Organizations in Macedonia hardly find volunteers

65 percent don’t know how to get information about possibilities for volunteering

By Hristina Nacheva and Marija Jovanovska

The youth association Kreativ publishes a call for volunteering on a project in Mersin, Turkey. The main goal of the project is raising awareness about the meaning of ecology, but also the importance of the sea turtle of the endangered species called Caretta – Caretta. The trip and all other costs for accommodation and food are covered. This is only one among many calls published on Internet that are targeting volunteers. 

The majority of the young people from Stip are not interested to apply on many calls for volunteers. They can volunteer in civil organizations and public and state institutions, but they say that they don’t want to work for free, nevertheless the fact that that experience can give them working experience, new knowledge and new skills. The organizations that are searching for volunteers confirm this claim.

-We are facing with a lack for volunteers. The actual political and economic situation and the impatience are the main reason why the young people give up easily, states Beti Peeva, a director of the non – governmental organization EHO from Stip.

Peeva says that the most important part of the process is the interest and the motivation of the young people to volunteer, but they are not using that opportunity because at the end they expect some financial reimbursement.

-The young people lose their interest very quickly and they quit. Or at best, they are willing to volunteer only one day in the week. Very often we receive offers from young people that they are want to volunteer, but they don’t want to have any kind of responsibility, like distribution of flyers or just sitting on a stand, say in the youth organization YMCA from Bitola.

Besides gaining knowledge and experience, the volunteering often offers the feeling of satisfaction that volunteers can help someone.

Ivona from Bitola is one of the volunteers that are happy that are doing that because she gets an opportunity to help people. She is volunteering in the Public institution for orphans „11 October” in Skopje.

-We constantly talk among us and plan how to realize the next class. The chance to do what you want to do is a real privilege. When a child will run into your arms, holding a math test with a red A on it, I don’t know which joy is greater, mine or his. The pleasure to know that you have helped someone is priceless, says Ivona Gjeroska.

The information about the open calls for volunteering can be found on the web – sites of the civil organizations or on the Internet pages of the public and state institutions. Most of them don’t require some special conditions to volunteer, but the willingness of the young people to be part of project activities of the organization.

Young people want to volunteer, but don’t have enough information

The Balkan Youth Newsroom team made an on-line survey among 20 young people and asked them information regarding the process of volunteering and their experience.

After analyzing the information, the survey showed that 90 percent of the young people want to volunteer.  The same percentage of young people, that at some point of their life were volunteering say that did not have bad experience during volunteering. Total 72% don’t know the Law for volunteering in which there are acts that guarantee their rights and obligations. 65 percent don’t know how to get information about possibilities for volunteering.

The majority of young people that have participated in the survey are aware about the benefits from volunteering. Most of them point out that volunteering can bring experience, knowledge, new friendships and possibility for employment.