EUROPEAN YEAR OF VOLUNTEERING

The European Year of Volunteering 2011 is both a celebration and a challenge.

It is a celebration of the commitment of millions of people in Europe who work in their communities during their free time without being paid, for example in schools, hospitals and sports clubs, protecting the environment, providing social services and helping people in other countries.

Their efforts and those of the many thousands of volunteering organisations make a huge difference to our lives in countless ways. The world is much better off with volunteers!

The year is also a challenge to those Europeans who do not volunteer. We would like them to know that they can also make a difference.

The goals of the European Year of Volunteering 2011 are as follows:

  • To help create a more volunteer-friendly environment, with more people participating in civic activities throughout Europe.
  • To enable volunteer organisations to be a more effective force – to make it easier for people to volunteer and to foster greater cooperation among volunteer organisations and other sectors throughout the EU.
  • To encourage the recognition and compensation of volunteering activities.
  • To increase awareness of the value of volunteering to the economy and society – volunteering is not only enriching for the individual, but it is also a valuable expression of civic engagement that makes a significant contribution to society.

Who will benefit and how?

  • The European Year of Volunteering 2011 will enable volunteers all over Europe to meet and learn about best practices in each European country.
  • Public authoritiesvolunteer organisations and businesses will learn more about volunteering and how to make it easier for people to contribute.
  • People who have never heard about volunteering will learn to appreciate what volunteers do and might become volunteers themselves one day.