2.7 Social inclusion through volunteering
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Support to young volunteers
There is no regulation on the accommodation of young volunteers, either national or transnational. However, the Volunteering Law provides that volunteers should be reimbursement of incurred expenses, including for meals and transportation. These provisions cover all volunteers, not only the young people and not only the volunteers with fewer opportunities. However, because no national volunteering programme is in place, the level of support from host organisations for the young volunteers with fewer opportunities is limited and varying with the capacity of the host organisation or institution.
Foreign volunteers are provided for by the programmes that support them. As most young foreign volunteers in Romania are supported by the European Solidarity Corps (ESC), the programme regulations and support measures are applicable for young volunteers with fewer opportunities coming in Romana from other countries.
Information activities are organised by the Erasmus+ and ESC National Agency. The same institution is also providing support, through the ESC programme, for organisations that promote the participation of young volunteers with fewer opportunities, having inclusion both as a programme priority and an institutional priority.
There is no information on initiatives facilitating digital volunteering for those who cannot physically participate in transnational mobility (e.g. young people affected by disabilities).
Erasmus+ and ESC National Agency organises frequent training courses for youth organisations to support their capacity building for the preparation and implementation of solidarity projects. Romania is part of the initiative Europe Goes Local. With the support of the National Agency, that is guiding beneficiary organisations, each host organisation of foreign young volunteers is implementing activities to integrate the volunteers into the local communities.
Moreover, in September 2022 the National Agency organised an event in Timișoara for the inception of a network of organisations implementing ESC projects, encouraging them to exchange good practices, including practices of valorisation of results, solidarity and inclusion.
Tackling societal challenges
There are no information on top-level measure, initiative and programme supporting young volunteers to engage in projects that contribute to solve societal challenges, such as solidarity with groups at risk of marginalisation (e.g. migrants and refugees, seniors, individuals with fewer opportunities, the homeless) or climate change and environmental challenges (e.g. green consumption, sustainability, environmental protection).
Both inclusion and environment/climate are priorities of ESC. However, a small number of projects, according to information provided by the National Agency, are including significant activities on climate change and environmental challenges. On the other hand, about 20% of projects funded by ESC are prioritising social inclusion.