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There is no dedicated national programme for youth volunteering, the National Cooperation Fund (Nemzeti Együttműködési Alap) is the most relevant actor worth mentioning. (For more information see sub-chapter 2.2 Administration and governance of Youth Volunteering.)
Most of the projects related to youth volunteering are under the framework of the HRDOP 1.2.3. project (Complex Youth Developments – New Generation Reloaded). (For more information about New Generation Reloaded please see sub-chapter 1.4 Youth Policy decision-making - The National Agency for Youth.)
The related objectives are the following:
- Harmonisation of national and local activities of the youth field and volunteering
- National research on volunteering
- Promotion of active citizenship, volunteering, and local and social participation
Besides, the HRDOP 1.3.8. project (Volunteering personalised) with the budget of HUF 5 Billion (around EUR 15.5 million) aims to provide young people between the ages of 18 and 21 with experiences of volunteering that might help in career choice and with useful citizenship skills. During the voluntary service of at least half, at most one year, healthcare services are provided by the host institution.
Finally, the aim of the HRDOP 1.3.5. (EFOP 1.3.5.) project is to promote volunteering and charity activities and to increase their social spread. The project aims to provide funding for the salary of volunteer coordinators or for community development programmes.
Information about some relevant financial state support is in the first chapter (sub-chapter 1.7 Funding youth policy) of the state budget.
The volunteering event, sponsored directly by the Ministry, is the so-called '72 hours without compromise' ('72 óra kompromisszum nélkül'). In 2018, the Ministry of Human Capacities donated a grant of HUF 8 million (approx. 24 000 EUR) to the 11th volunteering event. The point of the action is to highlight the value of volunteering for three days each year by inviting thousands of young people to do something good for others selflessly during this time and to make their activities visible throughout the country. (For more information please see sub-chapter 2.6 Raising awareness about youth volunteering opportunities.)
Research report of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office
'In the age groups under the age of 35, the participation ratio in voluntary activities is lower than the average; it varies between 24.6% and 33.8%. One of the main reasons behind this is that volunteering during school years and right after finishing school is still not widespread in Hungary; it does not have strong cultural roots. Another reason is that usually at this age making a livelihood and a steady income is more important than volunteering. Additionally, starting a family concerns the same age groups which, again, might prevent from participation in voluntary activities.
Despite the factors mentioned above, recent changes are worth highlighting. While in 2011 out of 100 young people, between the age of 15 and 34, 23 stated that they had done voluntary activities, in 2014 this number increased to 29. On the one hand, the acceptance of the law on public education, which states that before high-school graduation ''a 50-hour long community service has to be certified'' (for definition see sub-chapter 2.1. General Context), on the other hand, the acceptance of the National Volunteer Strategy, ''which put the importance of volunteering into the spotlight'''. (The characteristics of volunteer work, Az önkéntes munka jellemzői) might have had contributed to such an increase.'
As stated earlier, the HRDOP 1.3.8 project provides participants with healthcare services, and by the HRDOP 1.3.5. it was able to secure funding for volunteer coordinators’ salary or community development programmes. Besides these project-based approaches, since there is no youth volunteering strategy or programme, coherent support-frameworks do not exist.
We do not have information on quality assurance regarding youth volunteering. Monitoring of the aforementioned projects is based on the reports of the organisations.
Volunteer Act (Önkéntes törvény)
There is no standalone law on youth volunteering.
The 5th article of the Act LXXXVIII of 2005 on voluntary activities
(1) A person under 18 years of age, or an adult with restricted legal capacity may pursue public interest volunteer activities that correspond to his/her age, physical, mental and moral development and abilities, and do not constitute a risk to his/her health, development and performance of school attendance obligations.
(2) A volunteer under 16 years of age, or an adult volunteer with restricted legal capacity may not pursue public interest volunteer activities abroad.
(3) A volunteer under 18 years of age may not pursue public interest volunteer activities between 8 pm and 6 am.
(4) The time spent on public interest volunteer activities by volunteers under 16 years of age may not exceed
a) 3 hours per day and 12 hours per week during school recess
b) 6 hours per week during school time and
ba) 2 hours per day on school days
bb) 3 hours per day on non-school days.'
As it was previously mentioned, the National Volunteer Strategy 2012-2020 (Nemzeti Önkéntes Stratégia 2012-2020) defines young people as individuals between the age of 18 and 26 (however the Hungarian Central Statistical Office in its research report identifies them as individuals under the age of 35).