The Online Dialogues, held in 2022, explored some key concepts in relation to the Decolonise! debate. In order to start discussing how we can Decolonise International Voluntary Service, we need to look at certain aspects and break down this all encompassing concept of Decolonisation into smaller parts. Participants exchanged in break-out rooms about topics such as intersectionality, cultural appropriation, power and privilege, neo-colonialism, volunteering and global justice. While all participants agreed on the need to deconstruct certain ‘practices and beliefs’, they also mentioned the importance of language and limitations of our existing vocabulary.
Study session Vienna
From 9 till 15 October 2022, 20 young people from diverse backgrounds met in Austria to continue the decolonisation debate. Starting from the outcomes of the online dialogues they further discussed the key concepts and created short videos to explain these concepts to a wider public. Did you already take a look at them?
Knowledge hub Videos
Participatory Action Research
An international team of 20 young researchers will, with the guidance of the researcher Filipe Alves, develop their research skills by carrying out a participatory action research in their own organisation. Different online meetings, on-site training, mentoring and peer-to-peer learning activities are foreseen to support the young researchers in their complex task to initiate and deepen the discussions in their organisations around the topic of decolonisation. Through setting up these discussions in various layers of the organisation and mapping the way volunteers, board members and other key stakeholders understand, value and put in practice the key values of International Voluntary Service they will start a process of change. This common reflection exercise will allow all involved to revise their ways of working so that they become more inclusive, equititative and environmentally sustainable.
- November 29th, 2022: online induction meeting
- January 31st, 2023: online preparation meeting
- February 12–19, 2023 : on-site training in Brussels “Participatory Action Research skills”
- February – July 2023: field work
- July 3-7, 2023: Research lab bringing together the results and drawing conclusions.
Youth Advocates @ work
The youth advocates will, with the help of some mentors, develop a Decolonise! advocacy plan. This should guide their actions during the project and beyond to influence decision-making in their organisations but also in other important spheres such as donor agencies or policy-making institutions.
The participatory advocacy training will equip the youth advocates with the necessary advocacy skills. They will get a better insight in advocacy work, work on advocacy asks, develop social media campaigns and set up meetings with policymakers.
Tools development Laboratory
Over the course of the project, the participating organisations will develop several tools that should encourage organisations to look at their own functioning with the aim to question their organisation’s values, behaviours and structures. A self-assessment test will guide the organisations in this exercise.
According to the score on the self-assessment test, the organisations will have several tools to work on improvements:
- An online preparation module for long term volunteers taking into account an intersectional approach;
- Revised guidelines for long term exchanges;
- Revised environmental sustainability guidelines.