Community development, Social inclusion, Workcamps organized in the Czech Republic are focused on four main topics - community, heritage, society and environment. Community development and social inclusion are two of the main pillars of all workcamps organized.

International volunteering in the Czech Republic

Creators

Who is behind this?

Lenka Kadeřábková

INEX - Association for Voluntary Activities (INEX-SDA)

http://www.inexsda.cz

Czech Republic

Idea

Idea pitch

The international volunteering projects (workcamps) last 2-3 weeks, host 6 – 20 international volunteers usually between 16 – 26 years old. A workcamp is a place for a group of young people from all over the word to gather, work, spend free time and to help the local community. This year, we are not able to go on with international workcamps, so we would like to put all of our capacities in 2021 and by means of workcamps support local municipalities and NGOs affected by the pandemic the most.

Where will your project idea take place?

Remote areas, villages/towns throughout the whole country. Each year there are around 35 workcamps.

What is the local challenge?

Regions where workcamps are held usually face lack of economic opportunities, mainly those which are situated at the borders. This year, the crisis might even deepen it and the skepticism against connected Europe may raise. A higher tendency to support non-democratic parties is also more often. Additionally, in remote regions, locals may have limited opportunity to meet and host people from abroad and are more influenced by stereotypes and hate speech. Thus, the interaction between international volunteers and the locals provides a space for mutual understanding and a better social cohesion. The hand on volunteering work of the international volunteers makes the local society feel an important part of the broader Europe with its core value of democracy, solidarity and active citizenship.

How does your idea strengthen democracy and active citizenship at a local and community level?

Historically, a very first workcamp took place 100 years ago near Verdun, France right after the WW I. The main aim was to recover the devastated village by means of solidarity, peace and volunteering work done by locals and volunteers from the whole Europe. With still the same core values current workcamps are organized. The aim is to make a positive impact on the European shared public space, connect people from the whole world regardless their background and to involve locals as much as possible. Nowadays, workcamps are places of intercultural meeting, getting to know the others´ culture in order to leave the workcamp as a more open-minded person with a feeling as a global citizen. After they leave a workcamp many of them become active citizens in their own surrounding.

Who are you doing it for?

Usually, at a workcamp we host international volunteers between 16 and 26 years old. Nevertheless, workcamps are open to everybody regardless the age, nationality or religion. At a workcamp participants can meet volunteers with all different backgrounds. Moreover, all of our activities are as inclusive as possible. All participants with fewer opportunities are welcomed as well as minorities living in the Czech Republic. As already mentioned, also local communities are often involved in order to bring the international aspect to as many people as possible. We have a number of workcamps which are organized many years in a row where we can see the impact on the place as well as on the local community.

How do you plan to get there?

To deliver a quality and meaningful workcamp there are several phases:
Set up a partnership for the upcoming season.
To deliver a training for all of our local partners.
To introduce our workcamps to international partners who will promote opportunities among their volunteers.
To process volunteers´ applications and to put together a coherent international group.
To train campleaders. Each workcamp has two campleaders who coordinate and motivate the group. As we would like to provide quality leaders, we organize a weekend training related to leadership skills and topics related to cultural differences and solidarity. Every year we train about 70 leaders.
During each workcamp there is a monitoring visit to check if everythig goes fine.
Evaluations with volunteers and our partner.

What are the expected results?

At all workcamps, local communities experienced to meet volunteers from various countries and cultures what might help them to become more open-minded and tolerant. Also, the strong and requested impact is that volunteers, local communities as well as our partners gained new knowledge, inspiration and they stand for the values like democracy, solidarity and understanding. The successful workcamp means for us that it is organized again in the next year in order to catch up the work which has been started.
In case of environmental/heritage workcamp the immediate and visible effect is the work which has been done (e.g the castle renovation). In case of a social workcamp, kids usually from challenging social background or seniors spent two weeks with international volunteers.

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

As already mentioned the main aim of the first workcamp was to revive devastated Europe by means of volunteering supported by mutual solidarity, peace and dialog. These values are still valid for workcamps taking place in Europe nowadays.
Workcamps are organized in a way to have tangible and measurable results that make a positive impact to the European shared spaces. During the months of limited social life, workcamps in the next year will be focused on reviving the social interactions again, to raise the solidarity within the society and to continue in taking care of our common public spaces. The daily contact of all participant is bringing a better understanding of solidarity as a needed support.

What is your story?

The current crisis brought us a very challenging time. Our international projects are stopped, there is very limited possibility to send volunteers abroad and we will not be able to host international volunteers at our workcamps. There is a huge financial loss which put in danger the whole organisation. If we will be able to, we are determined to continue our work started in 1991 and to keep the idea of workcamps alive for the next 100 years. In the Czech Republic, we already did a highly valuable impact on the whole country as well as on particular communities. To strengthen the impact and to be able to ensure the continuity of our work for the next years, we need to ensure a proper financing of the project and related activities(partners training, campleaders training, promo activities)

€ 14463,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 62728,-

Total budget

Major expenses

Civic Europe Budget
Material 385
Services 2 540
Rents 223
PR 385
Travel costs 162
Trainings 1 771
Insurance and others 0
Personal costs 11 538
Total 14 463

Total budget of the project
Material 2 422
Services 16 173
Rents 2 808
PR 923
Travel costs 2 338
Trainings 7 304
Insurance and others 2 800
Personal costs 44 132
Total 62 728

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We would like get advised how the other organizations communicate with their target group and how to keep people active and motivated also during the year. We would like to get inspired by the others´ volunteering activities and initiatives for the youth to become active citizens.

Team

INEX-SDA

Idea created on May 26, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

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