2.3 National strategy of youth volunteering
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Existence of a national strategy
There is no nationally defined strategy on youth volunteering so far, including volunteering in general. Each Ministry/public organisation in Greece develops a volunteering plan meeting their needs. However, it is important to mention the relevant strategies of several Ministries and public organisations.
In March 2021, the Ministry of Health, through its General Secretariat for Public Health (GSPH), published the National Action Plan for Public Health 2021-2025, putting as a priority the interconnection of the Greek voluntary sector with the health system. According to the Action Plan, one of the main targets of the GSPH is the coordination, support and supervision of voluntary and Civil Society organisations active in the field of Public Health. Among the horizontal extroversion actions of the Plan, is the promotion of public-private sector cooperation, not just through the afore-mentioned interconnection of the Voluntary Sector with the health system, but also through the systematisation of Corporate Social Responsibility actions. The Action Plan also refers to the creation of a register for voluntary organisations, in its Priority Axis 2 for the protection of non-smokers. Finally, the Ministry foresees to plan additional strategies in the context of predicting the possible work overload of the medical and nursing staff, who serve in the structures of health services by the use of volunteers.
The municipality of Athens created a Volunteering office with the following strategy:
- To discuss with the local community and promote the activation and increase of the participation of the citizens, as a tool for the enrichment of the policy-making process for the support of innovative actions of the Municipality.
- To utilise volunteering, accept the proposals of voluntary organisations and groups of citizens, coordinate, consolidate and support actions related to the local community and disseminate information and results inside and outside the Municipality.
- To attract volunteers in collaboration with the respective Directorate(s) of the Municipality for their participation in programs and actions.
- In collaboration with other Directorates, to monitor and evaluate the provision of voluntary work.
- To maintain and update the register of available volunteers of the Municipality of Athens.
The Social Welfare Center of the Attica Region is a public organisation under the control and supervision of the Minister of Labour, Social Security and Welfare, located in the capital region. This public organisation implements a plan of volunteering activities. The goals of the strategy are:
- Finding the means to provide satisfactory services (primary goal).
- The mobilisation of the society in the same direction (basic goal).
- The awakening of the positive feelings of solidarity that we all have, to some extent, is a responsibility that, if implemented, yields on multiple levels.
- The invitation from the responsible organisation is and should be a challenge for every citizen. For this reason, the "invitation" is not a simple invocation but an organised, systematic and well-structured system of approaching and attracting responsible and sensitive citizens.
- The system itself must ensure, not only its maintenance, but also its development, by involving more and more groups of interest, raising awareness of the whole population and assimilation of the idea of volunteering by children and young people.
Scope and contents
The scope of the strategy on youth volunteering is regulated according to the law 4873/2021. The purpose of the law is the regulation of issues such as: a) The registration and funding of voluntary organisations that have been established and operate in Greece as unions or civil non-profit companies with a charitable purpose, with the ultimate goal of ensuring their integrity, transparency, good management and accountability and b) The voluntary employment within or outside Greece provided, without financial or other material consideration.
Each Ministry / public organisation that implements volunteering activities, is responsible for organising and implementing their relevant actions, according to Greek legislation.