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As part of its coordinating role the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport subsidizes the volunteers umbrella organization NOV (more information in par. 2.2 under subheading ‘Actors’). NOV is the advocate organization for voluntary work in the Netherlands and is discussion partner in politics and with the government.
They aim to raise awareness about voluntary work and have a special focus on youth voluntary work with their campaigns. They do this for example, by supporting municipalities to make optimum use of local possibilities in voluntary work. On their website pages about youth policy and voluntary work NOV promotes the support of municipalities and youth organizations to help each other -even with limited resources- to give children the chance to grow and develop. The place where you grow up is very important for your development, according to them. NOV recognizes the wish of municipalities to create and maintain a positive living environment, with optimum developing opportunities and plenty activities. According to NOV this will help children to become stable young people with a sense of responsibility.
Action points for youth voluntary work
NOV provides municipalities with a set of action points. Voluntary work for youth must:
- be well thought-out and have a prominent position in youth policy;
- be available for all children and young people;
- connect youth with other target groups;
- give space, and result in fewer rules;
- have arrangements for minimum wage earners, also for youth work;
- be well insured.
Scouting is the largest youth organization in the Netherlands with over 100.000 members. Some other facts and figures:
- 1 in 5 children in the Netherlands is or has been a member of Scouting.
- There are over 1000 Scouting groups in the Netherlands.
- One or more Scouting groups are active in 80% of all communities.
- 75% of volunteers in Scouting Netherlands is younger than 25 and spends an average of 8 hours a week on Scouting.
- 25% of volunteers in Scouting Netherlands is also a volunteer in another organization.
Importance of scouting youth volunteering
The website offers a whole section of information for children and youth about all positive aspects of volunteering, with the slogan ‘be a volunteer and develop yourself’. They have a scouting academy where the voluntary group leaders can learn to guide children and youth in their development, while engaging in scouting activities.
National and local Dutch organizations want to attract young people to work as volunteers within their organization. Some examples:
- The Dutch Red Cross Rode Kruis has a programme to attract children to volunteer through school campaigns. On their website they have a section for schools and “What can you do?.
- The Oranje Fonds (Orange Fund), a social welfare fund that invests annually about € 30 million in almost 7,000 social initiatives in the Netherlands and the Caribbean part of the Kingdom, has the following project: 'Groeien en B(l)oeien van jonge talenten’ (Growing, blossoming and getting the interest of young talents). The aim of this project is to attract more sustainable young volunteers. The focus is on making voluntary work more attractive through making better use of the talents of young volunteers.
- The local project ‘Hart voor Zwolle’ is a foundation in the municipality of Zwolle that connects young volunteers to vulnerable citizens.