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What happenned last year?

Last year more than 70 000 young people from 8 countries participated in EYSD. It was also our goal to create international synergies, and to identify partners who would be open for future cooperation with each other. Thus, European Youth Service Day is more than just an event in mid-April, it is a network of European organizations open to celebrate the work of their volunteers, as well as to share their experiences in youth service in Europe. That is why it is worthwile to build on the networking and sharing aspects of EYSD, and organize preparatory meetings if possible.

Stories from last year

In every issue we will present some example from last year’s EYSD project.

The DIA story

Since 2006 we have been organising National Youth Service Day in Hungary. The main idea being to secure more visibility to youth service and volunteering in Hungary. The name of the program is KöZöD! (Get involved!), what in the following years became a well-known brand in Hugary. In the very first year we were able to invole 7 500 young participants. The following year we decided to involve all the Hungarian secondary schools to make the project more visible and creative. Many schools responded positively, while groups from the previous year were happy to come back. Most of Hungary’s population lives in small villages where young people have very little to do in their communities. These villages soon became our base and groups keep coming back with new project ideas. One must add that without DIA’s local presence through its regional coordinators, many of the projects would not come to realization. Young people, however creative they may be, often lack project management and fundraising skills.

Since 2006, numbers keep going up, although that is not the main issue here. What we hope to show to other countries, who might be just thinking about the possibility of joining EYSD, is that it does not have to be big. Not in the first year, not in the second one. Numbers are not the issue here.

The issue is, we believe, to send a clear message to the young people. And the message is that if you see problems around yourself, in your community, you do not have to wait for others to solve them. You can do it with your friends. And in our experience, (where there is a will there is a way) somehow, numbers just come along.

The ODINV/VITA story (

The Latvian Association of Social Volunteers (ODIN/VITA) unpacked and distributed 6 tons of food products for families in need. The 45 youngsters involved, worked different shifts to put the food into 10 kilogram packages. They also dealt with all the preparation, paperwork and documentation.

Our GYSD program in Latvia worked along with The Feed Latvia project to help distribute food  among the families, this cooperation was benefical for both parties since Feed Latvia is a well respected
program established in 2009 and was a great outlet for the introudction of Global Youth Service Day for the local media there.

The beggining was very succesful as they planted the idea of the GYSD in their country. This year, following the success of last year, they are planning the preparation earlier and involving more NGO in the program.

GYSD and EYSD will be held on April 20-22, 2012.