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New ways of volunteering – how to care?

  • September 26, 2019

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Join the Volunteer Management group in the Crisis Management Innovation Network Europe (CMINE) if you work with volunteers in crisis management. Photo: Red Cross of Serbia

New ways of volunteering – how to care?

Volunteers play an important role in crisis management. Some volunteers are highly specialized work in organizations with planned shifts and clear roles. Other volunteers are deployed less frequently and may have a looser affiliation. Others again are “spontaneous” volunteers. They show up when a crisis occurs and offer their support on the spot.

Spontaneous volunteers are often exposed to the same stressors as affiliated volunteers and professional staff. But there are also stressors specific to not being affiliated with an organization: lack of training, not being familiar with command structures, not being part of an established team, unclear expectations and roles to name but a few.

There are some guidelines in existence about using spontaneous volunteers in crisis management, but for the most part they completely neglect the aspect of providing support and care to the spontaneous volunteers or only do so in the most rudimentary way.

Why then, when we as a crisis management community are so aware of the needs of our affiliated volunteers do we not have systems in place to support our unaffiliated volunteers and other volunteers who provide their services in novel ways?

These are some of the questions that an expert task group is trying to answer in the newly established Crisis Management Innovation Network Europe (CMINE)

CMINE is creating an umbrella network of stakeholders active in Crisis Management by linking existing projects, networks and initiatives.

Volunteer management is one of the focus areas of the network alongside flooding and wildfire. The PS Centre chairs an expert group working on identifying gaps and recommendations for providing care and support to spontaneous volunteers in crisis management.

The volunteer management group is open to all working with volunteers in crisis management and we invite you to join – because we would love to benefit from your experience and expertise.

Join the network on the CMINE platform.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme for Research,
Technological Development and Demonstration under Grant Agreement (GA) N° #607798

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