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Caritas und ihre Kirche als nachhaltige Organisation für ehrenamtliches Engagement
Start date: Aug 1, 2016, End date: Jul 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

As a social welfare organisation, Caritas relies significantly on volunteers. Caritas-Konferenzen Deutschland (CKD), a specialised Catholic charity organisation (Fachverband), is a network of volunteers – made up from particular German dioceses and at federal level. They are independently organised and implement and develop their voluntary work in Catholic parishes and institutions. In the project “Caritas and its church as a sustainable organisation for voluntary work” the four diocesan Caritas associations of Hildesheim, Cologne, Limburg and Paderborn and the federal association of CKD would like to learn from the operational experiences of Caritas in Austria. This project is the start of a nationwide learning process in voluntary refugee relief work and for all areas of voluntary involvement. The European collaboration in voluntary work is supposed to be continued and intensified in the future. With this project, CKD strengthen their role as a protagonist in civil-society, as the central association for volunteers within Caritas and the Catholic parishes. The goals of the project are as follows:* The supervision and qualification of volunteers involved in refugee relief work* To establish the differences and/or the synergies between the non-formal educational formats of volunteers and salaried employees. To combine the non-formal educational formats of volunteers with the formal educational offers. * To establish how salaried employees within the Caritas associations perceive their organisational, strategic, support and development roles* To establish which long-term strategic lessons can be learned from the current involvement in refugee relief work with regards to the refugees as well as the qualification of volunteers* How to solve the challenge of binding volunteers through the development of supervision structures and further education offers* How the role allocation and job profile of volunteers in positions of authority as well as supporting salaried employees can be developed and* To establish which media and communication platforms can be used to inform new and active volunteers through which volunteers can be won for new projects. To broaden the perspective, visits in Austria are also planned to other services, organisations and projects outside the Caritas group. From the experiences gained here, the participants and their organisations on local, diocesan and national levels will come to the obvious conclusions and implement the results in the work.16 volunteers with leadership positions as well as 4 salaried employees are participating in this project. The volunteers come from the dioceses of Hildesheim, Cologne, Limburg and Paderborn. The volunteers are people with leadership responsibilities for local groups who are involved, amongst other responsibilities, in refugee relief programs.The cores of this project are four learning stays, each with a time span of five days, including two days of travel. For each learning stay the group traveling will be made up of one salaried employee and four volunteers.On top of this, preparation, consultation and closing meetings with the participants will be organised.The meetings of the salaried employees in the federal association as well as the general meetings at diocesan and national levels will be used to exchange information and to deepen the knowledge gained from the experiences.The following measures will be taken in the project:* several day visits to various Caritas associations in Austria with specific questions for the participating salaried employees and volunteers;* strengthening of the German network through the preparation, consultation and wrap-up meetings of the salaried employees and volunteers participating as well as the inclusion of the project in the diocesan and nationwide events and meetings* documentation of the experiences and findings in a brochure and the internet web pages of the four participating diocesan associations as well as the federal association of the CKD.The findings and results will be integrated into the educational work of the participating diocesan associations as well as the federal association of the CKD.
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