The contracts for the projects in the area of volunteering, in the value of 25 mil HRK, were awarded at the ceremony held yesterday in the Croatian Music Institute, upon the opening of the “NGO Open Door Days 2017” manifestation.
The projects were contracted within the Call for Project Proposals “Support for volunteering organizers for the improvement of volunteer management and implementation of volunteer programmes”. Out of the total number of 122 projects applied for this Call, 28 of them had been selected for grant funding within the European Social Fund and the State Budget, i.e. within the priority no. 4 Good Governance of the Operational Programme “Efficient Human Resources 2014-2020”. In this first round, the contract will be signed with one more project, whereas after the increase of the funding envelope, nine projects will be additionally contracted.
The projects will be implemented in the partnership among 70 associations, 44 educational institutions, 14 health and social care institutions and 3 local and regional self-government units. The total number of 3 840 pupils from elementary and secondary schools will take part in the project activities; 1 561 volunteers will spend 67 444 volunteering hours on community-service activities, while the total value of volunteer work will amount to 2.225.652,00 HRK.
“Volunteering is one of the key values underlying social growth, civic participation, social cohesion and social inclusion in the Republic of Croatia. Despite this, volunteering has still not been highlighted as a resource to be used at public institutions which provide public benefit services”, said Ms Vesna Lendić Kasalo, the Authorized Head of the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs. Therefore, it is necessary to build further capacities for volunteer management at public institutions as well, along with the activities aiming at building capacities of civil society organizations. A specific challenge to the development of volunteering is a relatively low employment rate of the youth who volunteer, thus this Call finances the projects which encourage the involvement of the youth in volunteering in order to highlight additionally the benefits of active participation of young people in society by volunteering, as well as the acquirement of valuable competences, skills and experience that they will be able to use in further education and employment.
The contracts to the beneficiary organizations were awarded by the minister Tomislav Ćorić (on behalf of the Ministry of Labour and Pension System which is the Managing Authority for the Operational Programme “Efficient Human Resources”), Mrs Vesna Lendić Kasalo, the Authorized Head of the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs (which is the Implementing Body of level 1) and Mrs Cvjetana Plavša-Matić, the director of the National Foundation for Civil Society Development (the Intermediate Body of level 2).
The list and a short overview of the projects awarded is available here.