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Ministry of Public Administration is the key actor in promoting volunteering in Slovenia. Based on the Volunteering Act which gives an important emphasis to the promotion of volunteering, the Ministry till 2012 published a yearly call for financing networks of non-governmental organisations and promoting volunteering with the following objectives: development and enforcement of various models for the promotion of volunteering in the economy, public administration and non-governmental organisations, setting up a system of networking with businesses and NGOs, promoting e-volunteering (introducing new models of e-volunteering, promotion of e-volunteering, etc. In August 2019, the Ministry published a call for financing supportive environment for NGO development 2019-2023. For this purpose, European social funds are also used. In May 2019, the Ministry published a call for financing development and professionalization of non-governmental organisations and volunteering.
The main organisation that promotes volunteering in Slovenia is the Slovene Philanthropy, which is an NGO. It aims to promote and develop voluntary work and, in general, solidarity among people. In addition to promoting voluntary work, its core activities include helping individuals to get in touch with organisations in need of volunteers, training volunteers and supporting civic organisations. Furthermore, it organises the following events:
- Volunteering Forum (Forum prostovoljstva): every second year;
- Slovenian Volunteering Congress (Slovenski kongres prostovoljstva): every second year, lasting two days;
- Seminars and trainings for organisers of voluntary work (Uvodna usposabljanja za mentorje in organizatorje prostovoljskega dela);
- National Volunteering Week (Nacionalni teden prostovoljstva).
Since 2004, Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities has supported programme “Development and Promotion of volunteering in Slovenia”. The programme is implemented by Slovene Philanthropy and is also verified by the Social Chamber of Slovenia. The programme aims to provide professional support for quality volunteering, encourage recognition of volunteering, develop new forms of volunteering with regards to society needs and enhance professionalization of mentors and organisers of voluntary activities. For people in need, this programme offers support to find suitable help from volunteers and it also helps voluntary organisations to find volunteers. Moreover, with professionalization and recognition of volunteering, the programme particularly helps humanitarian and social protection organisations which run voluntary activities. At the same time the programme offers citizens an opportunity to be actively involved in social activities, provides greater social inclusion of individuals, in particular of vulnerable groups, promotes solidarity and empowers an individual who gains new skills and experiences through voluntary engagement.
Slovene Philanthropy also leads a Slovenian network of more than 1300 voluntary organisations. The Slovenian Network of Voluntary Organisations was formed to promote volunteering, identify the value of voluntary activities and create an environment fertile for its development.
The portal Prostovoljstvo.org helps voluntary organisations to connect with each other across the country. Inclusion in the network and information system is open to all interested voluntary organisations. The portal offers promotion of vacant voluntary activities and helps volunteers to find an activity.
The portal Mlad.si (established by the Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth) is developed as a central communication centre with the aim of establishing a comprehensive and sustainable system for informing the public in the youth sector and outside. The portal is intended for all youth organisations, young people, individuals working with young people, representatives of the state and local communities, the media and the general public and also contains information about the possibilities of voluntary work and connects organisations that are involved in this field.
At the invitation of the Ministry of Public Administration, the Centre for the Promotion of Voluntary Work (Posredovalnica prostovoljskih del) serves as an “administrator”, providing voluntary organisations and volunteers with various forms of support, such as:
- information and counselling;
- educational opportunities and exchange of experience;
- participation in joint promotion of volunteering; and
- cooperation in strengthening civil dialogue and systemic regulation of volunteering.
Other organisations that promote volunteering directly or indirectly include the following organisations (the list is not exhaustive):
- The Youth Council of Slovenia (Mladinski svet Slovenije): since 2002, the Youth Council organises the event “Volunteer of the Year”. The volunteers of the year receive the award from the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities.
- MOVIT - Institute for Promotion of Youth Mobility (MOVIT – Zavod za razvoj mobilnosti mladih) performs the tasks of national agency under the European Community programme Erasmus+: Youth in Action and European Solidarity Corps and promotes European Solidarity Crops’ activities on webpage and on social media (Facebook).
- Network of youth centres MaMa which encourages youth volunteering among youth centres and on local level. Youth centres enable young people to obtain information on various possibilities for carrying out voluntary work, organise different voluntary work projects, offer training to volunteers and in many cases also act as operators of voluntary work programmes at schools, in social work centres and other public institutions.
- CNVOS - Centre for Information Service, Co-operation and Development of NGOs. It was established in early 2001 as an independent, non-profit and non-governmental organisation. The aim of 27 organisations who founded CNVOS is to empower NGOs in Slovenia, promote their role in the civil society, and ensure the realisation of their objectives, including the development of volunteering.
- Institute Voluntariat is an organisation that offers various opportunities for international voluntary work.
- MISSS - Youth Information and Counselling Centre of Slovenia (MISSS – Mladinsko informativno svetovalno središče Slovenije) develops and provides information and counseling, non-formal education and training, and promotes active participation and volunteer work.
- SLOGA - The Association of Slovenian Societies, whose members are numerous societies that work with volunteers, organises an important promotional event every year under the framework of the Global Youth Service Day.
Important providers of information are regional partners of Eurodesk info service. Eurodesk is a free infoservice of the European Commission dedicated to young people and youth workers. In 2007, Eurodesk Slovenia established a network of regional partners, which in 2015 expanded, strengthened and re-established the network's operation. Eurodesk Slovenia operates with one regional partner in each Slovenian region. The role of regional partners is primarily to provide young people with information on the opportunities for mobility of young people in Europe and information on European youth policy, thus promoting the participation of young people. There are 13 partners in Slovenia.
“National Awards for Special Achievements in Volunteering” (Državna nagrada za izjemne dosežke na področju prostovoljstva)
The awards have the aim to increase the recognition of volunteering in the Slovene society. Committee of the Republic of Slovenia gives out awards for special achievements in volunteering. Each year the nominees are selected on the basis of the criteria set out in the in the Volunteering Act (Official Gazette of RS, No. 10/11, 16/11 amendments and supplements and 82/15) and Regulation on detailed arrangements to grant awards and recognitions of the Republic of Slovenia for volunteering (Official Gazette of RS, No. 62/11)
“Volunteer of the Year” (Prostovoljec leta)
Youth organisations significantly contribute to the stimulation of young people to be involved in voluntary work. Every year, the Youth Council of Slovenia organises a well-received event “Volunteer of the Year”, in which several organisations take part. The volunteers of the year receive the awards from the Minister of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities.
“National Volunteering Week” (Nacionalni teden prostovoljstva)
During the National Volunteering Week, before the Festival of Volunteering, two main events are organised:
- Ceremonial Volunteer Day, where awards “Hero of Our Time” are granted to school children who, through their volunteer work, contributed significantly to the quality of life at school or in the local community.
- Happy Volunteering Day is the main event organised in the capital of Ljubljana where more than 100 voluntary organisations present themselves. Among them, one third come from youth or school sector.
- Beside the two main events in Ljubljana, local events are organised throughout Slovenia, traditionally in Maribor and Nova Gorica but also elsewhere.
“Youth-Friendly Voluntary Organisation” Award (Mladim prostovoljcem prijazna organizacija)
An award provided by the Slovenian Network of Voluntary Organisations can be granted to all organisations which provide a quality mentorship to young volunteers under the age of 18. The list of organisations who obtained this award is available on the volunteer platform Prostovoljstvo.org.
Fruits of society (Sadeži družbe)
Fruits of society is a project that promotes volunteering and intergenerational cooperation, and strengthens ties between young people and the elderly. It is a project of education in tolerance, solidarity and mutual understanding. The foundation of the project is the volunteering of young people for elderly who live at home, and on the other hand, of the elderly for young people by connecting schools and pensioners' societies. Other organisations, already implementing similar intergenerational projects, are also invited to partake in the project. The aim of the project is to promote intergenerational cooperation through the connection among primary and secondary schools with pensioners' associations and other voluntary organisations and societies involving older people. Primary and secondary schools, boarding schools, youth and student organisations, all pensioners' associations and other voluntary organisations involving older people can participate.