Slovenia: Voluntary Work in Times of Pandemic

Thousands of people were activated every day in the event of the new coronavirus epidemic last year to help citizens. In addition to civil protection members and other organizations, many volunteers are also involved in a number of voluntary organizations. In emergency situations, volunteers often become the most powerful aid force without which many actions would not have been possible. Even during the pandemic of the new coronavirus, volunteers are taking on certain tasks that the state can no longer do because of the changed and challenged situation.

“The advantage of volunteering is in its leanness and rapid response,” says Primož Jamšek, head of field response at Slovenian Philanthropy, which operates a network of volunteer organisations in the Republic of Slovenia. As with Slovenian philanthropy, the call for voluntary assistance was confirmed at Caritas and the Red Cross. Both organizations have been urged to cooperate during the pandemic, hired particularly young people.

However, as the circumstances of the pandemic were very challenging, one important task was at the same time very important: to adapt appropriately to the criteria for the involvement of new volunteers. The need for voluntary work Slovenian philanthropy is regularly published on the volunteering portal . Voluntary work related to the pandemic was organized locally, at the municipal level through the municipal civil protection headquarters, so the portal collects data from the websites of municipalities, with their contact information.

During the epidemic, loneliness – especially experienced by older people who are not so skilled to use modern technologies and forms of communication – has also had negative consequences on psychological well-being. That’s why they have prepared a campaign over the phone, called “Connected by the Phone“.

An initiative came to life on social networks during the epidemic: Help a Neighbor with a group of camp volunteers. The project was designed on their own initiative, with a desire to help fellow human beings. They decided to set up a website to enable a link between existing initiatives and organizations.

At the end, we can only point out that the distress of people will stay even after the pandemic will be over. As measures to limit the spread of infections will have major consequences on the economy and social situations of people, the assistance of volunteers will undoubtedly be needed for a longer period of time.

(This blog post was written by Sonja Bercko Eisenreich / INTEGRA Institute.)

(Picture credit: Sabine van Erp on Pixabay CC0)