PAGE 14 VOLUNTEERING 2011 THE EUROPEAN YEAR OF VOLUNTEERING
The European Commission has designated next year as the European Year of Voluntary Activity and Active Citizenship - and it couldn't have come at a better time.
The Tour, which will come to Ireland from the 21st to the 29th of August 2011, comprises a number of innovative features:
1 The European corner
This is where the European dimension of volunteering is displayed. Fact sheets and other publications on the EU Dimension of volunteer-ing, good practices and key issues relating to the campaign itself will be available.
s countries throughout the European Union struggle with economic crises, an initiative that celebrates and encourages the further development of volunteering in all aspects of society is welcome indeed.
The official title is kind of a mouthful, so 2011 is commonly referred to as the 'European Year of Volunteering' (or, even more tersely, 'EYV2011'). But the true title does reflect the scope of this ambitious project whose main objectives are to:
• Create an enabling environment for volunteering
• To empower organisers of voluntary activities to improve the quality of those activities
• To give recognition to volunteering activities
• To raise awareness of the value and importance of volunteering The EYV2011 Tour
A dominant feature of the year will be the EYV2011 Tour. The purpose of the tour is to create opportunities for volunteers and what the EU terms 'organisations involving volunteers,' or OIVs, to network with one another, sharing their accomplishments, concerns and ideas about the nature and state of volunteering today, and into the future.
The tour is mandated to 'reflect local needs and priorities' regarding volunteering, but it is also an excellent opportunity to learn about how volunteering manifests itself in other member states, providing an 'excellent platform for under- standing the world of volunteering and getting closer to it.'
Extraordinary stories from ordinary people
Here, illustrative success stories are highlighted, singing the praises of hard- working volunteers and providing inspiration to others.
Meeting the volunteers
This is a daily opportunity for organisations involving volunteers to present their
The Initiative in Ireland
A National Coordinating Body for EYV 2011 has been established in each of the 27 member states, and in Ireland this responsibility has been given to Volunteering Ireland. A steering group is assisting with the planning of the year. The broad outline of the programme here involves:
• a launch event in Dubin in January and a closing event in Belfast at the end of the year
• a combination of regional seminars and workshops and a National Conference
• specific themes to be addressed in communities of practice through working groups and roundtables
• a wide cross-section of stakeholders, invited to organise events during the year
For more information about the European Year of Volunteering visit www.eyvolunteering.eu
. To learn more about what will be happening here in Ireland, contact Volunteering Ireland www.volunteeringireland.ie
activities. Four sessions will be held every hour so that a total of 40 organisations per day can deliver and exchange information with the public.
This is an interactive space for meetings, conferences and workshops, covering issues such as the values of volunteering, legislation and how to raise the quality of intervention. A unique feature of this space is the encouragement of intergenerational dialogue. Schools and centres for the elderly will be invited to participate in interactive story-telling and games among children and elder citizens.
Vol 9 • Issue 3 • Winter 2010
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