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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
Lithuania

Lithuania

2. Voluntary Activities

2.2 Administration and governance of youth volunteering

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  1. Governance
  2. Main actors

Governance

The Order on Description of the Organization of the Youth Voluntary Service which was adopted in 2018 defines the principles of organization of youth volunteering in Lithuania, its implementation organization of their work and financing of volunteering activities.

The volunteering activities are not strictly regulated. The Law on Volunteering (article 6) provides that the following may be organizers of voluntary work: charity and assistance funds; budgetary institutions; associations; public establishments; religious communities, associations and religious centres; branches and representative offices of international public organizations; embassies; political parties; trade unions; other legal persons whose activities are governed by specific laws that are non-profit seeking and where any surplus obtained cannot be distributed amongst the participants. The governmental authority responsible for implementing  the Law on Volunteering is the Ministry of Social Security and Labour. According to the Law on Volunteering, volunteer activity organizer and a volunteer are required to sign a written agreement  if volunteer work will be pursued 5 or more days in a row. If  voluntary work will be pursued for more than 30 days volunteering-related expenses are subject to reimbursement. 

Main actors

The main public actors in youth volunteering is the Department of Youth Affairs within the Ministry of Social Security and Labour. The Family and Community Department within the Ministry of Social Security and Labour is responsible for implementation of policy measures in relation to communities and NGOs. The main non-public actors in youth volunteering in Lithuania are The Non-Governmental Organisation Information and Support Centre (NISC) and the European Voluntary Service Association’s SaltesThe Non-Governmental Organisation Information and Support Centre has the strategic goal of the development of volunteer sector, preparation and implementation of legal proposals related to volunteer activities, promoting greater awareness about volunteering. The aim of the European Voluntary Service Association “Saltes” is to spread ideas of voluntary work and informal education, unite participants of EU program YOUTH European Voluntary Service, support them with information, and promote intercultural cooperation as well as educate sociocultural competences. Information websites such as Savanoriaujam ('We volunteer'), Savanorių duomenų bazė "Būk-savanoriu" (volunteers' database 'Be a Volunter'), Kulturossavanoriai ('Culture volunteers') provide various links and information on volunteering organizations and activities available in Lithuania and abroad.

The Order on Description of the Organization of the Youth Voluntary Service defines the types and functions of voluntary organizations. The host organization is a non-profit legal entity registered in the Republic of Lithuania (an organizer of a voluntary service) that is capable of facilitating the development of volunteers in a personal or professional area and ensuring their support.  A volunteer is a young person who performs gratis activities for the benefit of society in the host organization. The organization providing voluntary services (SVO, savanorystės organizacija)  is an accredited non-governmental organization operating in the Republic of Lithuania, which can provide volunteer participation in volunteering activities, co-operation with the host organizations, provide methodological support to the host organizations for the assessment and evaluation of competencies acquired by the volunteer during volunteering. Host organization has the following functions: to provide volunteer activities and to create volunteer attendance schedules based on their individual needs, available and desired competencies; to enable volunteers to join the host organization team; sign volunteers in writing to the organization's internal rules and labor safety regulations; monitor voluntary activities and provide advice to volunteers on issues related to them; inform the volunteer organization mentors about volunteer attendance according to the host and volunteer organization agreement, but not less than once in one calendar month; to enable volunteers to attend their meetings with the mentor and other activities related to volunteering; to cooperate with the volunteers and mentors during the voluntary service and at the end of it to inform the volunteer about the results achieved, the competences gained; in terms of financial capacity, help the volunteer organization to provide volunteering accommodation, meals, provision of activities or other necessary means; to help resolve conflicts between mentors, curators and volunteers; to assist the volunteer organization, as appropriate, in providing administrative assistance to the volunteer; periodically organize meetings with volunteers to discuss issues related to volunteering. It is recommended that meetings be organized on a regular basis, at least once in 14 calendar days; under the terms of the contract, help the volunteer develop the competencies required to carry out the activities; motivate the volunteer to participate in the assessment of competencies, to enable the volunteer to perform the tasks assigned, to present them to the curator and to discuss and evaluate the newly acquired / refined competences / achievements. Functions of the volunteer organization: to advise young people who apply for volunteering, organization choice and other volunteering issues; monitor and coordinate the volunteering activities of volunteers in host organizations and counsel volunteers; to monitor the activities of volunteers in the host organizations and the development of their competences, in accordance with the approved competencies acquired by the legal acts regulating the quality of the activities of the host organizations, in assessing and evaluating volunteering activities; to enable the volunteer to assess the competences acquired during volunteering, to perform the necessary tasks; to issue a voluntary service and a document certifying competences / achievements gained by a volunteer; to manage administrative expenses of volunteer expenses; Ensure proper administration of voluntary documents; to provide individual consultations with volunteers on issues related to the curators of the host organizations; consult and communicate with mentors and partners of other volunteer organizations; at the beginning and at the end of the volunteering, to evaluate the perspectives for gaining, gaining, refined competences / achievements, the results of volunteering and the use of acquired competence.

Functions of the Youth Department: to provide methodological assistance, recommendations to municipalities, volunteer organizations and host organizations, other state and municipal institutions and bodies, other natural and legal persons on issues related to the implementation of the voluntary service; organize accreditation of host organizations and voluntary organizations; to analyze the changes in the host organizations, the areas in which they operate, and their opportunities and the need for volunteers to be accepted; to organize and fulfill the recognition of volunteer competence; to analyze the number of young volunteers, achievements, qualitative and quantitative indicators of volunteering; with financial resources, to fund the activities of volunteer organizations; to promote the possibilities of youth voluntary service in Lithuania.

Cross-sectorial cooperation

Stakeholder consultations are legally required for amendments or drafting new policy. However, the law does not specify that evidence should be collected. Policy-makers can decide whether research findings should be included in policy proposals and how this is done. The institutions that formally participate in the policy-making process usually include dedicated research agencies, evaluation/testing agencies, research and statistical departments, youth organisations, national statistics offices, think tanks and consultants. Likewise, representatives of NGOs, businesses and trade unions, and other interested parties can take part in the public policy-making process by providing comments in the public hearings and in parliamentary committees, to which these actors have free access.