European Solidarity Corps voluntarism activity "Youth Center"


The ESC voluntarism activity was carried out by the AMKE YC Epirus from July 2023 until August 2024, in Ioannina.  During this period, participants actively contributed to the operation of the youth center, coordinated small-scale events, supported the organization of larger events, and curated online content addressing social issues relevant to local young adults. Collaborating closely with local youth workers and volunteers, they worked in cohesive teams.


This initiative also underscored the significance of digital literacy and critical digital research, enhancing participants' diverse digital skill set while facilitating engagement with local youth through digital platforms. Moreover, non formal learning played a pivotal role, enabling participants to acquire activity-related competencies through informal training methods, while providing local young adults with regular opportunities to partake in non formal educational activities.


On a day-to-day basis, participants primarily focused on managing and supporting the youth center located in Ioannina's city center. The center remained open to the public every weekday from 9 am until late evening, depending on the season and scheduled events. Their responsibilities included welcoming local youth to various activities, overseeing activity management (planning, logistical support, communication with volunteers and participants), informing local youth about opportunities within the organization both locally and internationally, hosting monthly workshops/activities tailored to local youth interests and skills (ranging from cultural and language workshops to seminars on crafts, art, music, and discussions on pressing social issues such as human rights, migration, environmental concerns, xenophobia, LGBTQ+ topics, among others). They also participated in local volunteer teams involved in planning, organizing, and leading large-scale events like music festivals, as well as organizing smaller events related to annual celebrations, awareness days, or other topics of youth interest. Additionally, they were engaged in planning, organizing, and leading small-scale youth cultural and intercultural events, providing assistance during various organization events, and managing the organisation's youth department social media presence.



Three young adults actively engaged in this project, dedicating themselves to daily activities and providing voluntary support to help the organization achieve its aims and objectives. These participants hailed from three different countries: Sweden, Greece, and Jordan. Stationed in Ioannina, they volunteered within the project's framework for periods ranging from 2 to 6 months. Their ages ranged from 19 to 25 years old, representing diverse backgrounds and bringing a variety of skills and fresh ideas to our organisation.



The activities primarily occurred within the premises of the Youth Center of Epirus, where volunteers collaborated as a cohesive team on a daily basis to execute their initiatives, events, and digital content creation. Notably, one of the volunteers initiated a series of creative writing workshops tailored for young adults residing in the city of Ioannina. Additionally, this volunteer undertook a personal project aimed at spotlighting the local community of Ioannina and enriching the city's cultural heritage.


Related to the cultural heritage of the area, one of our local volunteers decided to investigate about the traditional costumes of the Epirus region. Through her dedication and research, she aimed to preserve and promote the rich cultural heritage of the Epirus region, shedding light on its traditional attire and its significance in local customs and celebrations.

In relation to the events, the volunteers planned, organised and facilitated various small-scale events that could be of interest to the youth living in Ioannina. Some of them were a series of creative writing workshops, screening of a self-made documentary, and cultural events, among others.


The sum of the digital content created, aimed to make the present rich culture of Ioannina visible and to spread the cultural heritage of Epirus through new communication channels. You can access all created content within this project on the page Stories of Epirus People" or "Ἀπειρωτᾶν on our website (see collections 2023 and 2024).



Panos from Sweden writes: “The city of Ioannina is for me a hidden gem in this world. It is so alive, sometimes chaotic, but at the same time it can have a positive and calming effect on the soul. Here I have experienced some of the funniest and more surreal moments of my life. This city is now a part of who I am, and I will visit it again (something tells me I will come here many times). Working for YCE has also been amazing. It has given me the chance to learn new stuff and evolve new competences. George and Marta are so good at coordinating. I'm very proud of my personal project and I will never forget the funny moments in here. I want to thank everyone who contributed to this amazing experience, the other volunteers, the people at YCE and also the amazing locals of Ioannina. Although this experience ended, I prefer to think of it as the beginning of something new.”


Natassa from Greece says: “! I'm Natasa and I'm from Greece. I have been living in Ioannina for the last 5 years due to my studies and now I had the opportunity to see the city from a different perspective. The interaction with people from other cultures has provided me with invaluable experiences and stimulated me to discover myself through different values and mindsets. The intercultural events, my personal project and the daily contact with the other volunteers were a source of inspiration and equipped me with civic skills and emotions. In my free time I had the opportunity to explore the city and the natural landscapes around it. This place will never cease to inspire me.”


You can read full articles about the experience of all volunteers within this project in the section International Volunteers.


The project was financially supported by the European Commission, and supported by the Youth and Lifelong Learning Foundation (I.NE.DI.VI.M.).

This project was co-funded by the European solidarity corps program of the European Commission.