A few days after the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we witnessed a surge of solidarity in every part of the world, including Europe. Organizations, volunteers and individuals have put their forces together to provide assistance to people who needed food aid, personal care, or simply telephone support.

Volunteering has always played a significant role in the human society and its importance became even more apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Volunteering helps to reduce the risk of social exclusion, which worsened during the pandemic. It enables us to move towards a society that offers equal opportunities to all, erasing disability-related difficulties and cultural differences. Volunteering seeks de facto inclusion and is based on solidarity; that is the reason why the experiences of volunteering should be promoted and disseminated to as many people as possible within the European Union and beyond.

The project

The project “VOLUNTEU: Volunteering citizens as response to social COVID-19crisis”, in the framework of the objectives of the Citizens, Equality, Rights Values program (CERV), focuses on the promotion of the exchange of experiences and intercultural dialogue in Europe through the culture of volunteering.


VOLUNTEU intends to create a long-lasting cooperation network in the field of solidarity in times of crisis and youth volunteering as a civic and community response to the COVID-19 crisis. It involves young citizens of 8 different European towns who are experiencing the Crisis in different ways. The young participants initiate solidarity and participative path where they analyse and debate about current EU challenging situations and the role they can play as European citizens.



June 2022
Athienou, Cyprus
  • Open debate: COVID-19 and its social effects in Europe, how volunteering has reacted in order to face those effects
  • Intergenerational workshop and Dialogue: The response of Volunteering to COVID-19
October 2022
Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Brainstorming: the European policies about volunteering and the impact of the pandemic
  • Reflections: beliefs about the role of young people concerning volunteering and the consequences of the Covid-19
November 2022
Viana do Castelo, Portugal
  • Conference: Youth and civic participation leaded by youth leaders
  • Roundtable discussion: sharing experiences to enhance knowledge and dissipate doubts
February 2023
Molfetta, Italy
  • Discussion: Impact of covid on elders
  • Intergenerational workshop: debate on the point of view of young and elderly people on Europe and Volunteerism
May 2023
Heraklion, Greece
  • Conference: the social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on youngsters
  • Sharing ideas to mitigate the adverse effects on youngsters and on how volunteering can play a significant role
September 2023
Kalnik, Croatia
  • Workshop: Involving young people in voluntary activities in the community
  • Debate: European Strategies (Green Deal, The new Bauhaus, Europe Horizon)
November 2023
Târgu Jiu, Romania
  • Workshop: Promoting Youth Volunteering with Innovative ideas
  • Conference: Civic Participation: Key perspectives on the impact of volunteering in local government
February 2024
Altea, Spain
  • Thematic workshop and open discussion: Spread the word with European experts
  • Conclusions, peer review and sustainability group discussion about the end of the project


The VOLUNTEU Project aims at promoting volunteering, encouraging research and the exchange of good practices among European stakeholders. The specific objectives of VOLUNTEU are to:

Increase the knowledge and awareness of young people about volunteering and its potential

Help overcome the current social crisis caused by COVID19

Increase the culture of volunteering in the participating cities, improving their coordinationstructures, their training and their knowledge of good practices

Improve the general perception of society about youth volunteering

Contribute to improve the recognition of voluntary work and its professionalization

Explore and define new ideas, initiatives and strategies to support volunteering fromparticipating organisations, under the financial and the institutional point of view

Provide knowledge, information and recommendations to public authorities and other institutions tosupport volunteering and improve the culture of volunteering in Europe in response to the Covid-19 crisis


Impact of the project

VOLUNTEU targets youths from 8 different countries which are Spain, Romania, Portugal, Italy, Netherlands, Greece, Croatia, and Cyprus. They will participate in an exchange and learning path of 24 months and take part in 8 international events in order to improve their skills and their empowerment regarding youth volunteering for social issues as response to the COVID19 crisis.

The activities based on non-formal education and non-formal participative approaches, including street actions, would reach a wider public.

The 8 partners who are running the project mean to make the results and conclusions accessible to everyone. Moreover, all the information regarding the project will be shared on an open source basis, meaning that all citizens will be able to access it.

Finally, VOLUNTEU seeks to generate the exchanges of good practices in terms of volunteering in order to spread them to citizens and policymakers.

Project results

The VOLUNTEU team developed a handbook gathering all good practices and advises for fostering effective volunteering projects.The handbook and the report that is accessible to everyone, including municipalities and policymakers, contribute to improve the practices of volunteering within the European Union.


Lead Partner

Municipality of Altea (Spain)



The Municipality of Athienou is a Local Authority in the District of Larnaca, Cyprus, with 6.500 inhabitants, functioning with the Laws of Cyprus regarding Municipalities. The Municipality has been a partner in various European, leading for instance the Volunteering Cities Transfer Network, a project within the URBACT programme. The Municipality of Athienou got in 2018 a European recognition thanks to its experience dealing with local volunteering.


The Municipality of Kalnik is a local government unit with more than 1500 inhabitants, situated in rural, hilly area in the Northern part of Croatia. The Municipality invests great efforts in raising the awareness and knowledge levels of local citizens and associations which ensures a highquality of life for all citizens. The Municipality has many years of experience in international projects with partners from Hungary, Poland in programmes like IPA and Europe for Citizens. Kalnik is highly active in implementing policies in cooperation with its school, support bodies and local community associations like youth associations.


Industry Disruptors-Game Changers (ID-GC) is a non-profit/non-governmental organisation that was founded to promote entrepreneurship in Greece, South East Europe and East Med regions. ID-GC’s strategy is focused on industry sectors that offer a competitive advantage, through the exploitation of theunique characteristics and the entrepreneurial potential in the region. The Industry Disruptors Game Changers will participate in the project, representing the Municipality of Paros which is a Greek island in the central Aegean Sea and which counts on more than 6,000 inhabitants.


Hellenic Institute of Cultural Diplomacy Netherlands (HICD NL) is a scientific non-governmental organisation whose General Committee is formed by local development stakeholders and specialists from various sectors of the civil society and European Member States: academics, NGOs, development agents, association managers, civil servants and social economy companies, as well as European organizations for local development. HICD NL operates as a social player in collaboration with local and regional organizations andinstitutions in the fields of Culture, Environment, Entrepreneurship, Equality (Gender Equality), CulturalDiplomacy, Education through New Technologies activities. Specifically, it provides Non-formal/Vocational education, ICT education and innovative educational activities Integration of educational solutions into mainstream curricula specialized education for specific groups.


InCo - Molfetta is a no-profit association born in 2016 thanks to a group of members moving to Apulia region after several years of mobility experience abroad. The members decided to settle down a newlocal organisation in Apulia in order to provide local youngsters the same opportunities they had benefitted themselves. In order to reach its objectives In Co-Molfetta creates opportunities of volunteering abroad, internationalexchanges, training courses in Italy and abroad, promotion and organization of mobility projects. Theorganization operates thanks to several programs such as the ESC programme, Erasmus+, Europe for Citizen Programme and local/national grant. The organisation is now located in the old town hall of Molfetta. Molfetta is a city of Southern Italy with around 60.000 inhabitants that has provided its support to InCo – Molfetta for representing it in this network of towns.


The AJD was formally founded on 19 April 1997, in Portugal, and aims to create and develop social, cultural, sportsand artistic activities for youths, particularly in the area of leisure time, volunteering, cooperation andtraining, promoting and improving their access to information, their social integration, civic participation and equality between men and women. The AJD counts on the official support of the Municipality of Viana do Castelo which it will represent within the VOLUNTEU project.


Scout Society is an organization founded in 2011 with the primary goal of educating members of thelocal community through non-formal education in orderto make them become active citizens in their local communities. Thevision of the organisation is to reach and positively influence as many people from our local community,country, and Europe. Scout Society has around 10 board members and more than 20active volunteers and 80 members who activate occasionally for specific projects. Its members haveextensive experience in working with local, national and international NGOs. Furthermore, Scout Society members have a vast experience working as youth workers, project coordinators, facilitators, project writers, photographers,marketers and video editors, with abilities in digital, lobby & advocacy.


C/ Pont de Montcau Street nº 14 ,1st floor, Casa de Cultura 03590 Altea (Alicante)
+34 96 584 13 00 (ext. 1233)

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