Projects Abroad goes Flemish.
Projects Abroad goes Flemish.
Projects Abroad are a leading international organizer of overseas voluntary work placements. They have more than 140 different kinds of projects in 26 different destinations. They offer several services such as trips for a gap year, summer vacation projects, internships and sabbaticals. They are able to arrange something for everybody. The main question they gave me was 'to research how they can empower Projects Abroad in Flanders to attract more 16 to 25 year olds from Flanders to apply with Projects Abroad?' To realize the goal of the dissertation and to answer this question, several research methods were used. Information on voluntary work abroad or other relevant topics has been retrieved from books, articles and the internet. For some elements however, desk research was not sufficient and it was necessary to undertake some field research by means of questionnaires and interviews. Several theories relevant for this topic were researched. The ones used for this thesis relate to the following subjects: trends, motivations, the decision making process, cultural differences and building brand equity. Moreover the generation of the target group was researched. The purpose of the questionnaire was to investigate how the target group reacts to the proposition of voluntary work in general, voluntary work abroad and how they gather information concerning these subjects. For the qualitative research several interviews were done within the target group. Besides that the country director was interviewed to ensure that the thesis answered all his questions and his assumptions were understood. Furthermore, two specialists were interviewed. One was a Belgian mother who has both lived and worked in The Netherlands and Belgium and another person who is a sociologist and specialized in how young generations differ from older generations. The results of the questionnaires and interviews showed that people from Flanders are very interested in doing volunteer work abroad, especially after finishing University. They are highly motivated because it is a way for them to work on personal development and a way to make a contribution to society. Moreover the parents play a very large role in the decision making process of the target group. They use internet and especially social media to search for information about the subject. The most important characteristic that came up for an organization is that they have to be very reliable. When empowering Projects Abroad in Flanders, they have to make sure that they are aware of the cultural differences between the Dutch and the Flanders. Furthermore they should promote the Gap Year more for people who have finished their studies. People from Flanders are more interested in doing volunteer work after their studies than after finishing secondary school. Other recommendations given are: use social media, make sure the parents agree and feel comfortable, make a special "submenu" on the Dutch website for people from Flanders and optimize search engine visibility and advertising.