THE EUROPEAN Year of Volunteering (EYV) 2011, which the European Commission ceremonially launched on December 2 last year, is designed to celebrate the commitment of millions of people in Europe who work in their communities during their free time without being paid. Their efforts and those of the many thousands of volunteering organisations make a huge difference to people’s lives in countless ways. The EYV is also a challenge to those who do not currently volunteer. In Slovakia the national coordinator of activities during the EYV is Iuventa, the Slovak institute of youth, which together with NGOs and public administration institutions participated in the creation of the EYV national programme. The Education Ministry is also actively supporting the EYV.
As part of the EYV, a national campaign is taking place in Slovakia to promote the principles and benefits of volunteering among the general public and inspire discussion about volunteering. There will also be a research effort. As Alžbeta Mračková, the executive director of C.A.R.D.O., the National Volunteer Centre, explained to The Slovak Spectator, C.A.R.D.O. is carrying out two surveys on volunteering in Slovakia because their most current information dates back to 2006. In the first survey they want to map out how many volunteers there are in Slovakia and their motives as well as to examine the barriers to volunteering, and in the second survey they will monitor the situation of volunteer centres and get information about what they could do better. The results of both surveys should be released at the end of 2011, when the European Year of Volunteering will culminate. At the same time, awards for volunteering will also be announced. To mark the EYV the third year of the day of volunteering will be extended to a two-day event taking place on September 23 and 24. Currently, a photo exhibition on volunteering is touring Slovakia. Twelve winning photos selected from a total of 74 are currently being exhibited in Banská Bystrica under the title Volunteering through a Camera.
For more information, see erd.dobrovolnictvo.sk, a website dedicated to the European Year of Volunteering 2011 in Slovakia
6. Jun 2011 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff