2.10 Current debates and reforms
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Cohesive Estonia Strategy 2030, which is implemented together with the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, brings the attention to the volunteering as a part of development of communities and civil society. One of the aim of the strategy is to raise the awareness and activity of the population, including young people, to take more part in volunteering. One of the indicator for that aim is the participation rate in volunteering, measured by survey (proportion of the population who have participated in volunteering in the last 12 months).
The new Youth Sector Development Plan for the years 2021-2035 (Noortevaldkonna arengukava 2021-2035) brings the attention to youth volunteering with different activities and one youth specific indicator regarding youth volunteering: the ratio of 15–26-year-olds participating in organised volunteer work.
The implementation of the state level strategies and development plans goes through programmes. The programme „Community Estonia 2023-2026“ (programm „Kogukondlik Eesti 2023-2026“) brings out important results that also contain youth field as an important partner. There are 3 results that are concretely connected to the Education and Youth Programme 2020-2023 (Haridus- ja noorteprogramm) (not specifically to youth volunteering, but connecting to that) are as following:
- the activities of youth work, NGOs, schools and universities are connected with civic society;
- the Community Practice program is distributed in schools all over Estonia;
- the youth participation is being developed on local level.
One more result that mentions young people:
- there are development programs for social entrepreneurship targeted to young people.
The debate of recognizing the voluntary work done by young people in the context of youth work as a valuable experience by employers and also formal education is continuously going on in Estonia.