Under the framework of the 2011 European Year of Volunteering and as a member of the EYV 2011 Alliance, the European Juvenile Justice Observatory (EJJO) launched an awareness campaign emphasizing the benefits brought by volunteering to the youth in situation, or at risk, of exclusion.
Divided into four section, this campaign can be found online at the following address: http://eyvcampaign.ejjo.org/
First, it gathers the views and expertise of professionals with an extensive knowledge in youth involvement. This section underlines how researchers have highlighted the benefits brought to the youths by volunteering whether they come from situation, or are at risk, of social exclusion, or not.
Then, the campaign sheds light on four NGOs offereing volunteering opportunities to young people, including children, who used to be in conflict with the law, in order to help them turn their life around. Based in several different European countries, these NGOs set the example for those reluctant to involve children in volunteering activities and will hopefully inspire other NGOs throughout Europe!
Unga KRIS is a Swedish NGO, which helps young people in conflict with the law turn their life around, notably by offering them a chance to volunteer. www.ungakris.se
SOVA is a British NGO offering volunteering opportunities, notably to ex-offenders. www.sova.org.uk
Udraga MoSt is an NGO based in Split, Croatia; it aims at helping children with their daily life (homework, family issue, etc.) and encourages them to be involved in their community, by getting involved for instance in voluntary activities. most.hr
Schüler Helfen Leben is the biggest German humanitarian aid association.
Exclusively established and constituted by children and young people, this NGO aims at building bridges between EU and non-EU Member States engaging children from Germany and the Western-Balkans in voluntary activities. www.schueler-helfen-leben.de
The campaign also gives the floor to social worker encouraging children to volunteer, former volunteers, who advocate for involving more children in volunteering activities irrespective of their past, and to the former French Secretary of State in charge of youth policies and community life, Madame la Ministre Jeannette Bougrab.
Eventually, the campaign suggests several recommendations to our national and European leaders on how to ensure volunteering activities are also offered to children, and more espcially to children in conflict with the law, who can really benefit from such activities.