In order to provide one’s help in an emergency situation as a volunteer, it is advised to use the formal channels offering voluntary work. The official recommendation is to use the well-established civil society platform vabatahtlikud.ee with years of experience in providing respective instructions, offers and requests by non-governmental organisations.
According to the Minister of Population, the current emergency situation will put us all as a society to the test, however, when acting wisely, we can emerge from the crisis stronger. “The most important thing is to take care of one’s health. Stay at home and avoid excessive physical interaction to prevent the rapid spread of coronavirus. However, if you wish to help others as a volunteer, it is important to remember to protect both yourself as well as the person in need,” Solman added.
In a national state of emergency, the administration of civil society volunteers is under the area of responsibility of the Minister of Population.
Official recommendations for online environments to be used in voluntary work:
• Information on NGOs looking for volunteers may be found on the Volunteer Gate website www.vabatahtlikud.ee. They also bring together instructions for volunteers and NGOs on how to act in the current situation. The website is administered by the Estonian Village Movement Kodukant as the strategic partner of the Ministry of the Interior.
• The need or request for help from person to person can be registered on the website www.kogukondaitab.ee which is a platform to bring together volunteers and people in need. It is a fresh solution completed during the hackathon “Hack the Crisis”.
• In case you are an entrepreneur and wish to offer your help to the state, please use the website www.eesti.ee/pakunabi. It is a website completed in cooperation between the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communication and the Information System Authority collecting data on companies who wish to provide the state with their help in crisis situations.
• As a result of IT developments, all the above-mentioned platforms will soon be brought digitally together on the website www.vabatahtlikud.ee funded by the Ministry of the Interior.
“We see that there are people who find themselves in trouble due to the crisis and they need our support and help. By taking care of themselves and others, volunteers and NGOs must be responsible and make sure that they are healthy and able to protect themselves and others from the virus. When reacting to the calls for voluntary activities, it is important to have a clear head and make sure that the aim, mediator and initiator are reliable in order to protect ourselves from possible frauds. In the given situation, we should not forget that we have an emergency situation in Estonia and coronavirus is highly contagious,” Solman said.
The Minister of Population is responsible for the population and family policy, the support and promotion of the communities of Estonians living abroad, the coordination of population register procedures, the policy to facilitate the adaptation of new immigrants, matters related to religious associations, and the development of civil society. The Minister’s work is aimed at ensuring the sustainability and development of the nation. Riina Solman has been the Minister of Population since 29 April 2019.
Further information on the restrictions due to the emergency situation can be found on the Government of the Republic website www.valitsus.ee