through the Development of Volunteer Programs

at Social Institutions in
the CEE Region – SoVol

Key Action:

  • Cooperation
    for innovation and the exchange of good practices


  • Strategic


of the project:

  • 01. 09. 2016 – 31. 08. 2019


  1. Slovakia: PDCO: Platforma dobrovolnickych centier a

  2. Croatia: SMART: Udruga za razvoj civilnog drustva
    SMART,, Rijeka

  3. Poland: SCW: Stowarzyszenie Centrum Wolontariatu,, Warsawa

  4. Romania, ProVobis: Asociatia Pro Vobis – Centrul
    National de Resurse pentru Voluntariat, Cluj-Napoca,

  5. Netherlands, Movisie – Kennis En Advies Voor
    Maatschappelijke Ontwikkeling,, Utrecht

Our key goal is to strengthen the capacity of social work institutions to
deliver good quality help to disadvantaged groups, such as those living in
poverty, the elderly, people with disabilities and ethnic minorities in the CEE
Region. More and more individuals find a meaningful reason in participating in
civic actions. NGOs without the contribution of volunteers could not operate
properly and at the same time through these opportunities people gain lots of
skills, experiences and valuable connections. These programs have a huge impact
on the local communities and overall on the countries social capital however
most welfare institutions are still not open to cooperate with local citizens
or volunteers.

The social institutions in Eastern and Central Europe were influenced by
the communism very similarly. Civil Society in communist countries was
obviously too weak to serve the purpose of mobilizing citizens for spontaneous
voluntary action. Volunteering was under state control therefore it was quite
frequently compulsory rather than voluntary. State-controlled organisation were
essentially bureaucratic, tradition of volunteering was stopped or made
compulsory – in these institutions, especially in the public ones. Staffs in
these institution don´t fully understand the value of volunteering and don´t
see that volunteering can bring a higher quality service provision. As a result
of this on the other hand citizens even today conceive social institutions as
rather closed, distant, out of their scope of influence.

The project therefore
needs to have an international dimension in order to be able on one side to
motivate citizens on the other side to make social institution more open to
local citizens through volunteering. It is important to spread the idea of
active citizenship especially in these countries what’s more to have a broader
influence on good quality volunteer management and good quality social service
provision. We have very good examples in Europe of social institutions
involving volunteers in an effective way.

Therefore it is a significant aspect
of the project to gather the knowhow from the Netherlands and build their
expertise – gained from their advanced system – into the outputs thus creating
a system in the CEE region that has already been proved to function. The infrastructure, the competence and the
experiences are often missing on how to improve services of social institutions
in CEE region through the involvement of citizens who would be more than happy
to help as volunteers.

The project objectives are: to enhance the quality and
relevance of the learning offer in the field of volunteer management in general
and volunteer management in the social sector through the development of
tailored training curricula.

The program wants to create learning and sharing experience for the
participating organisations, to generate high quality learning materials to
support citizens wanting to get involved into the lives of public social
institutions. At the same time the project wants to enable and encourage social
institutions to open and utilize the added value volunteers can bring.

The project aims to prepare the following outcomes:

A guidebook on how to set up volunteer programmes in social institutions
will help all social institutions to start involve volunteers. It is a step by
step guidebook that contains the key guidelines that have to be followed and
provided for a successful volunteer program in any social institution.

A training curriculum on volunteer management for employees of social
institutions, volunteer managers, mentors, which contains 3 different training

1. Sensitizing training for all employees and stakeholders of a social

  • 2. Training for volunteer managers

  • 3. Training for volunteer mentors

Separate training curriculum for volunteers of social
institutions will be elaborated with a focus on clients such as elderly,
children living in foster care, addicts, homeless people, disabled people and
psychiatric patients.

Finally a handbook on measurement and communication of
the impact of volunteering in social institutions will be prepared. This output
aims to provide the social institutions with a practical handbook 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

The project partners will elaborate a layout for each intellectual output
based on the experiences gathered during the desk research period and the Dutch
study visit. All the outputs will be tasted at the same time in a chosen social
institution in Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Poland and Croatia in the frame of
pilot activity. After the pilot activity alterations of all outcomes will be
finalized based on the conclusions of the pilots. On national and international
multiplier events the outcomes will be presented and further the plans for
further multiplication and sustainability of project results will be