COVID-19 – Volunteer Initiatives Platform
Creation of a platform that gathers information on all voluntary and solidarity initiatives that aim or support the pandemic situation, which are ongoing in the north and south of the country. Through this platform, those who want to volunteer can find the initiatives that match their profile and availability, and those who need support can find the initiatives that best respond to their needs.
This platform, which can be found on the CASES website at https://www.cases.pt/voluntariado/covid-19/, also provides:
- Educational tutorials aimed at volunteers, empowering or knowing and adopting health and safety practices of volunteers and beneficiaries of their action, covering topics such as knowing how to wash hands, respiratory etiquette, how to use personal protective equipment for informal caregivers, standards of support for residential structures. These tutorials, carried out in partnership with an educational entity in the health area, are accessible and have a very practical aspect, also integrating sign language interpretation;
- Frequently asked questions - Questions and answers on the practice of volunteering in the context of the pandemic, involving different forms of voluntary work (face-to-face, virtual, among others).
Up to the data, the website provides information on a total of 189 initiatives, of which 38 at the national level, 143 district and 8 from the Autonomous Regions. These initiatives cover all Portuguese territory, that is, the 18 districts of the continent (inland and coastal) and the two autonomous regions.
Specific issues addressed and anticipated impact
The current situation has brought with it a call for more active and supportive participation, especially for those who are in a situation of isolation and exclusion and, as such, in situations of increased vulnerability. This call was answered by a myriad of voluntary and solidarity initiatives that began to be developed across the country. We were faced with effective responses, of proximity, which lost effectiveness due to the dispersion of information. Those who wanted to volunteer did not know where it could be useful; those who needed support did not know who could respond to their needs.
This platform came precisely to fill this dispersion and lack of information, enhancing the meeting between supply and demand for support. Gathering in a single space the information about the volunteer actions available and the safety and health care measures that should be recommended to the volunteers, this Platform facilitates the practice of volunteering and promotes an effective and adjusted response to those who need support, promoting informed and responsible participation.
This platform enables: greater and better dissemination of available volunteer actions; a greater number of volunteers involved; better knowledge about behaviors to combat the spread of COVID19 for informal caregivers and residential structures; and greater support for vulnerable groups, which is the central objective of this action.
CASES – Cooperativa António Sérgio para a Economia Social, CIPRL;
Escola Superior de Enfermagem de Coimbra