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YouthWiki

EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
Netherlands

Netherlands

2. Voluntary Activities

Special feature

51 percent of young people aged between 15 and 25 years participate in voluntary work, for example in sport clubs, youth organizations, schools, care services, churches, mosques and cultural organizations. There is no national stand-alone law on youth volunteering. Volunteering for all citizens, including youth, is part of the Social Support Act (2015) and promotes informal and formal social systems. The national government supports all voluntary activities. For example, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport subsidizes thirteen volunteer umbrella organizations, as part of its coordinating role. Municipalities are responsible for the voluntary activities of their citizens and act as brokers to facilitate them in their own initiatives.

Highlights

In the school year 2011-2012 civic internship of high school students was introduced. It was  mandatory in vocational and secondary education. Four years later this obligation ended. Since 2015 schools themselves can decide if they want to have civic internship in their curriculum. The general opinion in those years was that a favourable image of volunteering among young people will stimulate them to continue participating in voluntary activities as adults. Another important boost to volunteering was the 4 year programme (2009-2012) ‘Voluntary input for and by youth and family’ (paragraph 2.1) that stimulated the active role of citizens in communities in towns and villages to strengthen a pedagogical civil society.