Democracy for Development institute (D4D) launched the position paper “State of volunteering in Kosovo: Challenges and Perspectives“. The position paper shows that volunteerism in Kosovo, now also part of the public policy, has a positive trend where more than a third of the society, during the last year, have been involved in a volunteering activity. According to the research, the main motivation for volunteerism is connected with the public interest. But, even in this field the inequity of gender representation is visible, where women continue to be underrepresented in public and community issues.
In his opening statement Ambassador of British Embassy in Kosovo, Mr. Ruairí O’Connell said that the essence of political culture is related to citizens, especially with active citizens. He said that the continuation of the incubator established by D4D, which now has up to 20 organizations, represents one of the ways to continue developing of the volunteering culture. The development of volunteerism culture is not a process that ends quickly, and although there would still be challenges left, I believe in the volunteer’s power to develop the volunteerism culture in Kosovo, said Mr. O’Connell.
Veton Mujaj, from organization Syri i Vizionit, part of the incubator, said that the volunteering in Kosovo is a very neglected topic, and over last few years we have been trying to revive the spirit of volunteering. He stated that the research presented by D4D would help, among others, on how to approach volunteerism. Volunteerism is a horizontal aspect that touches every field of our life, and the contribution of each of us is necessary to achieve the revival of volunteerism.
Vjollca Krasniqi, author of the paper, stated that it is very important to have synergy between various actors towards the development of volunteering culture. The paper, through questionnaires, group discussions, and policy reviews, was able to identify possibilities and challenges, and to give recommendations, said Ms. Krasniqi. Although there has been some positive development in the field of volunteerism, there are still some challenges in the social framework as well as in the institutional ones. The government of Kosovo needs to undertake concrete steps by drafting the law for volunteerism, develop national strategies for volunteerism, and integrate volunteerism within the education strategy in Kosovo. Through these steps the government of Kosovo would help in creating opportunities and incentives for volunteers, and to establish volunteerism as part of public policies.
Civil Society, as one of the main actors of volunteerism in Kosovo, should continue to prepare and offer training programmes on volunteerism. The trainings should be open for the wider public, and there should be gathering, monitoring, and systematic analysis of the data. Online platforms for volunteerism should allow the registration of volunteers over the age of 25 years old. All the actors, including the organizations of civil society, institutions, and the private sector of the business, should promote and recognize volunteerism. Civil society, especially those organizations that engage volunteers, should aim to establish an international network.