All about the idea


A mission to bear in mind when volunteering at hostels in Noway - and elsewhere!


Something to bear in mind when volunteering at hostels in Noway – and elsewhere!

The Hostelling International idea

Hostelling International (HI) is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing cultural interchange by facilitating worldwide travel – especially for young people with limited means. HI believes that travel through hostelling creates profound and lasting personal impact. Therefore HI aims to provide opportunities for guests to interact with one another and reflect on their experiences through activities at the hostel. The activities must be relevant to the mission (as shown above on the blackboard) and as such designed with the explicit focus of promoting intercultural understanding. The HI principles and values constitute the foundation of youth hostels in all 77 member nations – including Norske Vandrerhjem (Hostelling International, Norway) that joined the organization in 1932.

 

Social volunteering – get and give

In order to materialize our goals and thus carry out our mission, we have in HI Norway established a social volunteer program: By creating tools and developing, facilitating and participating in activities the volunteers are equipped with the skills and experiences they need to be active, civic-minded citizens who promote peace, sustainability and intercultural understanding.
It is important to stress that social volunteers do not undertake work that would otherwise have been done by staff at youth hostels in HI Norway.

 

Gaining means for reflection
Hostel vibes depends on everything from the layout of a hostel to the interaction of staff with guests. In co-operation with the hostel the social volunteer as a traveler provides opportunities for increased interaction of other travelers within the hostel, in such ways as using common space to promote and participate in guest interaction, facilitating activities open to all guests and social events within and outside the hostel encouraging interaction. The activities will be designed with the explicit focus of promoting intercultural understanding.
By social volunteering it is possible to promote the mission and connect social volunteers and travelers/guests with one another and the local community.
Both guests and volunteers will gain a means to reflect on the different communities and develop a greater appreciation for diverse people, cultures and societies.