EYV 2011 Tour in Prague culminated a jam-packed year of volunteer programming

The Czech EYV 2011 Tour Stop concluded on 7 November 2011, after a week full of diverse activities including morning workshops for schools followed by debates and presentations.

On 3 November, a conference on strategic corporate volunteering brought together representatives from companies that are members of the ‘Know-how for a better world network’. They discussed the current situation and challenges in the area of professional support for NGOs. The participants raised the issue of the importance of preparing both the corporate volunteers and the NGOs for successful collaborations. On the one hand, non-governmental organisations are more effective when primed to receive professional help and need to be able to work autonomously. On the other hand, volunteers are more successful when they have at least basic knowledge about how the non-profit sector works, especially in relation to legal issues and finance.

Diverse cultural and entertaining activities accompanied the Tour: a canistherapy workshop (dogs used for psychotherapeutic purposes), desk games, handicrafts, an Esperanto workshop, and dances either performed by deaf children or presented on Native American culture. African drum performances, improvisation theatre performance, indoor and outdoor scavenger hunt and many other activities also took place.

On 6 November, an interesting activity called ‘Living library’ took place. The ‘Living library’ is an innovative method designed to promote dialogue, reduce prejudice and encourage understanding. People who directly interacted with the public were volunteers who shared testimonials that represented books and experiences from different genres. The participants had the opportunity to ‘borrow’ these volunteer “actors” for a personal conversation and engaged in exchange with their ‘living books’.

The last day of programming offered interesting workshops related to PR and fundraising in a non-profit setting. The main topics discussed during the session illustrated the importance of PR and how it is connected to the overall function and the focus of organizations. PR tools, basic conditions for good practice, the principals of communication between the public and the media were also covered

The EYV 2011 Tour in the Czech Republic offered a space for presenting volunteer activities in addition to a format for discussion between volunteers and the public. The volunteers transmitted their enthusiasm and energy to the participants, with a special interest towards inspiring young people in becoming volunteers themselves.

Sursa:  www.europa.eu/volunteering

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