COBU - working with self-managed volunteer groups

COBU is the abbreviation for ‘COmmunity BUilding through self-managed volunteer groups’. In Dutch; building communities through self-managed volunteer groups. It is a European project in which the Storytelling Centre is working with partners in Spain, France and Hungary. In this project, we train people to develop their own initiatives with and for the community they are part of. Such an initiative can be anything: knitting together, cooking, setting up a bicycle repair shop, playing bridge, chess or telling each other a story every week. These are just a few examples.

Living Libraries

In this project, the Storytelling Centre chose to train volunteers in being able to tell short, personal stories. For this, we used the Share to connect method. Participants were then trained to organise Living Libraries independently and to train others to tell a short, personal story. Thanks to the COBU project, we now have a group of volunteers to continue our Living Libraries.


  • COBU resulted in a publication on volunteering in general and self-managed volunteering in particular.
  • In a methodology for setting up self-managed volunteer groups using various creative methods.
  • And, for each partner country, in a digital platform that can be used by self-managed volunteer groups to draw attention to their activities. For the Netherlands, this is eu. This website is bilingual, Dutch and English, and offers – apart from project results and all kinds of practical information – the possibility of becoming part of the STC living libraries network.


  • Képes Alapítvány (Hungary)
  • Elan Interculurel (France)
  • La Asociación La Xixa Teatre (Spain)
  • Storytelling Centre (Netherlands)


To find out more about the COBU project and its partners, visit cobuplatform.eu