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For the past 30 years, Caritas Malta has been at the forefront in the promotion and recognition of volunteering as a key resource in the field of social care. Caritas acknowledges that, like any resource, volunteering needs tending, investment, strategic development and protection. It recognizes that the relationship of the voluntary sector to society is ever changing and so is the role of volunteering.

In the 21st century, a new and smarter ethos of volunteering is emerging: one that demands a more thoughtful matching up of volunteers and designated tasks. Nowadays, the profile of those who step forward to volunteer is shifting: they have less time but greater skills to offer. Volunteers have clear interests and needs. Learning how to direct and harness these interests and needs is vital if an organisation is to have an effective partnership with its volunteers.

Caritas is on a constant mission in striving to achieve this unique partnership with the 200+ volunteers who give their regular contribution within its various programmes and services. Caritas volunteers are people of all ages and come from diverse social backgrounds, who selflessly give their time and efforts to help people in difficulty, either directly e.g. through our support groups, or indirectly through fundraising, office work, promotional and/or educational initiatives.

The fact that Caritas has assigned a Unit to specifically coordinate and facilitate the volunteering element within the agency reflects the important role which volunteers occupy. In fact, the Caritas Volunteers Unit is the sector responsible for ensuring that volunteers are constantly supported and monitored during all stages of their voluntary work experience – from the recruitment phase to the placement, training, orientation and evaluation phases. The Volunteers Unit must also ensure that the volunteers’ work is acknowledged, and that the experience is gratifying to all parties involved. In brief, it is responsible for guaranteeing that all volunteer contributions make a real difference.

Head of Unit: Ann Rose Toledo