The group of young volunteers was the first to be deployed as part of the EU-funded programme, Empowering Youth Volunteers through Sport (EYVOL) pilot project.
Six young volunteers from five different countries participated in the pilot initiative with the support of the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 Local Organising Committee and have been selected to support a global sporting experience that brings together more than 2000 athletes from 213 countries, along with 10,000 international guests, spectators and media representatives from around the world, and thousands of volunteers.
Inspired by Save the Dream, EYVOL, is a two-year transnational and multi-sectoral initiative coordinated by the International Olympic Truce Center (IOTC) and co-funded by the European Union within the Erasmus+ programme, involving partners from the Olympic Movement, the United Nations, Academia and civil society. The partners are working together to develop and implement innovative educational methods to train youth volunteers on how to utilise sport to promote inter-cultural dialogue, peace and socio-economic development.
EYVOL is coordinated by the International Olympic Truce Center (IOTC) and jointly implemented with ICSS, Save the Dream, the “Comité Olímpico de Portugal (COP)”, the “Comitato Olimpico Nazionale Italiano (CONI)”, the International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE), the European Platform for Sports and Innovation (EPSI), the European Non-Governmental Sports Organization – ENGSO Youth, the “Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne”, the “Universitat de les Illes Balears, “Fundación del Centenario del Sevilla FC”, Orama Neon – Youthorama and garagErasmus Foundation.
The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the Association of IOC Recognized International Sports Federations (ARISF) are official supporters of this initiative, which also envisages the participation of the Roma Cares Foundation and Al Sharq Forum.
The project officially started its activities in January this year, in Athens and was announced last year at the Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) in New York City.
Through the development of educational tools, EYVOL provides young people with opportunities to contribute to the success of sport-related projects, including organisation of major sporting events or the implementation of “sport for development and peace projects”, while offering an alternative pathway to education, cultural exchanges and future employment opportunities.
Commenting on the EYVOL volunteer contribution, the IOTC Director, Dr. Constantinos Filis, said, “We are very pleased that through the EYVOL project, young volunteers were given the opportunity to be a part of the IAAF World Athletics Championships 2019. The participation of our young volunteers in these games has successfully placed EYVOL’s mission into action, while contributing to the promotion of the Olympic values, which is, at the same time, IOTC’s main objective”.
Massimiliano Montanari, Executive Director of Save the Dream, added that “Given that the Save the Dream main office is based in Doha, we had the opportunity to follow closely the deployment of the EYVOL volunteers at the IAAF World Athletics Championships, as a result of a great cooperation with the Local Organising Committee and the Qatar Olympic Committee. This has been an important pilot project which demonstrated, on the ground, how EYVOL can optimise opportunities that major sporting events or sport in general, can offer to youth who wish to donate their time and skills in support of an event or a sport-related project.”