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The EVEHD project

EVEHD is all about 6 European partners helping each other to develop a more mutually-rewarding interaction with local volunteers. Most of all the project is about ‘valuing volunteers’. We are / were inspired by the Grundtvig works on volunteering and the handbook ‘Volunteering in Museums and Cultural heritage – A European Handbook’ (Cristina Da Milano, Kirsten Gibbs and Margherita Sani) and the ‘Manifesto for Volunteering in Europe’. To quote: As recent data illustrate, millions of citizens in Europe are actively involved in volunteering, mainly during their free time. On average, more men engaged than women, but both devote between three and six percent of their free time to volunteering. Most volunteers are between 35 and 55 years old. In recent years, the role of volunteering in Europe has become more socially and politically significant as a tool for addressing a wide range of issues. Volunteers are engaged in a diverse range of activities such as provision of education and social services, mutual aid, advocacy, campaigning, management and community or environmental action.

The EVEHD partnership strongly agrees with the Manifesto regarding the value volunteering as:

  • Central to ideals of democracy, inclusion and active citizenship; (relevant to the International year for 2013)
  • A powerful tool for positive social and environmental change;
  • A source of empowerment for the disenfranchised;
  • A source of reconciliation and reconstruction in divided societies;
  • A means of lifelong learning.

For the EVEHD partnership we would add that volunteering leads into a career, it gives real experience, builds CV’s and gives confidence for job hunting.

The Manifesto also affirms that in order to deliver these services the recognition, facilitation and promotion of volunteering are essential. Support from all stakeholders – civil society and government at all levels – is needed. The EU is a key actor in this regard and can effectively contribute to the development of a stronger role for volunteering in Europe.

The main activity of EVEHD involves each partner offering a 10 day-long action involving local volunteers, schools, educational institutions, local people and stakeholders (including cultural businesses). The action focuses on a skill of that partner organization and a ‘track record’ of successful work with volunteers. Each host invites staff and volunteers from the other partners/ co-organisers.