Within the month of Philanthropy, Forum for Civic Initiatives (FIQ) organized the "Volunteers in Action" conference whose goal was to raise awareness of the importance of philanthropy and volunteer work. Given the increased interest and willingness of young people to contribute their volunteering time to the common good FIQ has decided to organize this event where organizations shared their experience in this area.
Participants in the conference were: FIQ, UNICEF Innovations Lab Kosovo, Innovation Center Kosovo, Termokiss, Down Syndrome Kosovo, XPortal ESports, Youth Council of the US Embassy and Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sports.
Dajana Berisha, Director of FIQ, explained that FIQ promotes volunteering and philanthropy on a daily basis by encouraging young people to be part of civic activism but also of decision making for a better community.
"It is up to you as future generations to shape the social norms of our society. On a spiritual level volunteering creates the community. On economic level it provides opportunities for development and employment. Volunteers provide services that are not covered by the labour market”, said Ms. Berisha, adding that one of the FIDES Awards 2017, awarded to recognize the philanthropic contributions in the community, will be the award for youth leadership which will recognize the contribution of all those who have worked for the promotion of youth.
Philanthropy and Volunteering are core values of FIQ. One of the projects it implements to promote volunteering is Young Ambassadors.
Labinot Berisha from the Ministry of Youth Culture and Sports said that there is already an administrative instruction regulating the institutional recognition of volunteer work.
"Young people doing volunteer work are protected by this instruction which guarantees that their volunteering time is recognized as work experience. At Ministry level, we are working to advance the digital platform that provides liaising between volunteers and organizations and many other services, "said Mr. Berisha adding that drafting of the Law on Volunteering will be initiated in 2018.
Representatives of the participating organizations presented the opportunities they offer for young volunteers and also expressed their appreciation for the contribution of volunteers in fostering the common good. Discussions also included the connection between volunteering, innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship and also results of successful volunteering initiatives.
Çlirim Sheremeti, who was a volunteer since a very young age and who today directs his organization, spoke of volunteering from the perspective of a young volunteer. He said that volunteering offers skills development and many opportunities for young people to bring about change in society. Merisa Abdullahu from FIQ said that in Kosovo there are every day more opportunities for participation in volunteer activities, an example of which is the work of FIQ with young people. "Volunteering and Philanthropy already have a name and hold an important place in the functioning of a healthy society. Despite the fact that we as young people face many different problems and challenges, it is extremely inspiring that youth always finds the will and desire to work for the common good, "she added. After the conference a mini-fair was organized by informal groups and youngsters who presented their work in various projects