2.3 National strategy on Youth Volunteering
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Currently, there is no independent strategy for youth volunteering in Hungary. A general volunteering strategy, the National Volunteer Strategy 2012-2020 (Nemzeti Önkéntes Stratégia 2012-2020) was adopted by the Government Decree no. 1068/2012 (III. 20.) [1068/2012. (III. 20.) Korm. határozat]. The strategy also does not address the specific issue of youth volunteering. It does not define explicit goals in relation to young people, though they are mentioned several times among the target groups. One of the success indicators by 2020 was:
'The rate of participation in volunteer activities by young people aged 18-26 increases to 25% by 2020.'
As it mentioned above, youth volunteering is not mentioned separately in the previous Strategy.
As the strategy did not focus specifically on youth volunteering; there were no specific youth-related tasks assigned to any authorities. However, in general, the Deputy State Secretariat for Youth Affairs manages the tasks related to youth policy.
According to the Ministry information in 2022, the focus areas related to youth volunteering are
- increasing regular participation in volunteer activities,
- quality improvement in coordination,
- quality improvement in certain fields (e.g. social, healthcare) and effectively involving youth.
The Strategy calls for frequent monitoring; the first phase was conducted in 2013. The report (Önkéntesség Magyarországon, 2013.) does not explicitly address youth volunteering; it only analyses the role of age. The next wave of monitoring was conducted in 2018. Although the research did not only focus on young people, it paid attention to the answers of 18-29-year olds. (Önkéntesség Magyarországon, 2018.)
The revision of the National Volunteer Strategy 2012-2020 (Nemzeti Önkéntes Stratégia 2012-2020) has already started in summer 2019. According to the Ministry information in 2021, the evaluation report was finished in 2021. The government and the civil society provided feedback by early January 2022. After coordinating and synthesising the feedback, political revision of the draft began. However, due to the government reshuffle following the general elections in spring 2022, a policy review was required to ensure that the strategy takes into account sectoral changes and concerns.
The new National Volunteer Strategy will focus on improving the quality and operational conditions of volunteering programmes and on promoting volunteering. The new strategy aims to build a society based on inclusion, active community participation and personal responsibility through volunteering.