Our Vision: Volunteer for a more conscious society!

 

The mission of the Volunteering Hungary - Centre of Social Innovation is to promote positive social processes through the implementation of volunteer-based programs that contribute to strengthening a society based on responsibility and participation.

 

ÖKA offers its services for all the different actors of society (individuals, NGOs, government, local authorities, institutions and companies).

 

 

Our core activities:

 

  • Recruitment, registration and referral of volunteers and registration of volunteer opportunities
  • Website and volunteer matchmaking database
  • Framing and review the legislation on volunteering
  • Educational and training program, organising accredited training programmes
  • Professional consultation with governmental institutions
  • Events, workshops and conferences on volunteering
  • Promotion campaigns and activities
  • Organising Pro Bono projects
  • Running a Corporate Volunteer Community

 

Our story:

 

The organization of the International Year of Volunteers declared by the UN began in September 2000 in Hungary. Representatives of more than 70 civil and church organizations, as well as government agencies, took part in the work. On the occasion of the International Year of Volunteering, Volunteer Week and the Volunteer Festival were held for the first time in October 2001. Within the framework of the Hungarian program series, numerous professional program, local, small and large settlement actions were organized and research, studies and other expert documents were prepared. The year also provided an excellent opportunity to draw the attention of the government sector to the importance of the work done by volunteers, the economic and social significance of volunteering. During the year, it was stated for the first time that in order to create the infrastructure of volunteering and to develop the culture of volunteering, it is necessary to establish a National Volunteer Center in Hungary as well.

 

The cooperation and work of 5 non-profit organizations made it possible to put this intention into practice, as a result of which the Volunteering Hungary was officially launched in September 2002. The founding organizations were the Foundation for Democratic Youth (DIA), the Association of Community Developers (KÖFE), the Nonprofit Information and Training Center Foundation (NIOK), the National Association of Nonprofit Human Service Providers (HUMSZOLG) and the United Way Budapest Foundation that have been working since 1998 to recognize volunteering and to create a place and role worthy of volunteering in the colorful palette of Hungarian civil society. The leaders of most of the organizations have served as members of the ÖKA Board of Trustees for many years.

 

In the first decade of ÖKA's operation, it basically worked to create the missing conditions to support volunteering. As a result of our work, in 2005 the Parliament passed the Act on Volunteering in the Public Interest with 4 party consensus, which has been an important cornerstone of Hungarian volunteering ever since. We created the Volunteer Management Training Circle, the Volunteer Center Network, the IDEA program, published research on volunteering, organized Volunteer's Week and Volunteer Day for several years and organized the Annual Volunteering in Hungary conference. Since our establishment, we have been operating the website www.onkentes.hu, which is a news and knowledge base portal as well as an intermediary interface between volunteers and host organizations. We created the Volunteer Award in 2009 to recognize excellence in the world of volunteering year after year.

 

We played a key role in the preparation and organization of the 2011 European Year of Volunteers in Hungary. As part of this, the Volunteer Tour, the Volunteer's Week support program, was implemented, through which we were able to financially support local initiatives. We were one of the main organizers of the TeSzedd program, which started in 2011, and we took the Volunteer Roadshow to all county seats in the country. Members of the Voluntary Center Network, which has been continuously developed in the meantime, have also been actively involved. Through a program supported by the European Union coordinated by us, a voluntary network of support and service offices has been established in each county.

 

In the meantime (since 2005) we have started working with companies and organizing corporate volunteer programs based on the activity of those who work for them. We have organized more than 500 programs in different parts of the country, through which the buildings and environment of social, health and educational institutions have been renovated, taking into account the needs of the host institutions. Not incidentally, through this activity, we have introduced thousands to the benefits of volunteering.

 

In recent years, ÖKA's service profile has also expanded with the organization of expertise-based corporate pro bono programs. We now organize such programs for a dozen companies, through which non-profit organizations receive a high level of professional support, which makes a serious contribution to making their plans and ambitions a reality. In addition to services, ÖKA's social innovation and development activities were further strengthened. Through a number of international consortia, we have implemented projects in areas such as social welfare, volunteer management, transfer of student expertise, senior volunteering, and the involvement of the disadvantaged.

 

We have been working on the development of senior volunteering in Hungary for more than ten years, as a result of which the TESZÜNK Senior Volunteer Club was established. The club, which works in close partnership with ÖKA, now has programs with 100 active members in various fields. Such is the case with the Aladdin program based on intergenerational sensitization, but our partnership with the Club has grown into our Friends of the Elderly Program, through which volunteers coordinated by us visit isolated elderly people.

 

Since its establishment, ÖKA has been working to develop domestic volunteering through various programs and services. Further details of these are reported in our annual public benefit reports.

 

 

Members of the Board of Directors:

 

László Hegedűs - (President)

 

Krisztián Kovács – Silicon Laboratories Hungary, Applications Engineering Director

 

Ildikó Garas, Phd. - Lawyer

 

Edit Kovács – Hungarian Association for Community Development, President

 

Mária Fazekas – B.Braun Avitum Hungary, Communication and HR Director

 

Péter Holchacker, Phd. - Association of Innovative Pharmaceutical Manufacturers, Director

 

Pabló - Gusztáv Vágvölgyi - InspiRáció Association, CEO, Trainer - Coach

 

 

Members of the Supervisory Committee:

 

 Rita Gottgeisl (president) - Association of Tax Advisers, Head of Nonprofit Chapter, Bookkeeper, Aditor

 

 Szilvia Fehérvári, Phd. - Member and Attorney, Law at Szabo Kelemen and Partners Attorneys

 

 Kinga Recsetár - Maioli – Operations Leader & Supply Chain Controllership, GE

 

The Team:

 

  • Brigitta Nagy, Project Assistant, Office Manager
  • Judit Tarcsai, Corporate Volunteer Programme Coordinator
  • Anna Czeitler, Financial Administrator (volunteer)

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ÖKA is member of

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact:

 

Önkéntes Központ Alapítvány / Volunteering Hungary - Centre of Social Innovation

E-mail: onkenteskozpont@onkentes.hu

Web: www.onkentes.hu

Tel: +36-1-225-0710

 

 

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