What do youth volunteers want?
These engagements reflect significant insights to consider when thinking about the future of Red Cross and Red Crescent (RCRC).
The young volunteers believe they should be the core pillar of the movement. While they are driven to engage in community service and instil change in their surroundings, it is important that they feel appreciated and recognized. This sense of recognition could be manifested through different mechanisms.
Another significant element to highlight is the notion of ‘space’. For the volunteers, having an actual youth resource center nurtures their sense of belonging to the movement. This space has to be equipped with computers, internet access, books and entertainment games. For many of the young volunteers it would be the only space they have away from an already struggling community to which they may belong. A successful example which demonstrates the value of having such a space where young volunteers can convene and use for multiple purposes, is the community space that was created in Georgia by the young volunteers themselves as they were internally displaced due to conflict in the area they were living in.
Finally, youth volunteers would always require attention but also involvement in different RCRC activities not just at the delivery stage but from inception. While the movement in contrast to other organizations has the added value of attracting volunteers from all kinds of socio-economic backgrounds including difficult ones; creating both physical and virtual spaces for them to convene, share their skills and report their concerns are key elements to consider for the future of the movement, particularly its sustainability.