2.8 Raising awareness about youth volunteering opportunities
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Promoting bénévolat / volunteering is a major priority in the eyes of the public authorities, including the ministry responsible for youth. Several measures were implemented to meet this challenge, including informing young people on and educating them in all types of commitment throughout their education and outside formal education.
A number of public stakeholders, including the State (ministries) and local authorities, are involved in promoting volunteering and bénévolat opportunities for young people.
Information provided by the State
The ministry in charge of youth plays a role in educating young people in volunteer work by centralising bénévolat offers and disseminating them through websites including:
-jeunes.gouv.fr which provides news on the youth sector
-http://www.associations.gouv.fr, which provides news on voluntary organisations along with possibilities and conditions of bénévolat and volunteering, and refers internet users to websites of organisations that recruit and are looking for bénévoles or volunteers:
On 8 October 2015, the Ministry of Youth launched an internet portal dedicated to European and international mobility: "Découvrir le Monde" (Discover the World) presenting mobility opportunities including those involving volunteering.Various volunteer missions ( abroad) proposed by organisations and public institutions are described as well as how to apply. The portal comprises a search engine providing access to proposals.
State secretary for Social and fair economy and volunteering
The State secretary for Social and fair economy and volunteering has the management of the website associations.gouv.fr, which offers resources for the creation, management and development of associative actors.
Civic Service agency platform
The Civil Service Agency’s role is to promote and make best use of the Civic Service “to the public concerned, youth reception and guidance organisations, educational institutions and professional branches”, and it has its own resources for communication disseminating information on volunteering and commitment through Civic Service.Its "jeunes / volontaires" (youth / volunteer) platform lists all missions on offer from host bodies according to theme: culture and leisure, environment, education for all, health, emergency intervention, sports, memory and citizenship, solidarity, humanitarian and international development. Young people can choose missions according to their own criteria and apply directly through the platform as well as through the governmental website 1 young person 1 solution.
Youth Information structures in local authorities
Dissemination of information on bénévolat opportunities and commitment is not only carried out via Internet; there is also a network of youth information points and offices (Réseau Information Jeunesse – Youth Information Network).
Youth information network
"Youth information" is a general mission guaranteed by the State, and as such, the ministry responsible for the youth coordinates and accredits information facilities in regions, départements and municipalities: the Centre National d’Information et de Documentation Jeunesse (CIDJ-National Centre for Youth Information and Documentation) in Paris, and the regional information centres on youth (points information jeunesse). With these various amenities to hand, young people can find answers and information on bénévolat and volunteering.
Also noteworthy is the role of local Missions, which serve as reception and information centres for young people living in municipalities, where they can benefit from personal monitoring of their efforts to find a job. Some local missions inform young people of Civic Service, as it can be a beneficial experience as far as future professional integration goes.
Several major initiatives have been undertaken by public authorities with a view to popularising young people's commitment to bénévolat and volunteering.
The Secretary of State for Social and fair Economy and Volunteering intends to develop a culture of commitment, particularly among young people who will form the France of tomorrow. Moreover, voluntary work is a source of diverse and varied skills and knowledge. The government will simplify the recognition of acquired experience and as part of the simplification process, the ministry will develop tools to better recognise voluntary work in the professional sphere. In addition, the Tour de France of volunteering launched in October 2022 and the simplification conference should enable proposals to emerge to simplify the work of associations and their volunteers. (see 2.3)
The 1 young person 1 mentor programme, launched as part of the 1 young person 1 solution plan in the summer of 2020, reminded us of the importance of associations in offering young people various opportunities. In 2022, 56 associations are winners of calls for participation launched by the Ministry of Education and Youth to be listed on a government platform offering young people the opportunity to be mentored.
The Civic Service Agency uses a range of tools to publicise its actions and promote civic service, including such social networks as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Dailymotion and YouTube, which disseminate information and news on the civic service, and "civic service recruitment forums".
The presence of young Civic Service volunteers at cultural events such as music festivals, where they present the scheme, and at such national ceremonies as the 14 July where they have paraded, contributes to knowledge of civic service.
In addition, each year, the civic service agency launches a communication campaign to support the development of civic service. For example, in February 2022, the campaign "Le choix de s'engager" (The choice to get involved) was aimed at young people and the general public. It consisted of: the creation of films presenting civic service and broadcast on television or on the Internet and a poster campaign in public spaces (metro stations).