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Handbook on volunteering

The association "Movement for democratic thought" with the funding from the Riga City Council Education, Culture and Sports Department and in cooperation with the competent team of authors has developed a handbook "Organisation of Volunteer Work in the Municipality."

This handbook is meant for any employee of local authorities, and it will be particularly useful for those municipal employees who work with young people, provide social services to citizens and are organising educational, sport and cultural activities in the municipality, as well as teachers.

Although the guide is mainly meant for employees of local authorities, we do hope that it will be useful also for representatives of any other organisation planning to attract volunteers to the work of the organisation and wanting to get prepared for this activity.

The handbook contains a general overview on what is voluntary work illustrating it with practical examples from the world and the Latvian experience, explains why people engage in volunteer work, why it would be useful for the municipality or any other organisation to attract volunteers. It describes the importance of volunteering in particular by promoting social inclusion, as well as provides insight into the volunteering situation in Latvia.

To facilitate implementation of volunteer programs in the municipality, the handbook provides practical advice on the legal basis for voluntary work in the municipalities; explains terms of attracting volunteers, their preparation for work, describes responsibilities, which could be entrusted to a volunteer, management of volunteer work in a municipality as well as evaluation of the volunteer work.

In conclusion a number of ways to raise funds for organisation of volunteer work in the municipality are identified, as well as guidance for where to obtain more information about volunteering is provided.

The material has been developed using training programmes elaborated as part of the project "Volunteering Skills Training - the Voluntary School" financed by the European Union programme "Europe for Citizens":  Rinalds Rudzitis “Key skills for a organiser of voluntary work to work with volunteers”, Natalja Demjanenko “Voluntary work as tool for integration and social inclusion".

Handbook is available only in Latvian.