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Volunteering for the PONT Group in the European Youth Capital 2015
Date du début: 1 oct. 2014, Date de fin: 31 déc. 2015 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

THE COORDINATOR: PONT Group, the coordinating organization is the same NGO that coordinated the bidding process of Cluj-Napoca for the European Youth Capital 2015 title, which ended in success for the Romanian city. After November 2012, when the title was won, the PONT Group involved itself in several background and innovative activities that serve the preparation and implementation of the large scale youth programme associated to this title. The PONT Group has specific tasks regarding the strategic planning and monitoring and evaluation of the European Youth Capital. THE OBJECTIVES: Our aim was to offer opportunities for young people from outside Romania to experience this original process going on in Cluj-Napoca and to take part of it. As the European Youth Capital will involved 200,000 young participants, 1000 projects and 200 organizations, that were a unique experience for everybody involved. In our case we involved 5 volunteers from Hungary on the other side of the barricade, of those of the initiators and organizers. The objectives of this project are: * Contributing to the learning experience of young people through direct participation in an original youth-related major programme in this part of Europe * Giving the opportunity for young people for understanding the special situations and relations within a multicultural community through the interaction of the Romanian majority and the Hungarian minority from Cluj-Napoca. This understanding leads to a better knowledge and awareness related to also the European multicultural context and multicultural challenges. * Giving the opportunity to young people to be present and take part in an original program through projects and activities that involve other youngsters from all over Europe through the Youth@Cluj-Napoca 2015 (European Youth Capital) Programme. * Contributing to the general aim of the European Youth Capital of providing 500,000 volunteering hours for Cluj-Napoca with 7,200 hours of volunteering accordingly. *Promoting volunteering, the European Voluntary Service, Youthpass and the local and national initiatives of the recognition of volunteering as working experience. HOW WE WORKED: We involved our volunteers in 2 key segments of our youth-related activities, and more specifically the Passport for Cluj2015 project, the Participatory Budgeting for Youth: general project management, event management, and communications management. Of course, in all activities, volunteers were permanently assisted by senior members and collaborators of our organization. Our volunteers had the opportunity to interact with a wide range of persons and organizations from Cluj-Napoca but also with other organizations. Furthermore, they had the opportunity to gain skills and competences in seven key categories defined by Youthpass. THE EXPERIENCE: Participants had the experience in taking part for 8 months in an organization’s activities that was the creator of a European Youth Capital initiative. This experience involved a learning process in a professional environment where there is a permanent access to increased project, event and communication management challenges. The knowledge theory and the practical experience gained by volunteers will be an important component of their resume in the own career building process. This EVS project also enabled a learning process of the organization itself about how to encourage volunteering through own projects, how to add an international volunteer perspective to its own activities. Partner organizations got a new reliable partner from Romania, this partnership will be the basis for future cooperation’s based on volunteering and international participation. BRINGING HOME EVS: Although Romania is already in its 8th year of membership in the European Union, it still lacks a massive involvement in European networks. The PONT Group wanted to make EVS more familiar within the youth sector from our city in order to facilitate the access of European volunteers to Cluj. Our project served also as an instrument for promoting this European volunteering mechanism. LONG TERM BENEFIT: As a long term benefit, this EVS projectwas the first of the PONT Group. As a strategic perspective, the PONT Group aims for 2014-2020 to become an important EVS actor in Cluj-Napoca through which it can develop a significant international perspective for its activities. The first step in this context is always capital, this is why its impact is also significant on the future development of volunteer activities of the PONT Group.



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