In 2018, Aarhus is the European Volunteering Capital. The title is given each year by the European Volunteer Centre (CEV) to a European city or municipality which has been particularly notable in terms of volunteering. In Aarhus our vision for the year as Volunteering Capital is to celebrate and recognize volunteers and increase the visibility of volunteering - through events, sharing of knowledge and communities; to test and develop new ways to improve welfare through voluntarism, active citizenship and cooperation. Our main objective is to make voluntarism fun, easy and accessible for everyone. This is addressed through a focus on four main values: legacy, diversity, social inclusion and cooperation.
The Volunteer Fair
After almost ten months of being the European Volunteering Capital, on September 21st-23rd Aarhus will hold a buzzing event, the Volunteer Festival, which is called Folketsmøde in Danish. We invite volunteers, organisations, researchers, business representatives, politicians, international guests and citizens to join this great event. Our goal is to celebrate, debate and share the many volunteering communities and initiatives that make a difference every day. With the ambition to include around 20.000 participants during the weekend, we invite guests to various locations and meeting points for performances, talks, workshops and debates.
Events circle around the four main values of Aarhus as the European Volunteering Capital and all the volunteering organisations and networks can contribute to the Volunteering Festival with activities, which will encourage active participation of the audience and the citizens. Local organisations will invite people to join their everyday practice such as free lessons in skateboarding or showcase their activities such as exhibiting artwork.
Debates will give attendees the chance to exchange opinions on volunteering and active citizenship with the goal of challenging and expanding the understandings of certain topics and issues. These debates will include politicians, organisations and other actors from civil society and we do hope that the audience will actively participate in discussion with their questions.
In addition to debates, our workshops will enable various groups of people to meet and work side-by-side on a particular task or issue developing solutions together around specific challenges and potentials of volunteering. Workshops will include inspiring talks to motivate everyone finding constructive solutions to related debates.
In the end, performances and creative events will take place anywhere in the city during the Volunteer Festival days. The happenings are scheduled, but will not appear in the official programme, since we want to make some creative disruptions from the context, aiming to generate new ideas and inspire the further process of positive change.
In Aarhus we’ve been working a lot to make the Volunteer Festival an event where everyone could find something for themselves – should it be learning, sharing, teaching, creating of just having fun while expanding your network and discovering more about the volunteer causes everybody is most passionate about.
If you want to know more about the Volunteer Festival and would like to participate as a guest or contributor, please contact the Project Manager Jacob Erdmann, Phone +45 60 19 43 25. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you in September in Aarhus!