At Villa Elba, Christmas preparations began as early as September, when eight volunteers from Norway, Austria, Spain and France participated in the Elf start! volunteering team project.
During three weeks, they built a whole bunch of spruce elves, wretches and even a reindeer to be used at Elf path opening in November. The project got a lot of attention from local people and the spruce elves got noticed both in the regional newspaper as well as several social media publications by visitors to the youth center.
Tasks, where the results were visible at once gave young people experiences of success. Working in an international team and living together strengthened the volunteers’ skills: they developed their skills for an example in teamwork, planning their own work and solve daily problems, as well as their everyday skills and intercultural skills.
The young people evaluated the impact of the project and one of the respondents said that with the project he found that he wanted to work in a field where he could work independently. Another respondent said that he had improved his skills to cope with difficult situations and the third said he had become more open minded with the project.
Our partner organizations have been hoping for short and pragmatic projects of this kind to be offered to young people who are hesitant to participate in longer projects and through good experiences we will be happy to continue developing such projects.