2.7 Social inclusion through volunteering
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Support to the young volunteers
Reimbursment or fiscal deduction of expenses incurred in a volunteering framework
Volunteering is characterised by participation in the running of non-profit organisations. No compensation or remuneration is therefore envisaged for volunteers.
A framework for the reimbursement or tax deduction of expenses incurred by volunteers in the course of their associative activities has, however, been put in place.
Volunteers may have to incur expenses from their own resources on behalf of a volunteer. It is possible for them to :
- have these expenses reimbursed by the association, with justification and in accordance with the expense reimbursement policy of each association;
- make a donation to the association and benefit from the income tax reduction (Article 200 of the General Tax Code).
There is an exception for players who are members of a sports association, as their activity does not correspond to the tax definition of voluntary work in France. These members are not entitled to a tax deduction for the costs incurred by this activity. This exception only applies to players and not to other volunteers in the relevant associations.
Remuneration or compensation for young volunteers participating in a specific programme
Young people participating in some national or international voluntary programmes receive a monthly allowance or remuneration.
- civic service, which entitles the participant to an allowance of €489.59 per month from the state and €111.35 per month from the host organisation
- the European solidarity corps, which gives the right to a daily allowance that varies according to the country (for example, €3 per day in Romania, €6 per day in Sweden, €6 in France)
- international voluntary work in companies (VIE) and international voluntary work in administration (VIA), which give the right to a fixed allowance of €749.33 and an additional allowance varying, depending on the country of assignment, from €791.67 to €4,729.56 per month
- voluntary work with associations, particularly in the fields of education, the environment, humanitarian aid, sport or inclusion, entitles those aged over 25 to an allowance of between €123.19 gross (€111.45 net) and €824.86 gross (€746.25 net).
The sense of community
The volunteering activities carried out by associations are, for each of them, based on the internal ecosystems of the associations. A sense of community and cohesion can be a crucial part of the activities, as in the case of the Scouts et Guides de France, which organises peer education and recreational activities. This feeling can also be the foundation of a state of mind and, in addition to solidarity activities, can lead to annual meetings of all local branches, as organised by the Secours populaire français. As an example, the latter association organises departmental or national cohesion meetings as well as a newsletter for all its volunteers and members.
The State encourages associations and other solidarity organisations to set up these times of exchange and cohesion between volunteers. For example, it is strongly recommended that associations that support the departure of young volunteers abroad, within the framework of international solidarity volunteering for example, set up pre-departure training and exchange spaces between volunteers.
Government schemes for young people emphasise the value of cohesion and the sense of community in a commitment.
The universal national service devotes the first phase of the cohesion stay between young people, through the practice of a sport or physical activity, a cultural activity or participative workcamps. Free time is provided to facilitate exchanges between the young people, followed by shared meals.
Throughout the stay, the young people join "houses" to learn about community life. They share their living and sleeping space and contribute to the tasks of the accommodation (meals, cleaning, organisation of activities).
Adress social challenges
There is a strong dynamism of associations in France, allowing them to offer a wide range of voluntary actions reaching various audiences.
Among the associations' activities, some allow for intergenerational actions or actions aimed at young refugees, such as the Duo for a Job missions. Others allow an inclusive engagement of young people through popular education, such as Nos quartiers ont du talent or the European Youth Parliament.
Lastly, the environment is one of the areas in which young people are most involved: in 2019 (latest data available), 12% of young people took part in activities to defend the environment, compared with 3% in 2016.