Results from research on volunteering in Slovakia, presented during the EYV Tour in Bratislava

Mrs. Alžběta Brozmanová Gregorová from the Department of Social Work in the Pedagogic Faculty of the Matej Bél University in Banská Bystrica and Mrs Tatiana Matulayová from the Social Work department of the Faculty of Arts of Prešov University were in charge of the latest research on volunteering in Slovakia and had the opportunity to share the results of their work with the EYV Tour participants. 

The research was part of the national campaign of the European Year of Volunteering and focused on the quantitative and the qualitative aspects of volunteering in Slovakia.

973 Slovak citizens over 15 years old were interviewed and filled in a questionnaire. This methodology produced some interesting statistics: in the last 12 months 27.5% of the population took part in volunteering activities through a volunteering organisation. This classifies the Slovak Republic with an average level of involvement in volunteering in Europe. 47.1% of the population are involved in non formal volunteering which means that they help others but who are not part of an organisation.

In Slovakia involvement in non formal volunteering rather than formal volunteering is characteristic as it is the case in most of European countries, however both types are connected. A high number of volunteers involved in formal volunteering are also active in non formal volunteering and vice versa.

Slovak volunteers are men and women from all backgrounds who equally get involved in volunteering throughout Slovakia. The least involved age group are 15 – 19 year olds. The survey also showed that the higher level of education received the higher the involvement in volunteering, with this in mind University students and working citizens are the most involved. The salary is an important factor, but it doesn’t mean that the level of involvement in volunteering increases proportionally to the height of salary. The most involved citizens are those whose salary is between 600 and 900€ per month.

Slovak religious groups also play an important part in volunteering and become more active in non formal volunteering while the formal volunteering attracts believers and non-believers equally.

Slovak Volunteers participate in many diverse activities in many different places. The majority of formal volunteers – 56.3% – are active in non-profit and nongovernmental organisations where 25% cooperate with an organisation managed by a regional or local administration. The most frequent area of volunteering is social services followed by environment, art and culture, sports, church related activities, children and youth organisations related activities and charity.

The most frequent non-formal volunteering activities are carried out in the household, property maintenance, pets, taking care of children, etc.

The main reasons that motivate Slovaks to volunteer are based on values: the importance of helping others, social interaction, wishing to meet new people via volunteering and establish new friendships. The main barrier surrounding volunteering is threefold: the lack of information available on volunteering, those in need do not ask for help, and a lack of time.

There were also interesting statistics on the benefits of volunteering? 92.9 % of the participants from the survey answered that the main reason is that they like what they do. Other important benefits are the satisfaction of carrying out work, broadening of experiences, personal growth, acquiring new skills, etc.

Nevertheless experiences gained during volunteering activities are still not understood as transferrable into professional life and development.

Those and other statistics were discussed during a very interesting presentation.

Sursa: europa.eu/volunteering

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