2.7 Social inclusion through volunteering
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Support to young volunteers
The Law on Volunteering 45/2015 mentions the guarantee of rights for people who are volunteers, so that they have equal opportunities. Article 8 of Title II in its 3rd entry states:
Volunteering entities shall guarantee the right to equal opportunities and universal accessibility for elderly, disabled or dependent volunteers, so that they can exercise, on equal terms with the rest of the volunteers, the rights and duties that correspond to them in accordance with this Law, eradicating any possible form of discrimination.
In these cases, the consent for their incorporation into the volunteer organisation, the information and training and the activities entrusted to them must be carried out in appropriate formats and in accordance with their capacities and personal circumstances, following the guidelines set by the principles of universal accessibility and design for all, in such a way that they are accessible, usable and understandable.
Although there are no specific measures to support young people with fewer opportunities, there are measures to help everyone to participate in the different calls for applications. For example, in the call for volunteers for the "Xacobeando" Project organised by Don Bosco Galicia, all travel, accommodation and living expenses are covered thanks to the European Solidarity Corps funds.
Another example can be found in the call for youth volunteer camps in Castilla y León 2023. The application for participation must be submitted electronically, however, in the event of not having electronic means or not being able to access them, you can go in person to make the reservation at the Youth Section of each province.
The competences on volunteering in Spain are divided between the General State Administration, the Autonomous Communities and the Local Entities.
The General State Administration is in the process of drafting a new State Volunteering Strategy, as the last one ended in 2014, so there are currently no state-wide calls for proposals.
There are different NGOs working with volunteers in Spain. There are different projects that aim to develop the volunteering network.
The organization “Rural Action” (Acción Rural) is located in the Autonomous Community of Extremadura and is accredited in the European Solidarity Corps. The Rural Action Project consists of the activation of youth participation through the incorporation of a volunteer in each locality carrying out the activities of the host organisation through local youth, housewives, sports and school associations, and the different public services of culture, sport and youth in the locality where the Project will take place. The activities carried out in Acción Rural are related to the training and integration of people with the rural environment through training in different training areas. They are given courses in environment, cooking, pre-technology, computer science, transport of live animals, animation techniques.
Another organisation accredited by the European Solidarity Corps is Amycos. This organisation has as its main objective the promotion of social and global justice. They aspire to a rights-based approach and from a gender perspective, to ensure that all people, especially those who are being left behind, are guaranteed participation and the exercise without discrimination of their social, cultural, economic, civil and political rights to a life of dignity.
One of its programmes is "Getting closer to the South" (Acercándonos al sur). This programme offers the opportunity to travel to Nicaragua or Bolivia to spend some time with people from these countries, to understand their needs, to understand their concerns and to share their demands.
The programme aims to raise awareness among people in society in general, and especially those interested in development cooperation, about the reality of life in other countries, as well as to facilitate a better understanding of the causes of inequality and its possible solutions.
Tackling societal challenges
Within the third sector there are different programmes and initiatives that aim to solve some social challenges.
One of the participating organisations from Spain in the European Solidarity Corps is the association “Ábrego”. It is an association that was created to work for the repopulation of the rural environment through projects, activities and events, to economically, socially and culturally revitalise the rural environment and its relationship with the urban environment.
Some of the initiatives they carry out are the "Fruit tree pruning day", the "Regenerative livestock and national grazing days" or the event "Throw it away? No way!" whose objective is to promote the reuse and recycling of objects.
Another participating organization from Spain in the European Solidarity Corps is Accem, which is a non-profit organisation that works to improve the living conditions of people in vulnerable situations. Its mission is to defend the fundamental rights, care and accompaniment of people who find themselves in a situation of social exclusion or at risk of social exclusion.
Accem's participation and volunteering axis is in charge of to promote the active participation of society in the care and support to migrants, refugees and people in vulnerable situations. One of its projects is "Disappearing Walls", which aims to promote the integration of people seeking international protection through the experiences and learning provided by volunteers.