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CAPACITY BUILDING IN THE SOCIAL SECTOR through the Development of Volunteer Programs at Social Institutions in the CEE Region
Start date: Sep 1, 2016, End date: Aug 31, 2019 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Our vision is that the social sector in the CEE region realises and learns to utilize the untapped potential that lies in the cooperation with local community. Through the SoVol European project social institutions (run by government or local government) will be able to develop and implement volunteer programmes involving local citizens into their operations thus enabling them to provide higher quality services to a wider range of clients and will be able to respond to individual needs. In order to be able to make best use of the benefits of volunteers tailor made volunteer strategy and various trainings are needed. The project aims to prepare a practical methodology for social institutions on how to involve volunteers effectively into their institution.The methodology tool kit is set up of the following modules covering all areas of implementing successful volunteer programmes into social institutions:OUTPUT1: A step by step guidebook that contains the key guidelines those have to be followed and provided for a successful volunteer program in any social institution. It covers the followings: 1. financial, human and other resources necessary to launch and to ensure the effective operation of the system. 2. Required attitudes by employers, employees, clients and volunteers. 3. How to achieve the atmosphere that is welcoming volunteers. 4. How to elaborate a volunteer strategy of a social institution. 5. How to assess risk. 6. What administration tools and methods required.OUTPUT2: Training curricula for employees of social institutions in order to raise awareness and teach new competences and skills to them: This contains 3 different training curricula: 1. sensitizing training for all employees and stakeholders of a social institution2. training for volunteer managers3. training for volunteer mentorsOUTPUT3: Training curriculum for volunteers of social institutions with a focus on clients such as elderly, children living in foster care, addicts, homeless people, disabled people and psychiatric patientsOUTPUT4: Handbook on measurement and communication of the impact of volunteering in social institutions aims to provide the social institutions with practical knowledge on how to measure the impact of volunteering and how to best communicate about volunteering in order to raise the public awareness on the value that volunteers bring to the social institutions services and to the overall society. The handbook will look to accommodate basic principles of ensuring quality in volunteer management and a mutually satisfactory volunteering experience for all the parties involved (social institution, volunteer and beneficiaries) and will use the results of the previous project some of the project partners have implemented together regarding the role of the volunteer manager and the quality standards for the volunteer programs.Due to our previous international collaborations project partners think it is the best to gather the know-how of other European countries as the problem effects several other countries in the CEE region.However there are countries in Europe that have already tackled the integration of volunteers into social care institutions and their methods and approaches could serve as good examples. Therefore a study visit to the Netherlands will add to the knowledge and experience that will be comprised in the tool kit.As part of the project the elaborated guidebooks and training courses will be piloted in each participating country. At a chosen social institution a volunteer program will be launched and mentored to test the tool kit. Upon the feedback gained from the pilot phase the toolkit will be finalised. Finally national dissemination events will be organised in the following countries:PL,HU,CR,SL,RO. An international conference will take place in Budapest to spread the possibility of capacity building of the social sector though volunteering.As a result of the project the number and the quality of volunteer programs will seriously increase in Central and Easter European where these programs greatly missing.

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