Coronavirus and volunteering, how to keep doing volunteering?
As reported on the official website of the European Youth Portal:
- The Commission fully respects all the containment measures currently adopted at national level. It also understands that these measures could have consequences for the participation of students, pupils, volunteers and others in mobility programmes under Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps.
- Some projects may be delayed due to "force majeure". Organisations may postpone planned activities for a maximum of 12 months per project.
"Please be reminded that National Agencies may apply the force majeure clause to activities taking place in any affected area as well as to incoming mobility from these areas, as foreseen in the template of the grant agreement between National Agencies and the beneficiaries and as defined in the programme guide and other contractual documents. National Agencies may thereby cancel, postpone or move activities planned in such regions in the most flexible way, notwithstanding the respect of the general legal framework applying to Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps. Given the exceptional circumstances, the same principles can be applied also to any incoming mobility from affected regions"
The need to stem the Covid-19 contagion has introduced stringent measures for everyone, including volunteers and non-profit organisations. In an opinion from Studio Degani for CSVnet, the guidelines for continuing to serve communities in a responsible manner are
There are no precise rules yet, but general guidelines to be applied as soon as possible to continue volunteering safely. The measures to contain contagion from Covid19 applied in Italy in recent weeks have changed the scenario of action of volunteering and social commitment more generally. Restrictions on action and mobility that require a rapid internal reorganisation of third sector organisations, which are called upon to operate in difficult situations, but without heroism.
In order to answer the many questions raised in these days on the subject and provide common guidelines, Studio Degani of Milan has prepared an opinion at the request of CSVnet entitled "Coronavirus emergency. First indications on the activity and mobility of volunteers" updated to March 15. The indications were drawn up in a constantly evolving regulatory framework and in the absence (if not for a small exception) of specific regulatory provisions on volunteering. The guidelines have therefore been drawn up following the general indications and evaluating the specific provisions for individual activities.
The general reminder, in the current situation, is the responsibility to try to stay at home as much as possible and not to endanger the lives of other individuals. In light of this recommendation for everyone, volunteers are advised not to move individually but through structured organisations. This also means that the organisations planning and carrying out interventions in this emergency situation must be aware and conscious of the responsibilities they have towards their volunteers, taking all measures to protect them as much as possible.