How is the volunteering in Entreculturas?
How is the volunteering in Entreculturas?
More than 450 persons are committed to the volunteering action of Entreculturas, as in the national sector of Local and Head Office as in the international sector through the International Volunteering Program (VOLPA). You can see in the next picture that the volunteer work is concentrated in the Local offices.
Commitment to solidarity has not age limit. We can prove it in the following chart that shows data about the ages of volunteers who are collaborating with Entreculturas for a just world. Most volunteers are between 30-49 years old, of which 25% are less than 30 years and 30% are more than 50 years.
Are women or men? Most half people are women. This tendency is the same depending on the sector of volunteering such as at the Local Offices, Head Office or in poverty countries: most volunteers and collaborators are women. As a general rule in the Non-Governmental Organization, women are the majority in Entreculturas Local and Head Offices and in the International volunteering.
Regarding the number of volunteers and collaborators for each Local Office, we observe that there are more volunteers in Madrid and more collaborators in Valladolid. As we have observed above, most these people have a voluntary commitment and action in a Local Office of Entreculturas in Spain. According to the Head Office, the distribution will be in the following way:
Regarding the employment, the volunteers have very varied professions. Almost all volunteers have a career (85%) and the rest (35%) have a teaching career.
Most volunteering of Entreculturas (60%) comes from other volunteer experiences.
Regarding the time of collaboration in Entreculturas, most people have been working for more than a year. 47% of voluntary people in Entreculturas have been volunteers for more than 3 years and 30% more than 5 years. The connection with Entreculturas is kept in the time. Almost half of people (47%) have been collaborating for more than 3 years, of which almost 30% more than 5 years.
The teams of the Head Offices collaborate in several ranges of actions, mainly in education and public awareness. Many people participate in several activities.
What can the volunteering offer to us?
As it is exposed in the Identity Document of Entreculturas, "the voluntary work is the sign of a culture of solidarity and genuine contribution for the development of communities of solidarity. In this respect, Entreculturas conceives the voluntary work as a meeting with different dimensions: reality, suffering and injustice to find each other and yourself. Volunteering is an invitation to the change and to the personal commitment with the reality of people in needs. Volunteering, here like in the South, cannot be conceived as an isolated and punctual action, but as part of an implication of the totality of the person who is transforming our whole life. In each volunteering experience is important the education and the discernment, so as the monitoring and development of the program. This is the only way to develop an awkward, responsible and competent model of volunteering".
This is the model of volunteering in Entreculturas. It is a volunteering related to the change and commitment whose mission is not to concentrate in a few hours per week but to transform the life and the environment of the people who are involved in the program. This model makes the meeting easier to and between these people who need our commitment to be a more habitable World for everyone.
But now, have our identity been shared by our voluntary people? How do they feel it day to day?
In the XI National Meeting of Entreculturas, we have asked them about the volunteering. How has the volunteering influenced to them? How have they lived this experience? How do they assess the role of Entreculturas regarding the volunteering promotion? Their answers have helped us to take another point of view about the volunteering of Entreculturas, which is not only focused in numbers but in motivations, expectations, life experiences and personal changes.
• Volunteering as a MEETING
The first question in the survey is the following: how has the volunteering helped them to become aware of the World situation? On a 1 to 5 rating scale, most answers were 4 or 5, in other words, they take part in an unfair World with their job as volunteer.
• Volunteering as an invitation to the CHANGE AND PERSONAL COMMITMENT
Volunteering tries to be a solidary school for people who take part of the program. It is like a path that convers people into a means of change, from a punctual action to the vital commitment. The second question was the following: how has the volunteering influenced on your life?
Only 3% of our voluntary people answered that the volunteering influences on them only in the voluntary time, while 97% in the closed environment such as their family, relationships, dedication and depending on how they spend their time.
Moreover, we asked how the volunteering has affected them in their personal life. 72% of people confirmed that the voluntary work changes the way of understanding their life and commitment, and 22% to their dedication to other people. Only 4% of people declared that volunteering has a little effect in their life.
• Volunteering as part of a TOTAL IMPLICATION OF THE PERSON who is transforming our whole life.
The third question was how voluntary people have conceived their work in Entreculturas. Most volunteers understand their job not only as a way to help but as a vital commitment. The percent is higher for people who have more volunteering experiences. Voluntary work stops being an isolated time on the list of tasks to take part of their life: family, job, free time, social and political involvement, consumption, etc. Volunteering is not a temporal work but part of our life.
• It is essential the EDUCATION, DISCERMENT AND THE MONITORING AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE PROGRAM
We asked volunteers of Entreculturas for an assessment about the organization, for example: how do we receive them? How do we arrange the volunteering? Or how do we collaborate with them? Their opinions are tracks to improve the labor of the team that go with and teach them. This labor is important in Enterculturas to be consistent with our mission.
We have asked them on five aspects: recognition of volunteering; reception and information that is provided to the volunteers; internal communication and relations between volunteers and people of the organization; ways to propose initiatives or to solve troubles, and the interest in the organization to adapt the positions according to the capacities and interests of the persons.
Despite Entreculturas has passed with flying colors in the majority of cases we have to improve and learn from our volunteers.
Meanwhile, we are very grateful to our volunteers their silent commitment, perseverance and important labor. Entreculturas is not the same without you! THANKS!!!