2.8 Raising awareness about youth volunteering opportunities
On this page
On this page
Public sector activities aimed at raising awareness of the availability of youth volunteering at national level are limited to the publication of basic regulations (again regarding volunteering in general and not specifically youth volunteering) on the website of the Public Benefit Committee (Komitet ds Pożytku Publicznego). Some information on youth volunteering are to be found on the websites of the National Institute of Freedom - Centre for the Development of the Civil Society (Narodowy Instytut Wolności – Centrum Rozwoju Społeczeństwa Obywatelskiego, established in 2017), in the reports on the Institute's events - for example in the minutes of the meeting of the expert team for establishing a school volunteering policy at the Polish Solidarity Corps. Undoubtedly, the largest compendium of knowledge on volunteering is available on the website of the nationwide network of Volunteering Centres (Ogólnopolska Sieć Centrów Wolontariatu). The network also organises cycles of meetings addressed to volunteer service organisers (e.g. within the framework of the Warsaw Volunteer Project), runs the Online Volunteer Service Agency, and organised (till 2015) a nationwide competition called the “Colours of Volunteering” (Barwy Wolontariatu). Similar activities are organised by regional and local Volunteering Centres, as well as many organisations supporting the Polish non-governmental sector (infrastructural organisations).
In the past the key activities of the public sector aiming at raising awareness about youth volunteering were carried out mainly by the Ministry of Education and Science (Ministerstwo Edukacji i Nauki) and are eg. "Volunteer of the year" - a nation-wide competition for school pupils; "Teacher-volunteer of the year" - a nation-wide competition for teachers; "Open school" - competition for schools aimed at stimulating civic participation and engagement of your people; "Scouting volunteering" and “School volunteering” - a competitions aiming at providing trainings for volunteers and promotion of volunteering among young people. Currently, the information on those activities is missing from the internet page of the Ministry of National Education. From 2018, the matter of volunteering is being handled by the National Freedom Institute – Centre for Civil Society Development, which is enacting the Solidarity Corps programme.
Moreover, the Association for the Promotion of Volunteering (Stowarzyszenie Promocji Wolontariatu) deals with “the promotion of the idea of volunteering as a special form of international youth contacts” and a portal devoted to online volunteering as well as other projects exploiting the potential of new technologies for strengthening civil society and increasing the level of social engagement. International Volunteer Day (5 December) is celebrated, but its celebrations are organised spontaneously and optionally by the individual organisations and institutions, without national co-ordination. Significant youth volunteering promotion effects have in recent years been produced by events such as Euro 2012 or Youth Days in 2016, and the media are annually publicising mass charity events based on voluntary work (such as those mentioned in Section 2.2.1 Administration and Governance of Youth Volunteering). Volunteering could potentially be promoted within the framework of the Programmes of Co-operation with Non-Governmental Organisations, which are mandatorily adopted (under the Act on Public Benefit and Volunteer Work) by local governments, but promotion and organisation of voluntary service is nowhere to be found among the priority public tasks planned.