Badges for National Voluntary Service at German Red Cross Saxony-Anhalt
The German Red Cross is an organisational body for more than 700 young volunteers within the national voluntary service programmes BFD (Bundesfreiwilligendienst) and FSJ (Freiwilliges Soziales Jahr), supporting their one-year voluntary service in kindergartens, schools, nurseries, cultural centres and many other social facilities in the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt. The majority of volunteers are aged between 16 and 27. As an organisational body, the German Red Cross (DRK) coordinates the voluntary service through organising volunteers and sites of deployment and running all administrative tasks, including seminars which generally last for five days.
According to the concept of a voluntary service, both programmes are seen as a learning experience for young people within the lifelong learning framework. Young people who are engaged in a voluntary service not only contribute to the society, but also develop their own competences and skills in various fields. The learning process takes place on a personal and individual level and is different for each volunteer and each site of deployment.
To create an individual and comparable way of visualising and recognising volunteers’ learning pathways and experiences, the Department of Voluntary Services chose Open Badges as a tool for implementing a modern and innovative approach towards the recognition of learning, which is youth-oriented and thereby meets the needs of the target group.
Logic of the badge system
The system consists of 23 different badges, divided into several categories:
- Participation Badges
Participation badges are earned by attending educational seminars during the voluntary service. They are round in shape and display a different number of stars according to the number of the seminars attended. Volunteers can earn a maximum of five of these badges. In addition, they can earn one badge for attending at least three seminars.
- Skills and Knowledge Badges
Volunteers can earn these Skills and Knowledge badges by showing skills and knowledge during their voluntary service. Some of them are related to the content of educational seminars, others to different phases and steps of the service.
- Competence Badges
Competence badges show the development of certain competences during the voluntary service and can only be earned in combination with Skills and Knowledge badges. Competence development can be demonstrated by showing the related skills and knowledge during the service.
- Final Badge
The final badge confirms participation in the voluntary service. Six months is the minimum period to earn this badge and to have your engagement as a FSJ and BFD volunteer recognised officially.
All badges must be claimed by volunteers by providing evidence, such as picture upload, text input, data upload. All badges are endorsed by GOEUROPE! European Youth Competence Centre Saxony-Anhalt and the German Red Cross Saxony-Anhalt.