2.4 Youth volunteering at national level
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National Programme for Youth Volunteering
There is no national programme for youth volunteering.
However, there are many organisations that support youth volunteer work :
- The Youth work sector involves - structurally and punctually - many young volunteers. It does so through the involvement of young volunteers in youth organisations's animation staff or in advisory bodies. For instance, scouting movement's staff are mainly composed of young volunteers.
- Some youth organisations's main action is to support and organise youth volunteering activities both in the French-speaking Community and abroad. They are recognised as youth organisations through the decree related to youth organisations. For instance, Volont'R, Les compagnons batisseurs, Solidar'cité, etc.).
- The International Youth office (Bureau International Jeunesse) supports many youth volunteering programmes abroad. It has its own programmes but also it is responsible for the implementation of the Erasmus + programme and the European Solidarity Corps.
There is no national programme. But youth organisations are recognised and further supported in the frame of the decree related to youth organisations (See 1.7 Funding youth policy)
Characteristics of youth volunteering
Youth volunteering is part of the DNA of youth work organisations. Volunteers, mainly under 30, are highly represented in pedagogical team and in management bodies of youth organisations. Youth volunteers represent more than 60 % of the staff according to the final evaluation report of the decree related to youth organisations (rapport final d'évaluation du décret relatif aux organisations de jeunesse 2017).
Support to young volunteers
The Law of 3 July 2005 related to volunteer’s rights establishes a clause related to the indirect expenses of participants (transportation, material, meals, etc.). The law specifies that the volunteer doesn’t need to justify the total amount of the compensation as long as it doesn’t exceed 24.79 euros per day.
The law of 3 July 2005 related to volunteer’s rights establishes social security provisions to which every volunteer is entitled. There is no specific legal framework for young volunteers. The law authorises unemployed person to be volunteer if the person declares officially its activity to the National Office of Employment (ONEM).
The law of 3 July 2005 protects the young volunteer’s right to receive family allowances as the compensation received by the young volunteer as part of its volunteering activity is not considered as an income.
All the organisations responsible in the civil law are bound to contract an insurance policy which covers at least the civil liability for their volunteers. They are not legally bound to contract any other insurance such as the physical injury insurance.
The type of support is not established by law. Associations are free to organise it the way they want to.
However, there is a public aid for scouting movements. Public administration through the “Centre de prêt de Naninne” (the rental centre of Naninne) supervises the distribution and the renting of tents for summer camps.
As there is no specific national programme for Youth Volunteering, a specific target group hasn't been defined. Due to its nature, volunteering can be carried out by anyone, regardless of background, level of education, etc. Volunteering can be a pool for special target groups to develop experiences, to reintegrate themselves into society, to be a forum in which isolated people can establish social contacts.