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Rue Joseph II, 166, 1000 Bruxelles, +32 2 234 38 60 - Eurodiaconia is supported under the European Community.

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Presentation on theme: "Rue Joseph II, 166, 1000 Bruxelles, +32 2 234 38 60 - Eurodiaconia is supported under the European Community."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rue Joseph II, 166, 1000 Bruxelles, Eurodiaconia is supported under the European Community Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity ( ). Views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the European Commission. Eurodiaconia is a federation of organisations, institutions and churches providing social and health services and education on a Christian value base throughout Europe. Eurodiaconia is registered as an AISBL in Belgium. February 16, 2014 Volunteering in Diaconia – empowering, transforming and reconciling civil society Brussels, BE

2 WHO ARE WE? Platform for diaconal actors in 22 European countries Diaconal department of churches (Church of Sweden) Church related providers of social and health services (Diakonie Osterreich, Diaconia Valdese) Christian based providers of social and health services (Kofoedskole in Denmark) 2/16/ Volunteering in Diaconia


4 2/16/ Volunteering in Diaconia MISSION STATEMENT Eurodiaconia represents a dynamic, Europe wide community of organisations founded in the Christian faith and working in the tradition of Diaconia, who are committed to a Europe of solidarity, equality and justice.

5 2/16/ Volunteering in Diaconia OUR GOALS 1.Transformation through Praxis 2.Transformation through Advocacy 3.Transformation through Identity and Values

6 VOLUNTEERING IN DIACONIA Our members provide opportunities to volunteer locally and trans-nationally in social and health services in diaconal institutions and projects or/and in church congregations. Diaconia provides people with opportunities to serve those in need and thus connect back to the tradition of concrete actions in favour of the poor and the marginalized (Diakonia) but also the possibility for people to work voluntarily to address their own issues in their own communities -empowerment, engagement and active citizenship. It is faith that motivates and guides diaconal agents (staff and volunteers) in actions and which gives them their unique identity, motivation and energy! 2/16/ Volunteering in Diaconia



9 SOCIAL INCLUSION Volunteers are main agents when it comes to social inclusion through their engagement with those at risk of social exclusion Enables people that are at risk of being socially excluded with ways to be connected to society International volunteering and local volunteering provide opportunities for intercultural learning which is key in the fight against xenophobia, racism and discrimination Social Inclusion = Strong civil society and active citizenship 2/16/ Volunteering in Diaconia

10 VOLUNTEERS ARE ACTIVE CITIZENS Volunteering is key expression of active citizenship European values of solidarity and social cohesion Volunteering encourages participatory democracy those engaged in volunteering are directly or indirectly working to improve society for all at a local, regional and national level Voluntary activity facilitates the involvement of local actors who become empowered through participation, involvement and action. 2/16/ Volunteering in Diaconia

11 A TOOL OF EMPOWERMENT Providing a platform for getting people back into education or employment and in general, tapping into peoples potential. The concept of empowerment also links to our Biblical and diaconal understanding of creation by ensuring that each person can respond to the God given call to care for creation Acts 20:35: In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: It is more blessed to give than to receive. 2/16/ Volunteering in Diaconia

12 COMMUNITY LIFE Volunteers can improve the quality of social and health services Bringing ownership of the services by the community: Local volunteers can help build community cohesion as they bring innovative perspectives to the service and can provide a source of local knowledge about the community. They can provide care that is user-focused, holistic and responsive to the community's needs. Volunteering is also an invitation to participate in and improve the life of the community 2/16/ Volunteering in Diaconia

13 WHAT ARE THE TRENDS? At least 3 / 10 Europeans volunteer 80% of Europeans say that active participation in society is a crucial part of their life Eurodiaconia members witness an increase of volunteering We estimate over 600, 000 volunteers across our membership Regular volunteering short term, sporadic, or project based volunteering Volunteers are more specific in their requests Potential for increase of volunteering lies in corporate volunteering (CSR programmes) 2/16/ Volunteering in Diaconia

14 CHALLENGES Challenge to meet skills and needs Need for more specialized skills Need to engage the working population Young people who are skilled give up when they find work Some countries there are legal obstacles e.g. asylum seekers cannot volunteer Lack of financial resources E.g. To reimburse volunteers 2/16/ Volunteering in Diaconia

15 CHALLENGES Volunteering and social services in times of austerity Not a substitute for paid staff Voluntary activities need to be clearly distinguishable from paid employment and should by no means replace it (EPSCO Conclusions on Voluntary activities in social policy) Volunteering is not cost free cf Commission communication Volunteering is freely given, not compulsory Protection of the European Social Model Voluntary activities can not replace the overall responsibility of the state to ensure and provide economic, social and cultural rights. (EPSCO Conclusions on Voluntary activities in social policy) 2/16/ Volunteering in Diaconia

16 Thank you for your attention Follow us on facebook and twitter... 2/16/ Volunteering in Diaconia

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