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Is volunteering a gender based approach?. Volunteering in Romania Romania has a law for volunteering since April 2001 with the following main provisions : definitions for the volunteer and the volunteering

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Volunteering in Romania

Romania has a law for volunteering since April 2001 with the following main provisions :

  • definitions for the volunteer and the volunteering
  • main principles of volunteering : free choice, active involvement, no payment, nondiscrimination
  • the provision of the volunteering contract :rights and obligations of the volunteer, coordination of the volunteer, termination of the contract, litigation
  • recognition of the volunteering activities
Volunteering in Romania

Who is volunteering in Romania ?

There are no statistic data on the number of volunteers, there is no national register of volunteering contracts, there are no public policies and strategies to support volunteering.

From the practice, the following categories of population became volunteers :

  • Students
  • Graduates
  • Elderly people
  • Persons affected by a problem
Volunteering in Romania

VOLUM is the National Federation of Supporting Volunteering in Romania

European Year of Volunteering 2011 has established a series of activities to be developed this year within the national Conference of Volunteering (Feb 4- 2011) :

  • promoting volunteering
  • setting up the national online management platform for the volunteering (available organisations and potential volunteers)
  • activities to be developed this year
Volunteering in Romania

The main topics for this year :

  • Recognition of the competencies gained through volunteering
  • New definition and the legal framework for the volunteering
  • Establishing a Ethical Code for the organizations working with volunteers
  • Volunteering supported by employers and social corporate responsability
Volunteering in Romania

Use-full links:

  • Calendar 2011 European Year of Volunteering in Romania (AEV):
  • On line platform: (
  • Actions planned for AEV 2011:
  • Documents:
Volunteering and gender

Who is volunteering in Romania ? Men or women ?

The profile of the Romanian volunteer is in general similar to the typical volunteer seen in the rest of Europe. In that sense, Romanian volunteers tend to be younger, well educated, wealthier, and displaying higher levels of trust. There does not appear to be a clear relationship between gender and volunteerism.

Although, the most volunteers in NGO’s are young women, students in social issues, due to a recent research based on questioning 60 active NGO’s.

Volunteering and gender

Why the profile of a Romanian volunteer is always “ a young?” Due to many reasons, such as :

  • People don’t forget the “compulsory volunteering” during the comunism period
  • The most voluntary work is coordinated by NGO’s working for children and youngsters
  • “old mentality”: people only work seriously when they get paid
  • traditional mentality :volunteering is for those who are learning, not for those with many competencies
Volunteering and gender

Gender based barriers in volunteering in Romania

Potential barriers :

  • Insufficient time (36.3%)
  • Work-related duties (17.5%)
  • Poor health (14.3%)
  • Old age (7.2%)
  • Family obligations (4.8%)
  • Lack of NGO’s trustworthiness (4.4%)
  • The individual was not specifically asked to participate in voluntary activities (3.6%)
  • A poor financial situation (3.2%)
Volunteering and gender

Gender based opportunities in volunteering in Romania:

  • The existence of a legal framework (the law of volunteering)
  • Training opportunities
  • Visibility actions
  • Personal development
  • Raising the level of self-trust
  • Creating relationships
  • Solving “your own problem”
Volunteering and gender

Case study – Volunteering in Pro WOMEN Foundation

- Volunteers are usually students or graduates

  • The volunteering is contract based
  • The volunteer coordinator is also a volunteer
  • Volunteering activities are project based
  • The volunteer makes it’s own choice for the project to be involved
  • The volunteer is trained for the specific activities
Volunteering and gender

Case study – Volunteering in Pro WOMEN Foundation

- The volunteer meet the project manager and the staff of the project

  • The coordinator did the action plan for the next 3 months
  • The coordinator plan team building sessions with all the volunteers
  • The volunteers participate in specific actions developed by other NGO’s in the field of volunteering
  • The best volunteers are awarded at the end of the year
  • The best volunteers are hired by Pro WOMEN
Volunteering and gender

Case study – Volunteering in Pro WOMEN Foundation

Statistics :

  • 80 % of volunteers are young women, most students
  • 10 % are young men, students or graduates
  • 10 % of volunteers are elderly people, retired (only women)
  • Most of volunteers are interested in social issues
  • Most of volunteers are interested in developing the personal abilities and skills
Difference between NGO’s as volunteers center and NGO’s working with volunteers

The National Network of Volunteer Centersin Romania (RNCV) operates a number of 15 centers in Romania; it’s mission is to promote and develop volunteering in Romania, by uniting and enhancing the capacity of volunteer centers states to mobilize the community to solve its problems

Directions of activity and development of RNCV:

  • (A) Develop volunteer centers : a set of standards, organizational development, using a set of tools for working with volunteers and organizations / institutions that involve volunteers, developing a database for volunteer management, exchange of experience and practice in working with national and international volunteers.
Difference between NGO’s as volunteers center and NGO’s working with volunteers
  • (2) Strengthening the National Network of Volunteer Centers in Romania : Adopt and promote an identity for the network, fostering collaboration among members, maintenance of clear common volunteering, conducting joint activities.

RNCV organize every year the National Week of Volunteering. In 2011, between May 9 to 15, SNV conducted the largest annual event of public recognition and appreciation of volunteers from Romania

Thousands of volunteers, over 500 public events and volunteers, over 200 organizations - local partners affiliated with the event, over 150 towns in 40 counties and the capital

Difference between NGO’s as volunteers center and NGO’s working with volunteers

The most NGO’s in Romania have in their structure a department of volunteers which has encouraged volunteer participation in various activities. The recruitment of volunteers is made from the volunteering centers from their communityor direct from the community, especially from the Universities which encourage the volunteering.

All the volunteers benefit from training in the specific activities carried out by the NGO and also in general activities for volunteering carried out in the volunteers centers

Difference between NGO’s as volunteers center and NGO’s working with volunteers

While the volunteers centers aimed to promote volunteering among people and mobilize the community, the NGO’s department of volunteering involve the volunteers direct in the internal actions:

- general activities (aimed to its mission) – these activities are supervised by the volunteers’ coordinator (VC)

  • project’s activities – these activities are coordinated by the project manager in collaboration with the VC
Is gender an issue in lifelong learning for volunteers ?

The term lifelong learning describe all learning activities in both formal and informal settings : adult and community education, vocational education and training, work-based and distance learning and higher education.

The participation in lifelong learning across the world reveals a highly segmented system, with men predominating in vocational education, technical courses and work based learning and women more likely to participate in community education and caring fields.

Is gender an issue in lifelong learning for volunteers ?

Such patterns are globally evident, but there are important differences between countries, based on race, class, religious and other socially constructed identities.

Lifelong learning policies and developments are closely linked to institutional contexts, cultures and pedagogies.

Gender is a key issue in LLL and analyze on this issue should be based on reflections on identities, emotions and the construction of knowledge on what LLL is, who it is for and what purposes it serves.

Questions for discussion/workshop activity:
  • Benefits of LLL and volunteering
  • Fields where women are acting as volunteers
  • Ways and methods to involve women in volunteering
  • Ways and methods to balance women’s paid work, unpaid work and volunteering