2. Voluntary Activities
The first evidence of volunteer activities in Slovakia can be found in the Middle Ages. Nevertheless, volunteering is an area that needs sustained support for its development. The period of socialism (1948 -1989) stopped the volunteer sector’s development and jeopardized its principles. After the revolution in 1989, the civil society and, in particular, the civil associations that were forbidden by the Communist regime again came to the fore.
Volunteering has been lacking the legislative framing. Since 2008, “youth volunteering “was introduced in legislation as a result of incoming European Union Youth programs (in particular the European Voluntary Service). Act on Volunteering exists since 2011. Platform of Volunteer Centres and Organizations, which brings together active non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders is a strong partner of the MESRS and the Ministry of the Interior of the Slovak Republic – the most important public sectors influencing the development of volunteering.
The largest program supporting international youth volunteering is Erasmus + and all previous EU Youth Programs since 2000. Young people in Slovakia can get information on volunteering opportunities through the several portals provided mainly by volunteer centers. There is also a tradition of Volunteer Week and the regular awards to volunteers for their valuable work at all levels (2.7).