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What does it mean to be the European Volunteering Capital

In 2013 CEV – European Volunteer Centre – launched the European Volunteering Capital competition to promote and develop volunteering at the local level by giving recognition to municipalities that support and strengthen partnerships with volunteer centres and volunteer, involving organisations and celebrate and promote volunteering and the impact made by volunteers.

The award is chosen from the applicant municipalities by an international jury of experts who assess the extent to which the recommendations as listed in P.A.V.E. and the “5R” policy priorities as identified in the P.A.V.E. 5 year review Helping Hands, are shown to be implemented. How the European Solidarity Corps will be supported and promoted is also part of the criteria.

All the aspect described in the documents listed above have been described by Padova in its candidature and have been recognised by CEV during its evaluations.

Regulatory Framework

Padova is one of the few Italian cities with a Councilor responsible for volunteering. There is a Municipal regulation of associations that explain the modality how an organization can take part in the Municipality’s life. Associations are invited to take part in various thematic tables with different stakeholders on specific topics.

The municipality activated “Padova Partecipa” a direct line for citizens and organizations to collect advice to improve the city. It has also created in 8 city-district the so called “Community Work”, networks of citizens, organizations and public offices to study and implement new actions against social problems.

Resources

Municipality supports organizations through funds for their activities in the community and through the allocation of spaces, structures and other in kind supports for their events.

The municipality helps organizations also with the periodical issuance of calls for proposal for their projects. With last call, called “City of Ideas” presented at the beginning of 2018, the Municipality has financed 73 projects for € 264.000.

The international cooperation office supports with co-financing organizations that ask for European funding.

Refugees

The Municipality started, in collaboration with CSV and police headquarter, an innovative service of support and accompaniment for immigrants at the Immigration Police Office. Volunteers help immigrants to fill in the forms and take care of the kids while parents prepare the documents.

Regarding refugees, the Municipality hosts 50 refugees, creating for each of them, in collaboration with local organizations, individual paths for socio-economical integration through action of information, education, support.

In 2018 the Municipality signed an agreement with prefecture and local cooperatives to give to 41 asylum seekers the possibility to volunteer. After a training course they will do activities such as caring for the environment or small maintenance, in collaboration with municipal employees.

Important is also the project RIA (income for active inclusion) run from 2014 by the Municipality and CSV. The project gives to disadvantaged people, followed by social services, the possibility to volunteer and get an extra income.

Real value

The economic impact of volunteering in the economy and in the social cohesion is studied by the Municipality through the “Progetto Giovani”, that is investigating how participation in Erasmus+ projects impacts on quality of life.

The CSV cooperates also with the administration for the evaluation of social impact that some projects made by the local associations have.

Recognition – Validation of competencies acquired

The validation of competencies is possible at the Youth Project, that gives info and certification of the competences acquired during volunteering experiences such as Servizio Civile and SVE, and creates Youthpass.

The Service Centre for Volunteers took part in the e-VOC project, to improve skills for professionals of the voluntary sector on the validation of competences and started the validation of competences of young who had experiences in organizations. The service will soon be available to all volunteers.

The winners from the previous editions

2014 Barcelona (Spain)
2015 Lisbon (Portugal)
2016 London (GB)
2017 Sligo (Ireland)
2018 Aarhus (Denmark)
2019 Kosice (Slovakia)

To learn more about the European Volunteering Capital competition visit the CEV website.

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