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Solidarity Corps

Programme for Support and Development of Long-Term Volunteering 2018-2030

During the last almost thirty years solid foundations for volunteering work have been laid in Poland.  Since 1989, the symbolic, system transformation date, civil society organisations started to flourish, and a number of programmes supported by volunteers and NGOs has been carried out. A lot of valuable, volunteering experience has been gathered through citizens’ initiatives. Volunteer activities has started to play an important role in the work of the growing number of organisations and public institutions. Volunteering has become comprehensible and accessible for citizens who started to be interested in this form of activity.

 

Despite the progress achieved so far, there is still room for improvement when it comes to the level of involvement of Poles in volunteer work. The Programme’s planned activities concentrate on promotion and development of long-term volunteering. Studies demonstrate that it is the least popular form of volunteer activity in Poland. It should be emphasized, that supporting this kind of volunteering does not depreciate in any way the value of occasional or action-based volunteering, which also constitutes a very important area of active citizenship.

 

The Corps will in particular aim at raising the profile of volunteer activities, stimulating interest in volunteer work and encouraging citizens to engage in volunteering. Launching Solidarity Corps will also promote volunteering among those NGOs and public institutions that have made little or only occasional use of volunteer activities so far.

 

One of the main ideas behind the Programme is to support long-lasting and long-term relationships between volunteers and hosting organisations.

 

In the proposed model of promoting long-term volunteering, Solidarity Corps volunteer work is understood as informed, volunteer and free of charge activities carried out by:

  • volunteers aged over 15 for a period of at least 12 months, and not less than 16 hours a month,
  • volunteers with disabilities as well as volunteers aged under 15 and over 65 for a period of at least 6 months and not less than 6 hours a month.
Solidarity Corps Implementiation Scheme
Solidarity Corps in Numbers
Objective of the Programme
Target groups of the Programme and dedicated activities

Volunteers

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The Solidarity Corps programme focuses on volunteers, both those that are already active and on the new recruits. Activities envisaged will aim at encouraging as many people as possible to join volunteering activities, in particular with respect to long-term volunteering, by means of achieving the programme’s goals. The Corps will encourage volunteers to take part in projects relating to socially important objectives, supporting people and communities experiencing exclusion,  promote local communities as well as other initiatives relevant from the perspective of social interest. Volunteers joining the Corps will experience self-development in the broadest sense, have the opportunity to gain new (sometimes unique) competences and skills, as well as gain experiences  laying outside of their daily functioning and environments (be it family or professional life).

Activities addressed to volunteers
The most important results

Coordinators

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Volunteer coordinators play an important role, which does not get enough recognition, even though their work is vital to ensure proper cooperation with volunteers.

 

Obviously, the success of volunteer work, in particular long-term volunteering, depends on the motivation and the willingness of a given volunteer.  But there is someting equally important: the engagement and preparedness of coordinators and the entities interested in cooperation with volunteers.

 

The Programme offers a comprehensive plan of support for volunteer coordinators, including but not limited to:

  • professional training
  • access to online tools and Solidarity Corps matching site
  • networking opportunities
  • participation in debates and seminars
  • workshops
  • internships
  • tutoring opportunities
Activities addressed to volunteer coordinators (persons who deal with the management of volunteer activities)
The most important results of activities dedicated to coordinators

Volunteer Environment

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On top of the direct impact on the groups that are most interested in the offer: volunteers and volunteer coordinators, Solidarity Corps will also set out to influence volunteer environment and public opinion.

 

Volunteer environment term, as understood in the Programme, refers to the public opinion, as well as citizens, public institutions, business, and other public bodies with either direct or indirect influence on the volunteering at the local, regional and national level.

 

These target groups will be adressed through:

  • Public education and information campaigns
  • Promotion awereness raising campaigns
  • Matching site
  • Local partnering NGOs
Activities addressed to volunteer environment (public opinion, local communities)
The most important results of activities dedicated to volunteer environment

Volunteer Hosting Organisations

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The Volunteer Hosting Organisations include NGOs, public sector institutions and other organisations pursuing the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility and employee volunteering.

 

The Programme will work with the organisations in order to prepare them for long-term volunteering.  It will also make it possible to develop new areas of activities that have not been covered by volunteer work so far, and contribute to the increase in the number of volunteers in entities that have already cooperated with volunteers.

 

Volunteer Hosting Organisations may get involved in many ways:

  • by offering new volunteer opportunities and/or inviting volunteers who posted their advertise within Solidarity Corps matching site,
  • by receiving support and training for their previous volunteers, offered by the Programme.
Activities addressed to volunteer organisers (NGOs, public institutions interested in establishing cooperation with volunteers)
The most important results of activities dedicated to volunteers