The IVY's (Interreg Volunteer Youth) first volunteer explains her experience as an Interreg Reporter.
Why were you interested in being part of the European Solidarity Corps?
When the European Solidarity Corps was first mentioned by Jean-Claude Juncker, during his State of the Union speech addressed last September, it sounded like a new chapter in the solidarity / volunteering opportunities in Europe. The ESC fully embodies what we, as Europeans, need right now: more involvement and cooperation in common and shared challenges, be it in welcoming and integrating refugees and migrants or in helping tackle any other social issues.
I wanted to put into practice the skills and knowledge I had gained during my master programme while supporting and contributing to the European project. The European Union is not solely based on an economic partnership but also on a bonding human and social capital, we must keep taking care of.
What were you looking for? Were you thinking in developing some roles in particular?
When I signed up for the ESC, I was searching to play a role in making the EU more accessible, more human, closer to its citizens by improving transparency and communication of its achievements.
Did you have previous volunteer experience?
Being part of the ESC is my first volunteer experience. I highly value this opportunity initiated by the European Commission to work with projects and organisations that benefit communities and people around Europe.
What is your role in the Interreg Volunteer Youth programme?
As an Interreg Reporter in the Joint Secretariat of the Danube Transnational Programme (DTP), my role is to support cooperation across European borders, to promote the benefits of transnational programmes and to report on concreate achievements made by successful approved projects. In fact, 54 projects have been approved under the first call for proposals of the Programme. Several of them, such as Youmig, Rare and DRIM, address social challenges: they aim at boosting solidarity and cooperation in order to overcome integration, social and territorial cohesion issues. Basically, all the 54 projects seek to bring citizens closer together to address common challenges through tailored solutions, so that people in different countries can reach equal standards, and that borders are not barriers anymore.
Transnational programmes, such as the DTP, aim to better connect people, and to produce something beneficial in the long run. Transnational programmes hardly deliver concreate and tangible outputs, they rather prepare the ground for long lasting and comprehensive projects in a sustainable, resilient and inclusive approach.
More specifically, what are your duties?
I try to help the projects to properly communicate about their aims, expected results, and foreseen achievements. The overarching goal is to popularise and disseminate their activities, in order to help European citizens recognise the benefits of these projects.
So far, I mainly reviewed each and every one of the 54 projects websites and gave them tailored advice on how to better communicate on their activities and achievements. On Tuesday, I will meet with a project -CityWalk, ask them some questions with the aim of writing a report that will be promoted on our social media outlets.
After this first month, have your expectations related to your participation in ESC changed?
I am really excited to see more and more young Europeans and Interreg programmes willing to participate in this IVY experience! The more people we are, the most efficient/effective/successful it will be.
Any funny story related to your ESC experience?
Thanks to my photo being published on the ESC Facebook page, a long-lost friend reached out to me and I was really pleased to get back in touch with him.