#Take social action

Young people's enthusiasm and energy to make the world a better place is nowadays radically increasing and this is probably the reason why the group of 25 kids, that participated in the seminar, faced no difficulties in answering questions and sharing ideas about democracy and social action. They take part in everyday activities to make a positive difference in their communities by volunteering, campaigning, fundraising, mentoring, supporting.

"Social action doesn't have to be a formal commitment run by a specific volunteering program or local charity" – said one of the kids, and that is so true! Many great volunteering projects usually start from small commitments, so called micro-volunteering, with the idea that social action can also be something you do on your own every day. 

Studies developed within the EU indicate that volunteering has a double-side effect: It brings benefits to the community and at the same time develops the skills in people involved, building the character, boosting self-confidence, resilience, teamwork skills and increasing the life satisfaction in general – key attributes for young people to succeed in the modern world. Active citizenship is also beneficial for the integration of citizens with different cultural backgrounds, because it increases the social capital through new social networks that builds on trust and cooperation. 

For the young people we met social action is not only about "doing good" but also about meeting other like-minded people and gaining knowledge. These kids say that the difference that you make in someone else's life makes an even bigger difference in yours! We, as EVS volunteers, had the chance to join a fun and inspirational evening, observing the young generation discussing future challenges and putting ideas, thoughts and dreams into reality. As many of the kids that attended the workshop would say: "Social action is the ultimate exercise in Democracy. You vote in general elections only once every four years, but when you volunteer, you vote every day for what kind of community you want to live in". And the earlier young people start volunteering, the more likely it is to bring a habit of social action and, by extension, civic engagement, into life.

Before closing the event an important task has been assigned to the young participants: To write some powerful questions about taking social action on democracy and rights. Do you want to know what came out? Just join the future events organized for the Aarhus European Volunteering Capital and you'll have the opportunity to discover it!

Francesca Pisano and Uliana Bashniak- EVS Volunteers at the Secretariat of Aarhus 2018 European Volunteering Capital.