Local, international and community volunteers, coordinators and managers often do not have the time or resources to upskill, network and develop their organisations. Organisations rarely have the capacity to manage and train volunteers, combat burnout or produce strategies and policies which are integral to the promotion of social inclusion and sustain services. This project seeks to provide practitioners and volunteers with the resources they need to develop their operations and promote social inclusion.
Who was involved in making this resource:
The following organisations helped to produce the tool kit:
Stand By Me Lesvos (SBML) is a non-profit organisation set up by founders of Second Chance school of Mytilene. SBML strives to help vulnerable groups of people in Lesvos live with dignity, whilst fighting social racism and exclusion. They design educational, counselling and occupational activities for refugees and asylum seekers and foster self-help through the active involvement of refugees and asylum seekers in designing and organising such activities. SBML promotes social inclusion, integration and community development in order to establish a positive coexistence of all people on the island. Michalisl Aivaliotis has managed SBML for the last three years. He has contributed to the shape of SBML’s projects and has encouraged foreign volunteers with SBML to share their cultural and national knowledge and develop a sense of identity with the team. Katerina Kazakou, Anastasia Aivaliotou, Panos Touzenis and Eleni Papadopoulou have all played a role in the creation of this toolkit.
Wadi is a German-Iraqi NGO which has been operating in Northern Iraq since 1993. Wadi’s main goals are to promote citizenship and self-ownership through projects which focus on gender equality and female empowerment. In cooperation with local NGOs in Northern Iraq, Wadi initiated a large-scale anti-FGM programme in 2004. Since 2014, Wadi has supported the integration of ‘new citizens’, or refugees, in Iraq and has provided emergency aid to displaced Ezidi families. Wadi has a team of 42 staff and 15 volunteers in Iraq, with 2 staff members operating in Germany. Isis Elgibali, Hannah Wettig and Arvid Vormann have all contributed to the production of this toolkit.
Northern Lights Aid (NLA) is a Norwegian registered NGO based in Kavala, Greece, founded three years ago. NLA supports people residing in Kavala’s camp as well as Kavala’s local vulnerable population in both an emergency relief and integration support context. The NLA team is composed of 15 local, international and community volunteers. NLA puts great effort into upskilling predominantly young and inexperienced volunteers by inviting them to share ideas and develop projects. NLA’s coordination team has developed strategies to be able to sustain operations and welcome a diverse range of people to the team in an unstable and ever changing environment. NLA has shared its research and experience in the topic of volunteering with others. Alexandra Zosso and Rachel Bromwell have made contributions to this toolkit.
Indigo Volunteers (IV) is a charity that supports 48 grassroots organisations across the European Migratory route by connecting them to volunteers on a skill-match basis, sign-posting them to key documents and training, and facilitating psychosocial support. By matching volunteers to the right projects, IV helps organisations focus on their objectives and streamline their operations. IV promotes responsible volunteering by providing contextual information to volunteers before their placements and educating them about the complexities of volunteering and saviourism. Megan Cruickshank and Sophie Rihm have promoted IV’s ethos during the production of this toolkit and have contributed to its overall creation.
This thoroughly researched and collaboratively produced toolkit will provide practitioners and volunteers the resources they need to adapt methodologies in order to upskill, streamline their operations and promote social inclusion. With this, migrants, who often are at risk of being isolated and cut out of society, will receive help from people with high skills and international competencies within efficiently coordinated programs.
Application process/contact phase
(early) Introduction/Training phase (Sophie)
Helpful Short Guide for the Setup and development of an organization:
Here are the different steps identified by the NGOs who created this toolkit based on real life experience to create and develop a volunteer organisation:
- Identify the need, problem, situation you want to tackle
- Identify internal expectations and management style of your organization
- Research about volunteering, its history and its different forms, stereotypes and implications
- Clarify the meaning of volunteer for your organization
- Identify the type of volunteer you want and need to work with
- Research the appropriate legal framework to create your organization and to work with volunteers
- Obtain or create a safeguarding document
- Identify your capacity and create needed partnerships to face volunteer emotional needs
- Recruit and train relevant staff regarding field activities and volunteer management
- Assess and create decision making systems (board, members etc.)
- Create system to store and collect documentation and media related to your organization
- Create information and training documents appropriate to the different volunteer groups (language, level of commitment, role etc.)