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"New ways of learning for Care Leavers through short term volunteering"

"New ways of learning for Care Leavers through short term volunteering"

The European Voluntary Service offers young adults the opportunity to work for a certain period in a social organization in another European country.

FICE Austria is particularly keen to offer Care Leavers - young adults who have grown up in alternative care homes or foster families and are now in transition to an independent life - these important opportunities of learning and gaining new experiences.

With the project "New ways of learning for Care Leavers through short term volunteering", FICE Austria, together with its Latvian partner organization Jaunatne Par, has created this opportunity especially for young adults who have lived in out of home care. With the support of reinforced mentoring both from Austria for adequate preparation, support and follow-up as well as locally by a constant reference person, the young people have successfully completed their one-month volunteer assignment in Cesis, Latvia.

According to the reports of the participants, the experiences of the young people were extremely positive and formative. The cultural exchange, the breaking down of language barriers and the independent involvement in the projects led to a significant strengthening of self-esteem and self-confidence. Especially the teaching in the state penitentiary for adolescents required the assumption of special responsibility and created a new perspective and appreciation of one's own situation. We recommend all organizations working with Care Leavers to promote their participation in EVS projects and other Erasmus+ youth exchange programmes and thank the Austrian National Agency for their generous support in financing this project!

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