VMM Joins the EU Aid Volunteers Initiative
In January 2019 VMM embarked on a new technical assistance and capacity development project – ‘Volunteering for Humanity’, funded by the EU Aid Volunteers Initiative. With our 50 years of experience, sending 3,000 professional volunteers to partner organisations’ projects overseas, VMM will lead a consortium of small, international development NGOs from West to Eastern Europe. The project will run for two years with the intention of collaborating and sharing our collective knowledge and experience across our different fields and strengths of expertise. In this way, small international development organisations will increase their capacity to react and be involved in local and global humanitarian and development actions in communities across the EU and the Global South.
Operating alongside the large, well-known, relief-aid charities who react to natural and man-made disasters around the world, long-term, resilience and capacity-building, community and volunteer-based organisations are necessary and complementary to the work and goals of these bigger, relief-aid NGOs. ‘Volunteering for Humanity’ organisations, like VMM, whose mission is a partnership approach to local and international development in order to build a better “world where we live and work in the shelter of one another”; connect directly with the communities around them, or those on the other side of the world, as equals.
Volunteering for Humanity Consortium Partners
Our partners in this consortium span the EU, from West to Eastern Europe; hailing from France, Lithuania and Slovakia.
Lithuanian NDGO Platform is an umbrella association which brings together 23 Lithuanian NGOs working in the field of development, humanitarian aid, global education and the SDGs. Their work focuses on coordinating development and humanitarian deployment programs and cooperating on joint advocacy actions addressing the European Commission, the European Parliament and the United Nations. Lithuanian NDGO Platform’s membership base spans key areas of expertise in human rights, mental health, social services, humanitarian aid, development education, migration, the environment, NGO law, gender equality and social inclusion.
Community-based organisation, Keric, host international volunteers from all corners of the globe with local volunteers in Slovakia with a mission of social inclusion, by connecting local youth with the wider world, to broaden their horizons and help them to become more open and tolerant towards other cultures. For many, the adult courses, school workshops and cultural activities hosted by Keric are their only opportunity to do this.
Fondacio is a Christian, international NGO working in more than 20 countries in Africa, South America and Asia. Their aim is to help people develop and become independent, nurturing each person to become the director of their own life and involved in society. Their work is long term, with focus on sustainability of impact. Projects are in education, health, economic development and direct sustainment of local communities.
Community Partnership Building Global Citizenship
Through this project we aim to build the capacity of such organisations to share the message and work of partnership and inclusion by; collaborating and sharing our collective knowledge and experience to build the tools to do this; consolidating best practice processes and procedures to become officially certified, EU sending organisations and; by widening the network and capabilities of small NGOs to contribute to positive impacts in communities everywhere by opening up the discussion to all voices and perspectives and sharing the tools and resources developed on a new online platform.
This is a very exciting project, to make more space at the international level, for communities in Global North and South to have their say, to connect and to empower them to act in the projects that will help theirs, and other communities near and far, tackle current issues of equity, inclusion and global justice. In addition, the project aims to connect and give voice to the realities and objectives of communities near and far, north and south, as the whole world faces the increasing uncertainty and disruption, now widely accepted, being wreaked by man-made Climate Change, as this century progresses. It is a sad truth that many of the first and worst affected communities will be those who have done least to cause it, as recent events in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe demonstrate. And while humanitarian relief-aid, in the aftermath of such events, is very necessary now and into the future, so too is the resilience and capacity building capability at local level to find ways to circumvent, mitigate and manage the worst of what Climate Change will bring.
VMM Shares 50 Years of Volunteering Tradition and Ethos
Ireland and the UK have a long tradition of volunteering at home and overseas, stretching back to the missionaries. The aim of the EU Aid Volunteers Initiative is to extend this through the spreading of the ideal of local and international volunteerism and of solidarity across the EU and wider, into the whole world, as global citizens. In this year of our 50th anniversary of the selfless charism and commitment of lay mission, VMM will deliver on this tradition and continue to practice our organisational mission to “share who we are, not just what we have”, by bringing our experience, expertise and volunteer commitment and ethos to the ‘Volunteering for Humanity’ project.