“ENERGY OF VOLUNTEERING” CONFERENCE
By May 2018, Novi Sad Volunteering Service provided support to 40 different activities in the field of sport, culture, youth work, health and environmental protection. The base of this platform is more than 500 volunteers, and more than three thousand volunteering hours have been achieved so far. For that occasion, in the Eđšeg Castle, the Energy of Volunteering conference was held with the idea to show the previous results of the platform.
“What is interesting is that we have started to count and to really make a statistics of how many volunteers we have, how they are engaged, on what jobs and that is an interesting feature which can show the value of volunteering”, Vojislav Prkosovački, Novi Sad Volunteering Service Coordinator explains.
Novi Sad Volunteering Service (NVS) is the platform for the organisation of volunteering in Novi Sad. It was established based on the initiative of European Youth Capital 2019 and European Culture Capital 2021, and the motive for its establishment is the satisfaction of the need for volunteering personnel during the execution of the Capitals’ activities.
We have shown that when sharing resources and working together, as two Capitals, we can make permanent mechanisms with the purpose of the improvement of youth policy in Novi Sad, according to OPENS. It is important for us that Novi Sad Volunteering Service is a part of youth policy. Our goal is to improve the system and build mechanisms so that young people can see the progress by the system which exists for them”, Vukašin Grozdanović, OPENS Coordinator explains and adds that it is important to say that there have been many volunteering activities this year, which NVS managed to follow. “We have shown that such a service can function, operate and be at service to different institutions or organisations and that we should see how in the following period that can become a permanent city service, which model is necessary for it to become permanent, sustainable solution and to see how it will be financed in the future.”
Local volunteering service should, by its programme, include and propose the good sides of volunteerism, directing local partners towards education and improvement of skills in the field of volunteering management. Thus, the purpose of the establishment of Novi Sad Volunteering Service is the development of the unique local centre for volunteering.
“Co-management is important when it comes to the programme led by the two Capitals. It is normal that there are many overlapping points, but also cooperation. The projects on which the two Capitals cooperate are the projects where the need for cooperation and the following natural partner in the process occurred. NVS is a long-term project, thereby it is a legacy of the cooperation of the two Capitals”, Milica Rašković, Foundation 2021 Development Project Coordinator says.
The attendees were introduced to the topics by Mirjana Bumbić, Novi Sad Youth Office Coordinator, Vukašin Grozdanović, European Youth Capital Novi Sad – OPENS Coordinator and Milica Rašković, Novi Sad 2021 – European Culture Capital Participation Coordinator, who shared their personal experiences in volunteering with the present. That was followed by topics about volunteering formats, about volunteering and the sense of belonging to the community, as well as the stories about volunteering experiences.
Milica Rašković, Foundation 2019
This conference is held for the second time. The purpose of this conference is to gather all people related to volunteering and to whom volunteering really means something. From stakeholders or decision-makers to volunteers and honest volunteering stories. With the purpose of providing Novi Sad and citizens of Novi Sad support, Novi Sad Volunteering Service has been established, to have a systematic approach to volunteering. Therefore, this is a type of conclusion of what we have done so far. Thereby, we are presenting the results of our work.
Vukašin Grozanodivć, OPENS2019 Coordinator
This is the project mutually launched by European Youth Capital and European Culture Capital, where we have tried to see how we can mutually create a quality service which will provide the services to all institutions and youth organisations and organisations for young people in the city. A volunteering service which will be able to train volunteers, provide trainings but simultaneously provide volunteers for different activities. Now we will sum up everything that we have done in the last year.
Vojislav Prkosovački, Novi Sad Volunteering Service Coordinator
One thing is to talk about numbers, and other is what is invisible and what the sense of the volunteering work is, and that is immeasurable and should be recommended to everyone, because that is something that changes persons and personalities, local community and the whole society. For Novi Sad in particular, that means that we have connected not only to volunteers but to several dozens of organisations which implement volunteering work, that we have provided support to the better understanding of volunteering work because it is still very unclear whether that is something that is unpaid volunteering work or something that is the basis of the society. That is something that we promote through our volunteering service. Learning is very important through volunteering and without it, we do not enter any volunteering adventure. So far, we have had great experience and another exciting year is ahead of us, where we will increase the base of volunteers, and those who recognise NVS as a useful platform. The culture has been dominating in the number of activities this year, followed by sport, also by the number of volunteers.