You can be a volunteer! - The destigmatization of volunteering
Gabriela Czakó - Diana Szüts
The Never Give Up Foundation has a motto that says: everyone is rich enough to help others. The team of NEVER GIVE UP Volunteers works based on this principle where the volunteer coordinator is trying to find the best position for the volunteers in the team, regardless of their life situation, disabilities, or disadvantages. This is the way how the one in need becomes an actively helping support person, who even with just one movement or thought can truly help. With this inclusive attitude expanding the horizons we can destigmatize the image of marginalized groups (cultural minorities, people with disabilities, etc.) and even the volunteering as well. In April 2021, our foundation created an international project called "You Can Be a Volunteer!", funded by the Erasmus+ Program of the EU. In the framework of this project we cooperate with our Spanish and Italian partners to help disabled and disadvantaged people pluck up enough courage to become volunteers in an organization or in a project and that - among other things - they can spend their free time usefully this way. To facilitate this, we started a group on one of the largest social media sites. Our group became credible because we provide information that can be easily understood and is based on reliable sources or the work experience of volunteers and experts. The initiative is operated mainly by volunteers helping the group to function properly and contributing to the success of the project in many ways. Below we would like to report on this program and its background.
Keywords: volunteering, inclusion, inclusive volunteering, stigmatization, destigmatization, acceptance, equal opportunies, Erasmus+