2009 award to celebrate Africa/Europe youth volunteering projects

2009 will see an award being made to the three best youth volunteer projects that involve young volunteers from Europe and Africa in joint problem-solving.

The Ubuntu Awards will acknowledge the contribution of young people to development and recognise good practice in international youth volunteering projects involving young Africans and Europeans.

Volunteer and Service Enquiry Southern Africa (VOSESA) (based in Johannesburg) and the Association of Voluntary Service Organisations (AVSO) (based in Brussels) will drive the project, which will be partially supported by a European Union Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency grant.

The overall objective of the awards is to enhance co-operation and dialogue between European and African youth organisations, in accordance with the objectives of the Youth for the World Programme. One aim is to strengthen guidelines for organisations and volunteers on how to implement effective international youth voluntary service projects in Africa. Other objectives are:

  • to increase European and African youth participation in joint problem-solving of development challenges;
  • to encourage youth participation in volunteering projects; and
  • to produce a good-practice handbook for organisations that involve young international volunteers.

About the Ubuntu Awards

The project will award volunteer-involving organisations that encourage joint problem-solving through partnerships between international volunteers from Europe and youth volunteers from Africa.

In April 2009 a call for applications will be sent to organisations that involve international volunteers. Organisations will be requested to complete an application form and write a short article about the organisation and also provide an organisational profile. The winning organisation will be selected based on certain criteria which include:

  • youth-motivated and youth-led
  • innovation
  • replicability
  • sustainability
  • impact
  • joint problem-solving
  • coherence
  • youth empowerment.

The winning organisation will be selected by a jury of ten young people, five of whom will be African and the other five European. A patron who is influential and has a passion for youth development, civic engagement and youth volunteering will be selected for the project.

Jury members

Ten young people will evaluate the applications and select the winning projects. Jury members are responsible for:

  • assisting in creating the award criteria,
  • evaluating project applications based on these criteria;
  • attending an evaluation meeting in Brussels, Belgium in July 2009;
  • selecting winning projects; and 
  • attending the awards ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa, in October 2009.

What kind of projects qualify for the Ubuntu Awards?

The voluntary service projects that qualify for the award must be based in countries throughout the African continent, must be hosting volunteers from European youth programme countries and must be youth-motivated and youth-led.

Contact Rejoice Shumba at rejoice.shumba@vosesa.org.za for further details.

- Rejoice Shumba