The Launch of the Slovak EYV Tour

The Slovak EYV Tour opening was held on the 15th of November in the Ministry of Culture and offers a busy agenda of debates, workshops and entertainment.

Mrs. Eva Masárová, director of the Youth Department of the Ministry of Education opened the session and expressed her wish that the tour will motivate more people to become volunteers, especially the younger generation.

Mrs. Andrea Elscheková – Matisová, head of the EC Representation in Slovakia, underlined the importance of Voluntary work. She explained that the objective of the European Year of Volunteering and of the European Years in general is to raise awareness amongst the general public, experts and politicians and establish a basis for long term positive trends.

The Slovak EYV Tour is supported by the Mayor of Bratislava. Michal Feik, his advisor, shared with the public several successful volunteering initiatives that have been promoted by the municipality such as cleaning the city by volunteers before the ice-hockey world championship, or a citizen initiative that managed to stop the demolition of PKO ( a famous cultural center). Participatory budget is another initiative where citizens have the opportunity to intervene on a voluntary basis.  They can decide on how one percent of the municipality budget will be used.

Gabriela Gliševičová, from the Slovak Youth Institute and the National coordinating body for the European Year of Volunteering, made a short overview of the activities that have been undertaken throughout the year. The objective of the EYV in Slovakia was twofold: research on the volunteering situation in Slovakia on one hand and a communication campaign on the other hand.

The research was done in collaboration with experts from the Matel Bel  University in Banská Bystrica and the Prešov University and ran during May and June 2011. It showed that volunteering is quite frequent fenomenon  among Slovak citiyens.  According to the study,  27,5 %  of the population is involved in „formal volunteering“  which means voluntereing in a context of an organization. In the meantime,  47,1 % of citizens are involved in „non – formal volunteering“ which means helping  other people outside the family and not organized via an NGO or similar organization.

At the end of the session a relay was handed from the organizors of the EYV to the National coordinator of the following European Year which will be dedicated to active ageing. Mrs. L’Ubica Zajacová from the Directorate General of Human Rights and Equal Treatment made a short introduction of the activity plan for next year.

During the next five days the Slovak Tour will offer a lot of activities, workshops and debates related to different volunteering areas such as: volunteering in art and culture, youth, corporate, healt and prevention, leisure and social inclusion. A number of cultural activities will accompany the tour.  In total 37 organizations are involved in the program.