Between 16 April and 29 April 2018, local organisations of the Erasmus Student Network were encouraged to join the Social Inclusion Days - an initiative for a cause of social inclusion through volunteering. The two-weeks long initiative provided opportunities for international students to learn how they can contribute to improving society.
While celebrating and enjoying their Erasmus+ experience, students and young people had the chance to take part in activities such as food drives and donations, fundraisers, clothes donations, animal shelter visits, educational workshops, conferences, and many more events that promote social inclusion.
Two main focuses of this edition were: the importance of the social impact international volunteers have on the local communities and inclusive events. Local associations in 27 countries hosted 507 events that reached more than 11 000 people. Below are some of the highlights from two weeks of activities:
ESN Zadar organised a diversity workshop at a local kindergarten.
ESN Valladolid organised a nursing home visit where exchange students played songs with their guitar.
Erasmus Student Network Coimbra - ESN Coimbra joined an event organised by their faculty of sports that brought together people of all ages, with and without learning and motor disabilities. ESN volunteers, Erasmus students and the local community took part in a sports-based circuit, aiming to promote cooperation and social inclusion.
- ISC MENDELU Brno visited Kociánka center for disabled people where they played with children and created crafts. In the end they gave them gifts which they bought from money from International Market.
- ESN University of Warsaw organised a visit and volunteering activity at the animal shelter.
- Erasmus Student Network Coimbra - ESN Coimbra organized a volunteering activity at a meal center with CASA, a local organization that supports homeless citizens.
- Erasmus Student Network Málaga organised a beach cleaning activity in cooperation with "Malaga como te quiero" that helped ESN volunteers and Erasmus students by giving them bags and gloves and also the campus who prepared a picnic.
- ESN Nancy organised a sign language class.
- ESN Aveiro organized a Braille Workshop where the Erasmus students learned the basics of the Braille system, how people with visual impairments use it in their daily lives, and even got a chance to try their hand at writing it.
- ESN MESA Munich organised a dinner in the dark where exchange students had a unique opportunity to experience how people with disability do everyday tasks.
- ESN Rijeka organised 'City of hearts' activity, in which ESN volunteers and Erasmus students spent time with members of 'Udruga Srce', an association that promotes rights of children with development disabilities.
- ESN Saint Louis handed out hot meals to homeless people.
The main mission of the Social Inclusion Days was to provide young citizens with the opportunity to do more with their mobility experience, to make a difference and create a positive social change through volunteering. Together with last years edition, ESN organised more than 1100 events that promote volunteering and social inclusion which made an impact on more than 26300 young people, students and local communities.