Who would have thought that our CRISISS project would become so topical, timely, important, and relevant! It was originally conceived to capture soft skills that volunteers developed during their involvement in the COVID-19 crisis. By recording and assessing them through a digital tool, they were to be given the opportunity to document these newly acquired skills in order to benefit in their professional lives.
But looking closely, we have all been in crisis mode since the beginning of 2020: through COVID-19, through floods, fires, storms, in which volunteers engaged incredibly for their fellow citizens. On 24 February 2022, a humanitarian crisis has been added that hardly anyone in Europe could have imagined – the Russian aggression towards Ukraine. Many thousands of refugees from Ukraine, especially women and children, have already had to leave their homes due to the war. They are initially finding reception and empathy in the neighbouring Ukrainian countries of Poland, Slovakia and Romania. Many of them will also receive this help from other European countries, and again it is volunteers who organise accommodation, transfers, and donations in kind out of compassion. The willingness to help and solidarity throughout Europe is extraordinary, and suddenly we all realise how great Europe can stand together in such a crisis.
It is all the more important to give something back to these volunteers, and that is what CRISISS does! The content of the so-called Soft Skills Identification Tool has already been developed and will soon be available digitally. Starting in June 2022, face-to-face and digital events will be held in Germany, Greece, Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain to introduce the tool. The CRISISS team hopes for wide dissemination to confirm to volunteers how important their work was and is.