2.7 Social inclusion through volunteering
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The efforts and initiatives taken by Greece to increase the engagement of all young people, including those with fewer chances, in local and international volunteering are covered in this section. It is divided into three primary sections: (i) support given to young volunteers, (ii) community building, and (iii) programmes addressing societal concerns.
Support to young volunteers
Hellenic Youth Participation is a Greek organisation that was started as an initiative of a few individuals who recognised the need for social change. During the ten years of its activity from 2012 until today, more than 30,000 people have passed through the organization, who received and gave knowledge, values, and unique moments.
"Go Out - Bring In" is an activity under Key Action 1, volunteer actions, which was co funded by the Greek organisation "Youth and Lifelong Learning Foundation," (an entity governed by private law operating in the wider public sector). The Hellenic Youth Participation organised and carried out the event, which brought young people and society into contact with the environment. Volunteers, organizations, the local community, young people with fewer opportunities, and people with financial difficulties had the opportunity to evolve, develop skills, be active, learn about, and appreciate concepts like volunteering, participation, lifelong learning, and non-formal learning.
The activity took place in Athens, with the participation of 2 volunteers from Italy and Poland. The volunteers were young people with fewer opportunities (unemployed) and were chosen because of their willingness to learn and evolve at a personal and professional level.
The activity was attended by two bodies operating in Athens with children from disadvantaged environments, refugees and immigrants, and young people of the local community, with different origins and cultures, who were active and sensitised to issues concerning the environment.
The Greek organisation provided assistance to the young volunteers in the form of a shared flat. The house was fully equipped with common rooms (kitchen, bathroom, etc.). For local transportation, volunteers received a card for unlimited use of buses, metro, tram, etc.
On April 14, 2020, Joint Ministerial Decision No. 3063 ("JIA") was published (Government Gazette B' 1382), with the provisions of which the more systematic and stricter control of the operation of NGOs, which are active in the field in question, is introduced, as well as the natural persons who collaborate with them, while for the first time a Register of members, employees, partners, and volunteers of the relevant NGOs is being created, under the control and supervision of the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum, in order to certify all NGOs, as well as all the human resources involved in their daily operation.
All Greek and international voluntary organizations, civil society organizations, and "Non-Governmental Organisations- M.K.O.", which are active in Greece in matters of international protection, immigration, and social integration are registered in this electronic community. The registration of the agencies is a necessary condition in order to participate in the implementation of international protection, immigration and social integration actions within the Greek Territory, and in particular in the provision of legal, psychosocial, and medical services.
The purpose of maintaining the above Register is the necessity of recording, for reasons of public interest, all its entities in order to ensure transparency in the way they operate and, through this, optimise the services provided by them, as well as to make possible the safeguarding of the human rights of refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants under international protection who are in the Greek Territory. The above Register will be kept for as long as the said entities are active in the Greek Territory.
Organisations wishing to register in the "Register of Greek and Foreign Non-Governmental Organisations (N.G.O)" must submit an electronic application for registration through the relevant online application of the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum, by compulsorily filling in all fields of the application and submitting the data and supporting documents electronically. All foreign documents are required to be certified and translated in accordance with current Greek legislation.
Within a period of sixty (60) days from the submission of the relevant application and complete file, the provided supporting documents are examined. In the event that deficiencies are found in the required supporting documents, the applicant organisation is informed in writing, so that it can proceed within a period of ten (10) days to submit additional documents, while in the case of non-compliance within the set deadline, the application for registration of the organisation in the Registry is rejected.The entire registration is available here
Tackling societal challenges
The Greek Scouts, as Ambassadors of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, chose World Wildlife Day (3 March) to officially announce the launch of a one-of-a-kind initiative that expresses, as a structure, the Greek Scouts' strategic choice and effort to expand social interventions and participation in our country regarding the collection of injured, orphaned, and abandoned mammals, birds, reptiles, marine organisms, and so on.
The programme for the formation and training of the "Wildlife Rescue Scout Group" is managed by the Ephorate for the Implementation of Environmental Programs/SEP, it is practically supported by the organisations ANIMA, ARCHELON, ARKTOUROS, ARION, MOM, ACTION FOR WILDLIFE and is fully financed with 50,000 € from the "Green Fund", (Decision No. 148.3/2018) of the measure "Innovative actions with citizens" and the financial programme "Natural environment and innovative environmental actions."
Building on existing experience and proposing and sharing our know-how, this initiative seeks to:
- to strengthen environmental awareness
- to increase the information and participatory process on the value of preventive action in favour of wildlife
- to maximise the capacity and effectiveness of the 270 trained volunteer Rescue Scouts active in 100 locations throughout Greece.
The Hellenic Red Cross has created the Refugee Information and Support Hotline which operates in the context of the Multipurpose Center for Social Support and Integration of Refugees of the Hellenic Red Cross. The hotline is: +30 210 51 40 440
The services provided concern:
Providing correct, up-to-date information, guidance, support and advice in the mother tongue of refugees and immigrants living in Greece.
Information is provided on:
- Refugee and asylum seeker issues (asylum procedure, residence permit, legal issues, etc.)
- Information about agencies, services and their respective benefits
- Mediation and facilitation of agencies and services
- Telephone interpretation.
- Support and directions
Through the Telephone Line, communication takes place in the following languages:
The telephone line operates from Monday to Friday from 9.00 am. until 20.00 p.m.