Development of volunteering
The work and activities of the Association Sunce would not be creative, diverse and so comprehensive without volunteers. Aware of the importance and role of volunteering in strengthening civic engagement and encouraging active contribution to the protection of environment and nature, we focused the work of the Association Sunce on the development of volunteering in the Association, but also the development of volunteering in Croatia and the EU.
Volunteering has been constantly developed and nurtured since the founding of the Sunce Association in 1998, through:
• Improving the volunteer management cycle
A long-term, continuous approach to the development of volunteering in the Association, a structured way of accepting and working with volunteers, as well as improving skills in their management and development, has contributed to more efficient and effective coordination of volunteers in Sunce.
Volunteers of Sunce were involved through various projects and programs, in which some of the main activities were: Providing opportunities for various forms of volunteering in the Association is recognized as an extremely valuable tool for disseminating knowledge and experience on environmental and nature protection, active citizenship and civil society in general and strengthening human capacity and influence of the Association.
Volunteers who are involved in our work, mostly young people, acquire competencies and move in the work environment, which increases the opportunities for their own further employment.
Furthermore, a smaller number of volunteers are people with a high level of expertise and specific knowledge to which they contribute to the development of the organization and individual projects and more successful implementation of certain activities.
We sign a Volunteering contract with the volunteers and upon completion of volunteering, we provide them with a certificate of acquired competencies upon request. Volunteering in Sunce is regulated by the Ordinance on Volunteering.
We highlight the systematically collected data on organized volunteering in Association Sunce in the past five years, which were submitted to the Ministry of Labor, Pension System, Family and Social Policy as part of the mandatory submission of the annual report on organized volunteering under the Volunteering Act.
|Year||Total number of volunteers||Share of the number of EVS / ESS volunteers||Total number of volunteer hours||Share of EVS / ESS volunteer hours|
You can see annual reports on organized volunteering in Association Sunce here:
2019. (available in Croatian only)
• Implementation of the volunteering program in Sunce for national and international volunteers
It is always possible for national and foreign volunteers in Association Sunce to volunteer for a short or long time due to project needs or to help with regular services and activities of the organization.
International volunteers contact us independently or are engaged through the European Commission’s “European Solidarity Force” program. Namely, Sunce was accredited for the implementation of this program in 2015, and every year we accept 2 international volunteers for a long-term volunteer activity of 12 months.
Since 2020, we are also a support organization within the same program with the possibility of sending Croatian volunteers to volunteer service in EU member states or other European countries.
You can find more about opportunities and applications for volunteering within the European Solidarity Force program at the link.
Volunteers of Association Sunce were involved through various projects and programs, and the activities of volunteers included: organization, logistics, design and implementation of various educational activities (Green Trips) and public events (Volunteer Days as part of the campaign Croatia Volunteers, Split Bike Tour, Earth Day ), communication activities (production of promotional materials, educational and informative materials, videos, etc.), participation in the organization and implementation of diving actions and underwater inventory, work on the Green Phone, surveys, data entry, etc.
• Education and information on volunteering
The association builds its own capacities by encouraging employees to attend trainings for volunteer coordinators in order to establish quality volunteer programs and successfully implement the management of Sunce volunteers.
We also provide education and information on volunteering through the activities of various projects and the production of informative and educational material. Within the project “VOLUNTEER FOR NATURE, VOLUNTEER FOR YOURSELF! – school volunteer programs in protected areas of nature” In 2018, we held a conference on school volunteer programs in protected areas of nature (final conference of the project” VOLUNTEER FOR NATURE, VOLUNTEER FOR YOURSELF “) and developed a “Manual for the development of school volunteering in protected areas “. As part of the “EU Integration Project Natura 2000 – NIP“, we created a website for the systematic involvement of individuals in volunteer activities in protected areas and the manual “Croatian Parks – Volunteer Handbook” which serves as a guide to start volunteering in protected areas in Croatia and encourages gaining experience, understanding nature and developing a responsible attitude towards nature and the environment.
We have also developed a “Manual for guiding volunteers and volunteer programs of the Public Institution National Park Mljet” intended for employees of the Public Institution NP Mljet. The manual was developed through the project “Improvement of the system of sustainable management, tourist valorization and interpretation of natural heritage in the area of the National Park Mljet, MLJET – ODISE(J)A MEDITERRANEA”.
Our international volunteers and the coordinator of the European Solidarity Force (ESS) in Association Sunce are always ready to inform interested young people aged 18 to 30 about the possibilities and benefits of volunteering. For more information you can contact us by e-mail: [email protected]
• Encouraging the development of volunteering in other institutions and organizations
We especially encourage youth volunteering, volunteering within educational institutions and volunteering while studying. We also pay significant attention to encouraging volunteering in protected areas.
Through various projects to date, we have successfully supported public institutions in protected areas and educational institutions in Croatia in the development and promotion of our own volunteer programs. Within the “EU Integration Project Natura 2000 – NIP”, we have developed 33 volunteering programs for 19 protected areas.
Through the project “VOLUNTEER FOR NATURE, VOLUNTEER FOR YOURSELF! – school volunteer programs in protected areas of nature” – volunteer programs that include volunteering in protected areas were conducted in cooperation with 3 educational institutions, 4 public institutions for the management of protected areas and the League for the Prevention of Addiction.