Just in the beginning of the peak season of Culture Capitals, the volunteering recognition application is made available. It can be used by any organisation wishing to recognise the work of active volunteers.

The aim of the application, created as part of the Volugram project, is to bring volunteers and the organisations that employ them together in one environment. According to project manager Kaire Mets, the benefits of volunteering are twofold. In addition to the work they perform, volunteers can, for example, develop their communication and teamwork skills or learn something completely new during their work performance. The Volugram app creates a common platform where the skills developed during the work can be assessed and feedback given.  “You can also learn while volunteering. A new app has been created to assess and reward development and work.  It will also generate a volunteering certificate that will be sent directly to the volunteer’s email inbox,” she explained.

Volugram applicationThe initiative came from the 2024 Capitals of Culture: Tartu (Estonia), Bodo (Norway) and Bad-Ischl (Austria), because a very large proportion of the events organised during the year will involve a large number of volunteers in their teams. Besides being a cultural celebration, Culture Capitals are also a way to unite communities, as many people have the opportunity not only to participate as visitors but also to contribute to the organisation of events.  Through the Volugram app, volunteers can be rewarded with a certificate to recognise their contribution.

According to Mariliis Maremäe, senior teacher at the Tartu Vocational College, college takes into account the skills acquired through volunteering as part of studies. “For example, just before the year of the Capital of Culture, we have created an elective module to increase students’ interest and participation in volunteering. We also recognise skills and experience gained outside the classroom, during voluntary work. I hope there will be more of these institutions or organisations that will follow this path.”

The volunteer recognition app has been created in all the languages of this year’s Capitals of Culture and can be accessed by logging on to volugram.eu, where coordinators from organisations employing volunteers can create an account for their project/event and start with a recognition and certification process.  

The app was developed by Tartu Vocational College and funded by the EU Erasmus+ cooperation project “Developing volunteering as a part of individual learning path”.