National Volunteer Week
This week Slovenia is holding its 21st National Volunteer Week. The purpose of the event is to celebrate volunteering, thank the volunteers and voluntary organisations for their work, and invite individuals to learn about volunteering opportunities and donate their time for the good of their community.
Slovenians are known for coming together when the need arises, particularly as volunteers. According to Tereza Novak, Executive Director of Slovenska Filantropija, Association for the Promotion of Volunteering, the exceptional circumstances we have lived in for the past three months can be overcome much more easily if volunteers get involved in helping people and state institutions. It is a faster and more efficient way of lending a hand to the most vulnerable groups, Ms Novak notes, and that is why it is important for the state to support and appreciate volunteering:
"The volunteers involved in non-governmental volunteer organisations promote the diversity of life in the community and are often the first to point out societal wrongs; they give additional assistance to the most vulnerable residents, care for the environment, offer a wide range of sports activities for all generations, help maintain tradition and provide a diverse cultural programme, establish new connections and search for alternative solutions. With all of this, they represent the connective tissue of society and security for anyone who finds themselves in a difficult situation," she said.
Ms Novak added that a wise state or community supports volunteering by providing funding for the work of volunteer organisations, thus fostering solidarity and cooperation and creating conditions that allow people of all generations to be involved in volunteer work.