Volonterski centar Istra

Info in English

Welcome to the website of the Volunteer Centre Istria!

Establishment of the Association

Dear volunteers and organizers of volunteering,

on March 21st, 2012, in the premises of the Istrian County Family Center, the members of the Initiative for the foundation of the Volunteer Centre Istria have reached a unanimous decision to formalize their work on the development of volunteering and the recognition of voluntary work in society.

Volunteer Centre Istria was founded as a non-profit organization according to the Law on Associations of the Republic of Croatia. The founders are associations Green Istria, Metamedij, Zum and Suncokret Pula, as well as individuals Elvis Fekete, Nevija Srdoc and Danijela Ustic, which all together make up the General Assembly of the Volunteer Center Istria. Management Committee members were also elected - Suzana Fraberger, Svetlana Stojanovic and Danijela Ustic, who was unanimously elected as the President of the Volunteer Center Istria.

The idea of founding the Volunteer centre appeared in December 2009, when associations Green Istria, Suncokret, Metamedij, ZUM, Casoni Vecchi and institutions Red Cross - branch Pula and Istrian County Family Center, launched an initiative for the foundation of the Volunteer Centre of Istria, in order to unite, strengthen and develop volunteering in Istria, with the primary goal to strengthen civil society and improve the quality of life in our County. Since then, the Initiative conducted a series of educational sessions for citizens, public actions and mentorship support to the organizers of volunteering. Also, a database of volunteers and organizers of volunteering was launched, in order to facilitate connections for those who want to volunteer with those who need volunteers.

The procedure of registration at the State Administration Office in the Istrian county has been initiated, after which the Volunteer Centre Istria will present itself to the public with activities that are planned in the current year.

The work of the Initiative and the establishment of the Volunteer Centre Istria during the first two years has been supported by the National Foundation for Civil Society Development, Foundation for Partnership and Civil Society Development, Istrian County, members of the Initiative and the many volunteers in Istria to which we want to express our sincere gratitude on this occasion.

"We recognized the need of the community and the importance of volunteer work in improving the quality of life. We are working hard on the promotion of volunteers and volunteer work because we believe that volunteering builds the individual, alongside giving strenght to the society as a whole. Therefore, we want invite you to join the activities of Volunteer Centre Istria and in that way promote the values ​​that each volunteer advocates: kindness, humanity, giving, selflessness, community service, honesty and unity." - The founders of the Volunteer Centre Istria

Main goals, activities and scope of work

VCI’s general goals are to promote and advocate the significance and values of volunteering, to contribute to the development of volunteering culture and sustainable infrastructure for the development of volunteering and civil society, to encourage and empower individuals, groups and organizations to actively and responsibly participate in their own development and community development, to contribute to strengthening the competences, connections with the community and raising the quality of life of all citizens, especially young people and others at risk of social exclusion (ie socially excluded persons), to provide support and actively contribute to the development of programs and activities of volunteer organizers and other legal persons who recognize and appreciate the significance and values of volunteering. 

Main activities so far: managing an online database of potential volunteers, organisations and volunteer posts as a virtual “volunteering marketplace”, informative and educational/ participatory workshops about active citizenship and volunteering for youth, technical and content support to organisations (especially those working with vulnerable groups) involving volunteers, volunteer management educational workshops for coordinators of volunteers/ organisations, small scale research about the quality of volunteer management, visible volunteer actions in local communities that promote volunteering in general or debate specific issues from voluntary sector. 

VCI works in the area of Istrian county (population over 200.000) with more than 50 non-governmental organisations and public institutions, 20 volunteer coordinators and over 150 citizens (mostly youth, 16 - 24 years old) yearly. After only 6 years of formal existence, VCI is accepted as a very important local stakeholder in the area of active citizenship and civil society development, social welfare and, growingly, in youth work and non-formal education, and the quality of its work is recognized by Croatian Volunteer Development Centre.