A summary of the Volunteering Fair at VIA University College - Genny
On Thursday, 19th April took place at VIA University College, Campus C Aarhus the "Volunteering fair 2018 at VIA". The aim of the event was to give to all the local volunteering organizations the opportunity to present themselves to the VIA students and to recruit them.
22 organizations answered with enthusiasm to the call and joined the event. The stands of big giants were side by side with those of smaller, but passionate organizations. There was no lack of representatives of Aarhus big festivals in the city: Aarhus Festuge, the Sailing World Championship 2018 and Film i skoven took part to the fair with the aim of giving to the citizens the opportunity to enjoy the events from a different perspective, much closer, as only a volunteer can do. The special guest at the fair was the Secretary of Aarhus – European Voluntary Capital 2018, which with its presence wanted to confirm the Mayor's support for every event aimed at highlighting the dynamism of Aarhus regarding volunteering. Finally, SFN (Studerendes Frivillige Netværk), the student organization that made the event possible, decided not only to coordinate the fair, but also to have a stand to speak about its goal: to bring the VIA students closer to volunteering through events which involve local volunteering organizations.
Regardless of their dimensions, the sector they work in and their mission, all the organizations had something in common: the wish to recruit enthusiastic and proactive volunteers into their teams. And the students did not hesitate: a constant stream of students continued to arrive throughout the morning with an increase of the attendees during lunchtime. Some of them had been attracted, between one lesson and another, by the videos that were displayed on the screens, whereas others had heard about the fair before and they had written it down in their schedules. Everyone, pushed by curiosity and commitment, got closer to the stands, collected flyers and brochures and started reflecting on their role and responsibility in the community.
However, nothing can say how much successful an event is more than the impressions of people in attendance. In fact, the voluntary organizations were satisfied with the fair as they had the opportunity to create networks, present their projects and demonstrate their dynamism and values. And the students? Their reaction is well summarized in the words of Casper, a student at the third semester of Lærerudannelsen (Teaching): "I had no idea that Aarhus offers so much. I am speechless. In my mind I always thought it would be nice to start doing something for someone else, but I thought it would be too demanding. Today I discovered that, on the contrary, opportunities are within reach, that I can easily combine volunteering with my studies and that there are activities for all tastes. Today I understood that the time to start is not tomorrow, but today ".
The good news is that SFN decided to repeat the event in autumn to give the opportunity to all the voluntary organizations, also those which were not present on the 19th April, to meet the new students who will begin their academic career in August.
Organizations in attendance: VIADEM Langkærparken, Ventilen, IMCC Aarhus, SFN, Borgercenter Midtby, Kirkens korshær, Genlyd, Mødrehjælpen, Ungdommens Røde Kors, Cafè Nexus, Secretary of Aarhus – European Voluntary Capital 2018, DFunk, Bindeleddet, Frivilligcenter Aarhus, Følgeven, Red Barnet, AIESEC, Kvindehuset, Muhabet, Sailing World Championship, Film i skoven, Aarhus Festuge.
By Genny Cabas