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Lithuania

Lithuania

2. Voluntary Activities

2.7 Social inclusion through volunteering

Last update: 28 February 2023
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  1. Social integration through volunteering
  2. Meeting the needs of volunteers
  3. Organizations' responsibilities for inclusion
  4. Volunteering of young people with disabilities

Social integration through volunteering

According to researchers, one of the most important areas of volunteering is social inclusion, because through volunteering, professional and other necessary skills are provided/acquired, which facilitate employment opportunities, reduce/can help reduce social exclusion, and volunteers are also included in general social activities: "Each can be a creator of changes in the social environment by joining voluntary networks and thereby contributing to the solution of social problems. <…> Volunteering promotes communication and cooperation, sharing with others and being among others. <...> voluntary activity prevents society from dividing, helps to expand social networks, can mitigate the effects of the economic crisis" (Karasevičiūtė, 2013:15; 30; 80).

 

Meeting the needs of volunteers

When the volunteer and the representatives of the host organization meet, the expectations of both parties are coordinated live: tasks, scope of activities, schedule of implementation of activities, communication. Both parties must sign a bilateral voluntary agreement. Volunteering in Lithuania can take many different forms, which meet the different needs of the volunteer, and the volunteer himself can decide where he would like to volunteer and how much time he can devote to it (read more here).

 

Organizations' responsibilities for inclusion

According to the description of the 2020 Youth Voluntary Service (YVS) implementation quality and supervision procedure, in order to implement the Youth Voluntary Service with quality, the curator of the host organization must help the volunteer to integrate into the Host organization by including the volunteer in the Host organization's activities, meetings, outings, etc.

 

Volunteering of young people with disabilities

Volunteering in organizations that gather people with disabilities is not new for several years. Young people with disabilities are encouraged to participate in voluntary activities not only in Lithuania, but also abroad. For example, the Youth Center in Panevėžys city has been mediating young people with disabilities to volunteer in various European countries and in various fields for several years. One of the most important skills these young people gain through volunteering is self-reliance. Representatives of the organization say that all the non-governmental organizations that were approached very kindly accept young people with disabilities who want to volunteer, helping them discover their strengths (read here). Organizations in other territories encourage more volunteering in their municipal organizations: they look for opportunities to volunteer and accompany them to the place of volunteering: e.g. in libraries, canteens, bars. Volunteering is done not only in organizations, but also individually, e.g. for seniors who are unable to perform certain actions (read here).