A group of Caritas in Europe have taken the initiative to coordinate their actions on raising awareness of the pivotal role of volunteers in society
02 April 2011 - After the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion, the EU has designated 2011 as the European Year of Volunteering.
Volunteers are a pivotal part of the values and identity of Caritas. Thus, a group of Caritas in Europe, initiated by Caritas Belgium and Caritas France (Secours Catholique) have decided to join their forces to promote this form of solidarity and commitment to helping people in poverty and social exclusion.
“All those people who participate daily in the fight against poverty as volunteers deserve to be recognised, honoured and made visible,” says Caritas Europa Secretary General, Jorge Nuño Mayer.
The Secretariat in Brussels, will have a role of supporting and promote the initiatives organised by Caritas in Europe in the framework of this European Year, in order to give them a European dimension.
The calendar of activities is steadily being filled with new events. A major highlights from it is Caritas Germany's forthcoming international symposium in Freiburg where participants will identify and recognise examples of successful volunteerism throughout Europe. This assessment will lead to establishing an effective exchange among national and international organisations. The event will be held in Freiburg from 30 May to 1 June 2011.
Another date to mark, 11-15 July. Caritas Europa will hold its traditional Summer University in collaboration with the Catholic University of Leuven. This edition will devote space and time to volunteering.
Volunteering has also an international day, 5 December. Along with Caritas Europa, Caritas France (Secours Catholique) will seize the occasion to organise a 2-day event in the spirit of the very successful Cluny 2010 held in the framework of the Zero Poverty campaign. The exact location is still to be confirmed.
The Caritas in Europe working on EYV2011
Together with Caritas Belgium and Caritas France (Secours Catholique), the others Caritas in Europe currently taking part of this initiative are Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Italy, Malta and Romania.