Reflecting on the volunteer, peer, and partner experience in South Africa

The Volunteering for Development (Vol4Dev) project in South AfricaVolunteering for Development (Vol4Dev) project in South Africa concluded in April 2023 with a reflection workshop in Johannesburg. The workshop brought together 18 participants including volunteers, Youth Peer Support Network members, partner organization staff and the in-country team to share their experience being part of exploring how volunteering may support young graduates into the work market. 

The participants considered their journey from when they started being involved in the project to the present day. All participants agreed that the highlight of their experience was meeting everyone in person after a year of working together. In this workshop we learned that:

  • Five out of six volunteers found employment after their assignments. One was employed by the organization of their assignment and four found employment in a related field in different organizations.
  • The volunteer opportunity brought value to volunteers, peers and partner organisations by contributing to the building the capacity of the young people while also helping to achieve development outcomes for the organisations in South Africa.
  • Both the partners and peers observed a significant increase in confidence and improved soft skills among the volunteers.
  • The Peer Support Network could be improved by having a member taking a lead role to manage tasks and assignments
  • Key challenges included limited connectivity, competing priorities, and uncertainties brought about by a new modality being tested.

The project in South Africa gave the program firsthand experience of working with national volunteers through the support of the partners – Probono.Org and Refugee Social Services (RSS). The Innovation Hub will consolidate the learnings taken from the different projects of Volunteering for Development.

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