2.8 Raising awareness about youth volunteering opportunities
On this page
On this page
Authorities interested in raising awareness about Youth Volunteering opportunities (see also Chapter 2.2):
- Ministry of the Interior,
- Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Ministry of Health,
- Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
Youth Information Centres (Informační centra pro mládež) play a specific role in the system of support of children and especially of youth. These are places that are open to the public. Systematically classified information and consultancy is provided free of charge and anonymously. Mainly Centres for Leisure Activities and NGOs found and operate the Youth Information Centres. In 2016 there were 41 Youth Information Centres in the Czech Republic. Among them, 16 were certified by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports in 2019. Since 2020 there is no national coordination of Youth Information Centres anymore. Also the national umbrella Association of supporting the development of Youth Information Centres stoped its operation.
Eurodesk.cz operated by The Centre for International Cooperation in Education is an important information source, especially about European voluntary opportunities, but not only.
The International Centre for Cooperation in Education serves as a National Agency for the Erasmus and ESC programmes and thus heavily works on promoting those offered youth volunteering opportunities together with other state, regional and public actors.
Adam.cz is an info and news portal from the youth work field and is operated by the Czech Council of Children and Youth. The operation is financed by the state subsidy. It provides systematically also information about youth volunteering and its opportunities. These can be also found on the website of the youth council CRDM.
Volunteering centres are important information providers. There is the National Association for Volunteering and various regional, mostly NGO, structures. The scope and content varies from region to region.
- National Association of Volunteering, z.s. is an umbrella voluntary, non-profit, independent and non-political organization.
- It promotes volunteer programs of public benefit organizations working with children, youth, family and seniors.
- It seeks and cooperates with partners in the Czech Republic and abroad, especially in the field of volunteering of all age and professional groups and also with organizations with similar goals.
- It broadly supports the development of volunteering and volunteer mentoring programs in the Czech Republic and contributes to informal education, social activation and social inclusion of vulnerable groups.
- among the key initiatives connected to youth volunteering
- main goal was to create conditions (by civil societies) for volunteering in the European Union
- ensuring better visibility of voluntary activities in the EU, especially through an exchange of experience and best practices
- included activities
- The Week of Volunteering,
- Volunteering in the CR, the travel exhibition
- Final conference in Pilsen,
- Best Practices Collection etc.
- working groups for individual areas of volunteering were created and different materials on volunteering were published
- follow-up activities were not presumed, also due to a lack of the overall legal framework
- activities subsequently dispersed into individual initiatives, supported by individual ministries
- only an informal cooperation currently continues, especially in the preparation process for the creation of a new Act on volunteering.
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports
The Ministry and thus state declares awareness about youth volunteering among its strategic goals in its recent strategical documents:
- The Concept of the State Policy for Children and Youth for the period 2007-2013
- National Youth Strategy for period 2014-2020.
Erasmus+ programme is administrated by the International Centre for Cooperation in Education:
- it gathers information or raises awareness about the programme and its implementation, suitability and quality of services provided by the Centre.
- conducts proper research
- participates in the international network of RAY (Research-based Analysis and Monitoring of the Youth in Action)
- carries out various international surveys aiming at the area of youth informal education within the Erasmus+ programme
- Both national and international activities of the Centre aim at youth volunteering, especially at the previous European Voluntary Service (EVS) and the current European Solidarity Corps.
- Other initiatives
In other cases it is possible to speak about isolated information sources:
- occasional Ministry of the Interior reports on volunteering in general,
- Ministry of the Interior reports on volunteering during emergencies,
- Ministry of Health reports on volunteering in health care,
- Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs reports on volunteering in social services
Specific groups can be targeted by individual information sources, divided by areas of occupation: emergencies, health care, social services. The information network for young people remains an independent area. It is aimed at young people and one of its goals is to raise awareness about volunteering.
From the point of view of the NGO sector the most important are two state-wide actions: 72 hours and Let's Clean the World, Let's Clean Czechia.
- Project of the Czech Council of Children and Youth, inspired by international partners.
- It is a three-day-long project full of voluntary activities that has already taken place since 2012 in the CR.
- Usually, the October weekend, young volunteers from all over the Czech territory carry out activities that help others, nature or their surroundings.
- The aim is to engage as many young people as possible and show them that 'little is enough to do a lot altogether!', to persuade them that they alone are capable of changing things they do not like, to teach them how to cooperate and to perceive the world around them.
- Another aim is to strengthen relations in local communities and create values and motivation for meaningful leisure time.
- The project is for children, parents, young people, NGOs, but also for informal groups and individuals, for all who support the idea of volunteering and value helping others or their surroundings unselfishly; everybody can apply on the project's web pages and obtain materials and promotional support.
- In 2019, 600 actions took place with 27 597 people participating.
- The project is financed by the state grant on youth work by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.
- More information: https://www.72hodin.cz/
- Organised by The Czech Union for Nature Conservation and civil association Ekosmák.
- The aim of the action that almost 50 thousand people participated in 2015 (children formed 63%) is not to clean all illegal dump sites in the Czech Republic, but rather to motivate the public to think about waste disposal and not contribute to the creation of new dump sites. In spring 2019 65 thousand people participated.
- On the interactive map on the Internet, an individual chooses a group that he/she will join, organisers provide packages with trash bags and gloves. On a given day (usually on Saturday) they gather together at a given location and clean it up.
- More information: www.uklidmecesko.cz/
The importance of volunteering and the opportunities available to European youth were reported in an article on the adam.cz website in article on: Volunteering is an important activity for European youth