Volun-Tour is a capacity building project funded by the European Commission into the Erasmus+ Programme. The implementation of this project involves European and Asian organisations which have experience in non-formal learning, Erasmus+, advocacy and change-making activities, international workcamps and cultural visits. Moreover, a partner organization is a travel agency, expert in responsible tourism. Each European and Asian organization sents and hosts two European Voluntary Service (EVS) volunteers, who are involved in the implementation of the project by designing the Volun-tour experiences together with the host organizations, following each other’s needs and understandings through an intercultural path.
The main objective of this project is to develop a new format of international mobilities for young people, fully organized and implemented by NGOs.
These mobilities will be defined from now on as “voluntours”: a mixture of cultural awareness tours and change making actions organized by NGOs working on the field, with the purpose to offer quality learning experience to international volunteers through the encounter and interaction with local communities, and to inspire active participation and advocacy in the communities according to a different topic for each country.
By valuing the know-how of the partners involved, the aim of the project is to develop the organisations’ competences to create a new and sustainable entrepreneurial concept arising from nonformal education principles and to promote particular volunteering experiences with common quality standards and change making goals.
While generally the actors of responsible tourism and “voluntourism” are travel agencies, where a travel guide accompanies groups of participants put together by their own nationality, or independent travellers without skilled support, the goal of “VolunTour” project is to empower local and international NGOs in the management of “volunt tourists” groups, following an educational path and offering the chance to develop an economically sustainable model to impact local societies through responsible volunteerism.
We’d like that such volunteering initiatives could function as a trigger for social reflection and change making actions in the communities and to raise global awareness through online campaigns while promoting the “voluntours” experiences, following one main topic for each Asian country in the project. EVS volunteers in Asia will learn how to develop this aspect through web communication, while European EVS volunteers in Asia will design together with your organization the “voluntours” journeys. During the study visit of European youth workers in Asia, the tour will be tested with a first group of foreigners participating.
Study visits in Europe will involve Asian NGO workers to experience youth mobility, nonformal education projects and changemakers’ activities before a final meeting for the production and dissemination of the intellectual output.