World Civil Society Forum on the follow-up of the IYV and international cooperation among volunteer organizations International Conference Center Geneva Friday19th July 2002 (9.00 – 12.30 hs.) ADDRESS PLANNING 1. Acknowledgments 2. Who are we? (introducing the FSVCV) 3. What do we do? (actions of the FSVCV) 4. Who are we aiming at? (volunteer reality) 5. Action Proposals after IYV 1. Acknowledgments Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to start my address by congratulating Mrs Krebs on having being able to gather the main stakeholders of the international volunteer cooperation in this panel and also on being so kind as to invite The Foundation for Solidarity and Volunteer Work of the Valencian Community ( henceforth FSVCV) to take part in it . We have already at our disposal the International Symposium on Volunteering final report , the outcome report on the International Year of Volunteers Informal Consultation, held in Bonn and perhaps ,Mrs Lukka would give us today some hints about the survey made by the British Institute for the Study of Volunteering Very briefly, I would try to explain you what the FSVCV is, describe the main activities of the Foundation and its contribution to the the volunteer movement in the Valencian Region , Spain and the Mediterranean basin . Finally, I would like to make several action proposals for the strenghtening of international cooperation and to make yhe most of the outcomes of the IYV. I believe that the Foundation constitutes a major effort to break the existing limits between the three main domains of social relations: the public , the private and the social one. Furthermore, it is a serious effort to set up a cooperation network among those three areas, which , all things considered, stands out as a singular experience on the world stage. 2 Who are we? ( introducing the FSVCV) The Foundation for Solidarity and Voluntary Work of the Valencian Community ( henceforth The Foundation ) is a nonprofit organization , which carries out its duties in the Region of Valencia with a view to promoting the values of solidarity within Valencian society . The Foundation was precisely constituted during the International Year of Volunteers, within the sphere of a political programme aimed at turning the Region of Valencia into a international model in the volunteer field. In this context came to life the Foundation, as a shared project among the Valencian regional government, the financial entity Bancaixa and the Platform of Volunteering. Thus , the three key sectors of volunteering : public, private and volunteer sector, gather together in an project, that we believe that , up to the moment, represents a unique experience in Europe. What is the philosophy behind the project? Basically , I would describe it as an effort to set up a social ethics in accordance with present times. First and foremost, I believe that the volunteer movement is the outstanding fruit of the social ethics we want to set up.Thus, we will have to describe the movement in terms of its participation of social relations. And all this, based on three main ideas: Firstly, the strong belief that a field for volunteering should be clearly defined, taking into consideration that it can stand in for neither public institutions nor the strictly private stakeholders. Secondly, volunteering is ,above all , the best way to create social networks and thus, to stimulate social capital. And taking this idea as a starting point, we will try to direct our efforts to foster and promote volunteering. Finally, volunteering is, nowadays , fully prepared to adopt concepts and ideas such as quality, efficency, or even competitiveness. In these three ideas, lies the raison d´être of The Foundation for Solidarity and Voluntary Work of the Valencian Community . 3 . What do we do? ( actions of the FSVCV) To achieve this goal, the work carried out by Foundation is based on a clear idea: our help to the volunteer movement is developed through an wide range of services offered to volunteer organizations The novelty lies in the fact that financing aid is a small portion of our work. Money is not the main target of our help , it is services. Which actions do we carry out? 1 We promote legal framework: A new law on volunteering was passed with the consensus of all political parties in the Region of Valencia 2 We lend our premises: The Foundation offers the association hotel to those NGOs lacking of headquarters during the first year of their existance. 3 We offer equipment We provide the associations with 50 % subsidized computers, conference rooms , Internet access and so on. 4 We inform and advise We have a team of experts on accounting, law, comunication, project management, international counselling who answer all the questions made by associations . 5 We help with advertisement We sponsor radio and newspaper campaigns so that the NGOs are able to promote their task. 6 We have a library : we have a catalogue of about 1,000 publications on solidarity matters. 7 We organize periodic conferences and seminars on social policies , solidarity and volunteering. In 2001, the national Conference on Volunteering took place in Valencia. We have recently organized , with the backup of the European Commission, The Euromediterranean Civil Forum, which gathered 400 NGOs from 27 European and Mediterranean countries. We carry out reports and surveys, in collaboration with the University, on volunteering , social organizations and social indicators. Next December , we will launch the Strategic Plan on Volunteering after more than 10 meetings with NGOs from different places of the Region of Valencia; in those meetings they have put forward what they considered to be their most impending needs. 9 We put the ONGs in contact with the media Next September, we will open the first gatherings between media and NGOS , as a iniciative with a view to bridging the gap between those two groups so they will be able to collaborate more closely. One of the outcomes of the Gatherings will be that of publishing an agenda including the information about the media responsibles of the NGOS and those of the journalists tackling with social issues in the media. 10 We raise funds We are to develop a social corporate responsability plan aimed at increasing the financial resources of NGOS and also at involving the private sector in the local communities. 11 We contact international networks Firmly convinced that local action requires global action, in 2001 the Mediterranean Observatory on Volunteering was set up. The Observatory is a network of organizations from 12 different countries willing to analize and study the social reality of the Mediterranean basin and the work the NGOs from those countries carry out, with a view to pinpointing the needs that are not fulfilled, getting to know the less developed sectors of volunteering , sharing successful projects and setting up internatinal cooperation projects. In 2004, we will be able to launch the White Paper on the Third Sector of the Mediterranean 12 Finally, and just as a last resort, we financially help those organizations that carry out formative and awareness programs on solidarity and volunteering. 4. Who are we aiming aim at? ( volunteering reality) Who will aminly benefit from this series of actions ? Let me offer you some figures, although we should always bear in mind that they stand for real people who work day by day to make a better world. The Region of Valencia has half a million volunteers who work in 2,000 NGOs. In Spain there are three million people carrying out volunteer work, which represents 15% of the Spanish population. Since 1986 volunteer organizations have dramatically grown in Spain and, nowadays there are more than 15,000 NGOs. Finally , the contribution of volunteering to GPD is around 4% . Regarding the Mediterranean stage, the results of the Mediterranean Observatory on Volunteering, show that associationism is thriving in this region, in spite of the difficulties to get to know all the organizations working in the Mediterranean basin. Nevertheless, those figures show us that it is preferable to talking about volunteers ( in plural) rather than volunteering ( in singular), since the social, economic, cultural and political differences deeply influence the shape of volunteering in each country. 5. Action Proposals after IYV 2001 When it comes to tackling the question of action proposals after the IYV and their various assessment, it is quite a challenge to be original. What new ideas can I explain to you? Not many, certaintly . However, I think that we will all agree on the words Mr Ken Allen said at the International Symposium “ The International Year of Volunteers is over but volunteering must go on.” We must start by saying that IYV has significantly increased the work, presence and influence of volunteers. It is necessary to state this beforehand if we want to encourage the idea that the efforts of so many people, so many national Committees, of the International Association, of Civicus and above all, of the United Nations should continue. It is also true that so many multisectorial meetings on volunteering have strenghen the joint network task among public, private and volunteer stakeholders. It is my wish that an annual meeting between the main stakeholders in the field of volunteering should be held. This will allow us to pinpoint the goals to be achieved. We have to make sure that surveys on volunteering are carried out on regular basis. Thus, we will have several successive images of the evolution of volunteering at our disposal and not just a unique still image given to us in the International Year of Volunteers. Besides, taking advantage of the presence in this panel of a representative of the British Institute, an academic research network on volunterism should be set up. And, indeed we should enhace and consolidate the working scheme that has characterized the IYV, that is to say: take into consideration both the active participation of international volunteer organizations in the field of in the process of creation and implementation of those actions and the impulse of all projects by United Nations. and with the help of National Volunteeers Committees. I believe that these proposals are , constitute an action plan with which we will be able to tackle the definition of volunteering in the twenty first century. We find ourselves in a time of both social and institutional transition. It is the first time in history that volunteering can play a leading and important role on the international stage.The ideas that boost this process must come from thinking, dialoge and research. . Thank you.
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