“My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?”, says the last line of the book Cloud Atlas.
Following the belief that each one of us can make a difference, the Erasmus Student Network organises a two-week initiative: Social Inclusion Days, twice a year, providing Erasmus+ students with a chance to make the world a better place.
The last Social Inclusion Days were held between 16th and 29th April 2018. During these 14 days, local ESN sections in 27 countries have organised 507 events celebrating volunteering and social inclusion. The main focus was on the social impact international volunteers have on local communities and on inclusive events. In total, 11,193 people were reached. Erasmus students were inspired to return home as more active and socially engaged citizens.
In general, SocialErasmus and are the international projects of ESN in the spotlight during Social Inclusion Days. SocialErasmus aims to enrich student mobility experience with volunteering activities that take social action and foster change in society. ExchangeAbility is focused on students with disabilities and ways to enable them to experience an international and intercultural atmosphere – either during Erasmus or at home universities.
Apart from promoting SocialErasmus and ExchangeAbility, Social Inclusion Days also help exchange students to better understand their Erasmus country’s culture.
Another important characteristic of Social Inclusion Days is the diversity of the events organized. Each student can find something that appeals to their heart. Do you like animals? Visit an animal shelter. Want to help fight poverty? Start by simply handing out hot meals to the homeless. Are you against discrimination? Conduct a diversity workshop at a local kindergarten and spread tolerance among the young ones. Would you like to improve the level of education? Take part in a Geography lesson at a refugee centre and help kids widen their view of the world. Concerned about health? Become a blood donor and save someone’s life. Can’t stand violence? Meet children with development disabilities and help them feel like they are a part of society. Are you into environmental protection? Join a team and clean an entire beach, just like we did with the help of ESN Romania and Let’s Do It, Romania! this April.
There are so many ways to do good. How will you make a difference this year? If you don’t have an idea yet, start by participating in the next Social Inclusion Days!