Volunteering and the Financial Impact in the Maltese EYV Tour

As part of the last lap of the European Tour 2011 being held in Malta, on the eve of the 30th November 2011 a discussion was held in the tent with the theme ‘Volunteering and the Financial Impact’.

The discussion, which was moderated by PBS presenter Ms Ruth Castillo, had a panel of five guest speakers coming from various areas of the Voluntary Sector. The panel was composed of Mr. Nathan Farrugia, CEO Inspire and Member of the Malta Council of the Voluntary Sector (MCVS), Mr. Lawrence Farrugia, President of the Band Clubs Association, Mr Matthew Borg, Researcher, Ms Simone Cutajar, member of Greenhouse, university students organisation and Mr Mauro Pace Parascandalo, Executive Secretary of the MCVS.

The discussion focused on the impact of voluntary organisations on the economy and its contribution to the same society it operates in. It was mentioned that apart from the intrinsic value of volunteering, volunteering is a valid contributor to the economy. It is a fact that voluntary organisations deliver several services which are essential to society. These services, ranging from health to environment, from culture to sport, from education to animal welfare, are of a professional standard. Not only do these organisations have the expertise and the experience to deliver such services, but voluntary organisations tend to be more cost effective since they balance their services between paid and volunteer staff.

Both the local and European authorities should recognise this financial contribution more by putting into place a structure which supports these organisations. It is not enough that funds are made available to these organisations, but that these funds are accessible. By accessible one means that some funds may only be acquired through a lot of bureaucracy which costs the organisations a fortune to even start off. There should be funds of smaller quantity which could be availed of by small organisations and that would not need a high level of management. It was also mentioned that local voluntary organisations are paying high fees when acquiring services since most service providers only have a domestic or a commercial rate, both of which do not apply for such organisations.

Sursa: www.europa.eu/volunteering

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