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States-General of Voluntary work - Closing day

April 15, 2012

The report with the four working groups' contributions has been shared

giornata conclusiva degli stati generali di volontariatoParticipation, sharing and union despite differences: these were among the key concepts that featured the States-General of Voluntary work that wrapped up today, 15 April, in Rome. At the end of the meeting was presented the closing report of the three-day event to gather the contributions of the four working groups that discussed on values, representatives, roles and operating methods, resources.

The report was presented by the moderators of each group, composed by representatives of national organizations, local associations and municipal groups. The interventions of four volunteers followed up to illustrate the report to the Head of the Civil Protection Department, Franco Gabrielli, and to the over 200 delegates of the world of voluntary work and representatives of the National Service of civil protection.

As the Head of Department underlined, the ability of creating a unified point of view among different actors allowed to create a shared document, a "common good", with new ideas and cues for reflection. It was a precious occasion that should be repeated, as it represented a chance for the Department to find new ways to meet and involve civil protection volunteers.

Franco Gabrielli deemed the contributions gathered in the closing report rich and ambitious, and shared many ideas and considerations of the documents.

Values. The Head of Department recognized autonomy, profound sense of identity and the gratuitousness are the main features that define the volunteer's activity. Safety has been recognized as a value as much important and as a sign of profound maturity of this reality; this subject is ordered by a decree recently published in the Official Gazette.

Representatives. The meeting highlighted also the need to give representatives to the world of voluntary work: on one hand, organizations need to endorse a greater responsibility and manage their operating capabilities; on the other, institutions shall commit in involving voluntarty work in the particpation process.

Regarding the creation of new representatives, the Head of Department undertook to establish a national Committee of civil protection volutary work, according to criteria under Dpr 194/2001. It will constitute a representation office and an occasion to discuss about the varies world of voluntary work at national level, which will be supported by regional councils to represent the volunteers operating on specific territories.

Roles and operating methods. In order to make the various operating methods homogeneous, it is important to define shared criteria and intervention rules during a disaster. It is thus important to promote simulation drills and training activites and to evaluate the role as an “element of contamination of the community” to make territorial resilience grow.

Resources. Voluntary work is thus an operating structure and strategic component of the National Service that gets its value from human resources. It is thus important, as the Head of Department concluded, to invest in the voluntary work - especially in such a difficult moment like the present one - that represents a guarantee for the future and must constitute a priority for the institutions. 

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