The IVCO 2023 theme, "A New Generation of Volunteers as Changemakers", focused on how to create and recreate opportunities to harness the full force of young people as agents of change. Young people are increasingly recognising the importance of volunteering as a way to make a difference in their communities and the world. They also bring new perspectives and ideas to the sector, challenging traditional power dynamics and advocating for more inclusive and equitable approaches to volunteering.
Despite their enthusiasm and potential, young people lack access to information and opportunities, face exclusionary practices and attitudes, do not always receive the recognition and support they need, and require accountability mechanisms in successfully executing volunteering initiatives.The COVID-19 pandemic and other global crises have further exacerbated these challenges. Volunteering organisations need to adapt their practices and cultures to create more inclusive and equitable opportunities for young people to volunteer.
CALL TO ACTION
This Call to Action is a response to these challenges and opportunities. It is a call for volunteering organisations to better recognise, respect, and empower young people as changemakers.
We urge all volunteer-involving organisations to pledge their commitment to encourage and support a new generation of volunteers as changemakers by:
Addressing power dynamics: Create spaces where young people can have a meaningful voice in shaping volunteering environments, platforms, and standards.
Providing inclusive opportunities: Offer a variety of volunteering opportunities that are accessible to young people of all backgrounds, abilities, and interests.
Being accountable to young people: Provide young people with opportunities to lead and participate in decision-making processes related to volunteering.
Providing training andlearning: Invest intraining and learning opportunities that help organisations to recognise, respect, and empower young people as changemakers.
Sharing best practices: Share best practice and lessons learned from successful youth-led volunteering initiatives.
By taking these steps, volunteer involving organisations can play a vital role in creating an enabling environment for the next generation of volunteers to flourish as changemakers. Together, we can create a more inclusive and equitable volunteering sector where all young people can thrive and have the opportunity to make a difference.
To strengthen our collective actions, Forum invites organisations in all sectors to endorse this declaration and support this Call to Action.
To endorse the Call to Action, click here.