Three European Capitals of Culture – Tartu (EE), Bad Ischl-Salzkammergut (AU) and Bodø (NO) – have combined efforts to further develop volunteering for their upcoming title years. The cities all take part in the Erasmus+ project Volugram: Developing volunteering as a part of individual learning path, which brings together culture capitals, learning communities, and education systems.

Developing a capable volunteering community, led by skilled and competent leaders with the tools to recognise and validate voluntary work, is essential for all European Capitals of Culture. Furthermore, flexible, informal, and individual learning must be valued as components of an individual learning path, according to modern learning approaches.

Adults, as well as other specific community groups such as minorities, refugees, NEETs, or the elderly, may face a number of barriers to participating in formal education. Adult education strategies have highlighted the need to increase participation in lifelong learning as well as the need for more flexible and personalised learning solutions. Culture, sports or other community events could be considered as learning environments. Learning-by-doing and peer-to-peer learning are two examples of informal and individual learning, and they occur when volunteers help organise events. Volunteering, for example, can provide migrants with additional and practical language skills.

The lead partner of the project is Tartu Vocationa College. According to project manager Kaire Mets, the project links volunteering, informal learning and community events by creating sustainable platforms in project areas as well as viable solutions that can be implemented on a European scale. „Within the Volugram project, we will develop and make available quality training materials for volunteer coordinators and manual for volunteer leaders that can be used in other areas and communities. The project also creates tools for the recognition of volunteering as part of the individual learning process.“

The project’s goal is to recognise volunteer work as a flexible, informal, and individual learning path, as well as to develop assessment and validation of micro-volunteering.

Tartu Vocational College (EE)
Sihtasutus Tartu 2024 (EE)
Bodø2024 IKS (NO)
VAEV Research and Development Agency GmbH (AU)
Kulturhauptstadt Bad Ischl – Salzkammergut 2024 GmbH (AU)
Studentorganisasjonen Nord (NO)

The project will be carried out from 01.09.2022 to 31.12.2024 and is financed by EU Erasmus + Programme.