Young volunteers show that people living abroad can leave a mark in the local community through a European social project: SocialErasmus.

On April 20th 2016, young people doing Erasmus+ and other mobility programmes in Warsaw, had the opportunity to be involved in a volunteering activity and to make a difference in the local community by joining SocialErasmus.

SocialErasmus is an international project by the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) that promotes a social attitude among young citizens participating in mobility programmes, to facilitate their integration into the local community while gives them the chance to make a long lasting social change in society through volunteering activities.  The project provides an opportunity for international young people to get to know other realities and learn how they can contribute to improve society as citizens of the world.

This initiative started during the ESN Annual General Meeting (AGM), the largest student conference of its kind in Europe focusing on the theme of mobility. Hundreds of ESN volunteers had the chance to take part in the project by delivering postcards with words of encouragements and some gifts at the SocialErasmus stand during the Infomarket, the most comprehensive study fair organised in Poland that was held on the campus of Warsaw School of Economics on the 9th of April.

  

After collecting around 580 postcards and some gifts, the International Team responsible for the Project handed over the presents to Ewa Gerus - President of ESN Politechnika Warszawska - who was in charge of organising the second part of this SocialErasmus initiative.

On the 20th April 2016, ESN volunteers gathered Erasmus+ and other mobility programmes participants living in Warsaw and, with the support of Ronald McDonald House Charities, our partners for this initiative, visited a local children’s hospital to deliver the postcards and spend some time with the kids.

This group of young volunteers carried out a cultural visit full of fun, including presentations about countries, colouring books with famous landmarks of their countries and other activities. They even helped with daily tasks such as  cleaning and organising the spaces where children live.

The two parts of this SocialErasmus initiative in Warsaw went very well and proved that mobility does not only consist of traveling and studying abroad but has a citizenship side with volunteering as an added value. This activity enabled young people to experience something new and gain an all-encompassing new perspective on internationalisation and its impact on society.