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World Red Cross Red Crescent Day honouring volunteers

Volunteers provide an invaluable service to countless communities around the globe, yet often their sacrifice and dedication are underappreciated and go unrecognized.

To mark this year's World Red Cross Red Crescent Day – 8 May 2011 – the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is calling for greater recognition of the sizable contribution volunteers make in a world increasingly confronted by challenges linked to such adversities as natural disasters, disease, war and other armed violence, poverty, hunger and climate change.  Read More.


Young volunteers at the centre of European policy-making

Brussels, 7 May 2011 // The European Youth Forum (YFJ) Council of Members took place in Antwerp, Belgium on 6-7 May. Around 150 young delegates from youth organisations from all over Europe gathered in Antwerp to discuss issues of concern for young people in Europe, such as employment, volunteering, youth participation.

On the occasion of the European Youth Year of Volunteering 2011, a major part of the European Youth Forum bi-annual Council of Members (COMEM) was dedicated to young volunteers. The Youth Forum is convinced that volunteering and participation in youth organisations are at the heart of democracy, as dynamic forces for social inclusion and active citizenship. Volunteering is a pillar of the work of the European Youth Forum and its member organisations, with all of its 98 youth organisations basing their work on the contributions of their young volunteers.

In order to foster a culture of participation and active citizenship in Europe and the world, volunteers need to be given the access as well as the encouragement to exercise volunteering activities, but first and foremost – volunteers need the rights that fit their duties. In this regard, the European Youth Forum has already since 2006 identified the need for a common European legal framework or charter, defining the basic rights and responsibilities of volunteers.

In the next weeks, the European Youth Forum will launch a process of extensive consultation among its member organisations and open dialogue with other key stakeholders (institutions and other civil society partners) on a draft for a Charter on the Rights of Volunteers leading to a high level debate on such a document during the II Youth Convention on Volunteering taking place in Brussels on 7-11 September.

On Friday 6 May, an open debate on the theme of "The Rights of Young Volunteers" was hosted by Antwerp as the European Youth Capital 2011, and saw the participation of local youth organisations and volunteers. During the debate Leen Verbist, Antwerp Alderwoman for Youth, Gabriella Civico, Coordinator of the 2011 European Year of Volunteering Alliance and Kimberly Ochs, researcher on volunteering shared their views on the major challenges for young volunteers today.

"In launching the process of consultation on the Charter on the Rights of Volunteers, we take the opportunity, during one of the most important annual meetings of the European Youth Forum to celebrate the work of millions of young people volunteering in Europe and their contribution to shape a better European society for all," said Peter Matjašič, President of the European Youth Forum.

During the intense days of work, the young delegates discussed, shared experiences or adopted common positions also on youth entrepreneurship, guidelines for an environmentally sustainable European Youth Forum, quality assurance in non-formal education, and the future of the EU Structured Dialogue.

Marian Harkin MEP wants to hear your story - Live Facebook Chat from the EP

Marian Harkin (ALDE), lead MEP for volunteering-related subjects in Parliament and among the promoters of the European Year of Volunteering 2011, wants to hear your story!

Are you a volunteer? What kind of activity have you been involved in? Or maybe you aren't yet but would like to become one? What do you think of this way of helping people? Marian Harkin (ALDE), lead MEP for volunteering-related subjects in Parliament and among the promoters of the European Year of Volunteering 2011, wants to hear your story!

She will join us for a chat on Saturday at 10:15, during Parliament's Open Day in Brussels. She will listen to your ideas and experiences ahead of Parliament's debate on volunteering in Europe.

The Year of Volunteering aims both at celebrating the commitment of millions of Europeans who engage in some form of volunteering, and at raising the profile of such activities.

Join us on Saturday 7 May from 10:15 to 10:45!

Interview to Marian Harkin on the European Year of Volunteering

EuroBasket Volunteers Vilnius 2011

Volunteers from all over Europe prepare for the Euro Basket Tournament in Vilnius Lithuania.  Like so many other events and activities across Europe it is only because of the contribution of volunteers that the event can take place.  The volunteers are being recruited, trained and supported in their role by the Lithuanian Youth Council (LIJOT), a member of the EYV 2011 Alliance Executive Group member European Youth Forum (YFJ)

Call for participants to European Volunteer Measurement Project (EVMP) Kick off training session with Johns Hopkins University (Tallinn, Friday 6th May 2011)

In view of the launch of the European Volunteer Measurement Project, led by the Johns Hopkins University, a kick-off training session will be organised by the project partners in correlation with the CEV Symposium in Tallinn, on Friday 6th May 2011, from 09.00 to 13.00:

 

We have the opportunity for the first time now to know for sure how many European volunteers there are in every country, who they are, what they do, and what they contribute to the economy.

We now have all we need to make it happen: The ILO approved a Manual to produce globally comparable statistics on volunteer work, preparatory funding from the Italian banking foundations has been provided, and there is interest from the European institutions in seeing the Manual implemented in Europe. In Tallinn, during the opening panel session of the CEV Symposium, and in a kick-off training session that will take place on Friday 6th May, Lester Salamon from Johns Hopkins University will explain in detail how the new ILO Manual works and what we can expect to get by seeing it implemented. Join JHU, CEV and SPES in a major 2011 collaborative effort to convince the EU governments that comparable statistics on volunteering is an essential foundation of good policy for volunteering. (Preliminary registration required through the CEV Symposium registration form; no participation fees)

Please find enclosed a fact sheet providing more information on the European Volunteer Measurement project.

If you would like to attend the EVMP training session, please tick the corresponding session on the CEV Symposium registration form and send it back to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 23rd April.

Call for participants to CEV Symposium "The Future of Volunteering: concepts, trends, visions"

CEV Symposium: " The future of volunteering: concepts, trends, visions", will be organised on 4th – 6th May 2011 in Tallinn (Estonia).

The topic of voluntary action has gained momentum in Europe over the past years. The European Year of Volunteering 2011 is the latest peek in the growing public awareness that our societies are better of with active citizens. The coming months will see manifold projects, activities and awareness raising campaigns to further promote, facilitate and develop voluntary action all over the continent and beyond. This seems like a perfect moment for us to hold our breath and to ask ourselves: Quo vadis volunteering? Where are we and where should the journey go? What are the current trends in our sector and what is our vision for the future?

Many new features and new developments characterise the voluntary sector with the new information technologies playing an ever rising role in our daily lives; an increasing commercialisation of international voluntary service placements; the appearance of business players in the nonprofit world of volunteering; with changing patterns of engagement by volunteers; and with our societies facing an economic and financial crises that may lead to unprecedented transformations to our societies and to the way the state perceives the unpaid contribution of citizens to economy and society. These and other developments have led our sector to ask questions such as: Where are the boundaries of volunteering? What are its inviolable core concepts and principles that we need to defend? What are opportunities and threats of further unleashing the potential of voluntary action to make our societies the places we want to live in? How do we shape tomorrow's volunteering and how do we empower volunteers to shape tomorrow's society?

Our conference will strive to achieve the following objectives:

1. To provide an overview of the current trends in volunteering;

2. To facilitate a space for debate on controversies that have developed over time;

3. To identify the core concepts and inviolable values of volunteering we adhere to and that we want to safeguard;

4. To develop a vision for the decades to come of how volunteering will continue to serve as a central cornerstone in all European countries.

Please find the draft programme, as well as the registration form, and tourist an hotel information on our website:  http://www.cev.be/136-2011_may_%28tallinn_estonia%29_the_future_of_volunteering_concepts_trends_visions-EN.html.

Please note: the deadline for registration is 23th April. Registration forms should be sent to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Should you need any further detail or clarification, do not hesitate to contact the CEV Secretariat at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Volunteering across Europe. Organisations, promotion, participation (SPES), 2006-2011

"Volunteering across Europe. Organisations, promotion, participation" 27 country reports, volumes I, II, III, IV, V and VI. The research is coordinated by: Spes - Centro di Servizio per il Volontariato del Lazio, SPES – Volunteer Support Centre of the Lazio region, the publications of the research are under the patronage of National Observatory for Volunteering - Osservatorio Nazionale per il Volontariato, 2006-2011

Read and download all the country reports here.

Summary: Country reports of the research on volunteering in the European Union, collaborative effort of numerous partner organisations, gathering the available data on the third sector, its definitions and values, legal framework and in-depth studies on centres and on mechanisms for the support and promotion of volunteering. A first ground for comparative analyses on the infrastructure for volunteering in Europe.

Volunteering across Europe. Organisations, promotion, participation (SPES), 2006-2011

"Volunteering across Europe. Organisations, promotion, participation" 27 country reports, volumes I, II, III, IV, V and VI. The research is coordinated by: Spes - Centro di Servizio per il Volontariato del Lazio, SPES – Volunteer Support Centre of the Lazio region, the publications of the research are under the patronage of National Observatory for Volunteering - Osservatorio Nazionale per il Volontariato, 2006-2011

Read and download all the country reports here.

Summary: Country reports of the research on volunteering in the European Union, collaborative effort of numerous partner organisations, gathering the available data on the third sector, its definitions and values, legal framework and in-depth studies on centres and on mechanisms for the support and promotion of volunteering. A first ground for comparative analyses on the infrastructure for volunteering in Europe.

Management of Volunteers: National Occupational Standards booklet (NCVO), 2009

Management of Volunteers: National Occupational Standards booklet. Published by Workforce Development at NCVO, Skills – Third Sector, 2009

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