CARLOS ROCA, FROM THE YOUTH AREA OF IAVE: “VOLUNTARY WORKERS RESPOND TO THE WORK OF ORGANIZED CIVIL SOCIETY"
In the 18th World Volunteerism Conference that is being held from August 17 to 21, people are looking for new opportunities to make individual or group voluntary work known all over the world and integrate it in the civil, business, and governmental sectors.
In the Forum press conference hall, Viola Krebs, director of the International Conference Volunteers of Switzerland, and Carlos Roca, head of the Youth Area of IAVE (International Association for Volunteer Effort) of Bolivia, presented the links that exist between information and volunteer workers with the need to open up and spread this information to everyone.
Krebs stated that in the information society, "the most important product is the production and management of information that new opportunities and difficulties propose" and in which "volunteers play a very important role."
The director of the International Conference Volunteers of Switzerland explained that volunteers have been present in the information society from the beginning and that now there is an opportunity to integrate these new technologies in this sector and establish a cooperation among them.
"The process of creating information and of raising people's awareness are important steps, but a second phase of implementation is also needed to show more results of what they do and work even more with civil society, the private sector, and the government, and reduce this numerical digital gap," according to Krebs.
The director of the ICV of Switzerland demanded "greater organization to better show and overcome some ideas of what voluntary work is" because although it is community service, this is only one of its sides, and "in the society of information, there are other aspects in which different levels should be worked." Krebs cited studies and statistics to point out that "volunteer work is fundamental" and that many times it is "shadowed" but it makes up between 8 and 14 percent of the GDP in some countries.
Carlos Roca represents an organization that works to reach volunteer youth workers who are part of groups and associations and "the youths who work alone and do a decent voluntary job that we acknowledge." Roca explained that he has performed a study to strengthen the voluntary work of the youths, and that the results have confirmed that volunteers support cultural diversity, sustainable development, and conditions for peace; the Forum's three core themes.
Roca showed the need to integrate voluntary work with civil society and the business and governmental sector so that the youth associations can intervene in decisions and create proposals, that their work is acknowledged, and spaces created where they can develop their capacities and aptitudes.
Voluntary work helps to resolve some work scarcities, identify problems, and look for good actions, but "you can't make the government into volunteer workers because it isn't," Roca said.
The 18th World Volunteer Conference held within the Forum from August 17 to 21, will propose a series of recommendations and a plan of action at their closing session for the next conference that will be held in Tunis, according to Krebs.