are interested to get involved.

The budget of organization is coming 97% from European funds. The other 3% of funds are coming from fundraising campaigns: the volunteers are attending festivals where they provide face-painting, souvenirs and sugar cotton candy for one euro donation.

ASIRYS works very well with the local schools, 2 universities in Iaşi and 5 municipalities from the close-by villages, open to host and provide local resources to implement youth projects.

Most of the citizens of Târgu Frumos heard about the association and many youth and teachers of the town went to youth exchanges and training abroad, as the organization was partner in more than 250 YiA/Erasmus plus projects. Despite this, as the previous generation of local volunteers left the town for university or jobs or they work abroad, currently there are only 7 active volunteers involved in the association. Therefore it is necessary to engage new local volunteers and/or find ways to re-engage the old one. There is also a big local challenge as some adults influence the children and the youth by telling them “volunteering is a waste of time”.

In 2020, after a big financial effort, the association will open a new youth center that aims:

1. To educate youth to be active citizens and to support their personal and professional development by providing a variety of free activities in the field of arts, entrepreneurship, sports, sustainability etc.

2. To engage local community in volunteering, cultural and artistic events.

3. To become a community development hub: A.C.T. House.

4. To raise funds for the organization projects by developing different services: coffee place, training courses, teambuilding for companies, project writing.

Assignment:

You received a grant from European Union to help ASIRYS team to face the challenges and to increase the impact of non-formal education in local community. There are available different resources: 285 sq. office, board-games, books, video projector, sport equipment, office/training supplies, 3 laptops, different schools rooms and resources provided by the local partners etc.

You have 8 months to help the local community using solidarity and educational activities.

Describe your strategy. Define the methodology of the first workshop you will do with local youth. Be open, but specific. There are not wrong answers, but you need to fit in the local context. Think to your well-being as well and include your learning objectives.

Old youth center




New youth center

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