2.4 Youth volunteering at national level
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A National Programme for youth volunteering does not exist in Cyprus. However, a new website has been launched under the name prosfero.com. The website is used as a platform in which people can register in order to volunteer in different NGOs.
Characteristics of youth volunteering
There is very limited research on youth volunteering in Cyprus. The most recent available source on youth volunteering is the Youth Barometer research, conducted by the Youth Board of Cyprus since 2020.
The “Youth Barometer” survey is a source which provides us with general information about youth volunteering. So far, it has been carried out thrice: the first one was carried out in January-February 2020, the second one in November-December 2020 and the third one in September 2021, all of them with a sample of 1000 people between the ages of 14-35. Although this research does not focus on volunteering, in the chapter "Participation" there is a section for the participation of young people in volunteering or voluntary organizations. Specifically, in the first Youth Barometer, it appeared that 26% of respondents were involved in volunteering, in the second one this percentage increased to 29% and in the third one reached to 37%. Despite the fact that the rate is relatively low, it is quite significant that there is a steady increase every year, as well as that the participation of young people in volunteering activities/organisations is the highest among all the other forms of participation.
The ‘Declaration of rights and responsibilities of the volunteers’ (Διακήρυξη των Δικαιωμάτων και Ευθυνών των Εθελοντών) outlines what kind of support should be given to volunteers. Specifically, each volunteer is entitled to reimbursement of expenses incurred during the implementation of the voluntary activity (only costs related to the activity). It should be noted, though, that the decision to provide such reimbursement for their volunteers or not is up to the organisation. In addition, the voluntary organizations should provide insurance which covers social protection, medical care and civil liability.
The operation of the "Home of Volunteer" (Σπίτι του Εθελοντή) is another measure for the support of volunteers. It aims to meet the basic housing and office needs of voluntary and Non-Governmental Organizations, such as the free provision of housing and basic office equipment (offices, computers, telephones etc.). The spaces are provided for use by a number of organizations and they are configured to be suitable for organizing events and meetings. The first "Home of Volunteer" inaugurated in 2014 in Larnaca and the second one in 2016 in Nicosia.
A system of quality assurance of the programmes and schemes of youth volunteering does not exist in Cyprus.
Given the fact that there is not a national Programme for Youth Volunteering, there are not any target groups specified.