BELGRADE – The ROUTE WB6 project that aims at promoting long-term and short-term cross-border volunteering as a tool that will contribute to a reduction of social and ethnic distance among young people in the region just conducted its first designing workshop in Belgrade. This three-day workshop was the first of a series of planned events for the whole duration of the project and was hosted by NGO Young Researchers of Serbia, Voluntary Service of Serbia, gathering 14 individuals from different spheres of youth and volunteer work, coming from NGOs working primarily at national levels or working directly with young people, SEEYN, RYCO and ministries in charge of youth and voluntarism.
The overall goal of the series of activities is to support participants to engage fully in collaborative designing of the ROUTE WB6 Volunteering Exchange Programme. The first designing workshop focused on defining the profile of young persons for whom the ROUTE WB6 Volunteering Exchange Program is being created.
During the workshop, the participants were consulted about the profiling of the volunteers for whom the ROUTE WB6 Volunteering Exchange Programme should be designed. This resulted in developing two volunteer profiles and the discussions aimed at a better understanding of their needs and interests.
A very interesting exchange took place on the effects the program is expected to have on young people and on the communities where volunteering will take place. Learning from the start-up community was also a contested topic amongst the participants who provided valuable input to the project.
The next steps of the project include each partner from WB 6 organising the two focus groups reaching out to young people of these profiles and with additional criteria necessary for capturing specificities in two identified target groups. In addition, the next designing workshop will take place in Bitola, from 27th February to 1st March 2020.
The ROUTE WB6 project is being implemented by RYCO and six partners from the Western Balkans with the support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It aims to promote volunteering as a mean to achieving peace and reconciliation, improving volunteering infrastructure in the region, and developing a regional volunteering program. Also, it aims to mobilize youth and use volunteering as a mean to improving inter-ethnic collaboration, while fostering values that lead to reconciliation, stability and prosperity in the Western Balkans.