‘City Volunteers’ promotes voluntary work among deprived groups and minorities

The City Volunteers project addresses social inclusion, jobs, education and training in the Slovenia-Croatia border area by enabling local inhabitants, particularly deprived groups and minorities, to access voluntary work which favours their social integration. Accessible, professional, harmonised and target-oriented support in finding voluntary work which is adapted to their needs helps to raise volunteers' educational levels and improve their quality of life.

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Promotional material of the City Volunteers project © City Volunteers Promotional material of the City Volunteers project © City Volunteers

" Volunteers are unpaid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless. "

Sherry Anderson, Volunteer

City Volunteers aimed to identify innovative ways to promote volunteering in the region so to raise awareness of the benefits and importance of volunteering. The project also wanted to create a local network of voluntary organisations and a solid long-term structure for voluntary work. It strove to contribute to improving national legislation related to the voluntary sector.

The project addressed volunteering at several levels, including research, strategic development, visibility, capacity building and practical support for organisations promoting volunteering. The current situation was analysed and a joint cross-border strategy for volunteering development was prepared and implemented.

Information offices and libraries

A network of regional information offices and libraries was established to support voluntary organisations, particularly those providing help for people with special needs. Training materials were compiled and young volunteer leaders were trained, acquiring new skills and competences. The project also directly created two new jobs.

New forms of volunteering, such as corporate volunteering, were developed, implemented and supported using ICT, including a volunteering web portal. Events were organised to promote volunteering as part of a positive contribution to the social aspects of sustainable development and social cohesion.

The project had a balanced impact on both sides of the border. The regional offices, libraries and the web portal will remain in operation with costs covered by municipalities so as to provide further opportunities for volunteers. The communication actions and the involvement of young people in volunteering support should continue to have a positive effect in the participating regions.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “City Volunteers” is EUR 614 696, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 522 492 from the Operational Programme “Slovenia-Croatia IPA” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date