Središče Rotunda is a non-governmental, non-profit and non-political voluntary organisation, that works in the field of active citizenship, lifelong learning, information and counselling to improve the quality of life, democracy and strengthening and consultancy services.
Can you tell me more about your organisation? What’s your target?
We focus on three groups. The first one is youngsters, with whom we’ve organised events, language courses, rhetoric speaking, photography and so on. We’ve also organised events for families, because we address topics and arguments more appropriate to them, like “education”. They’re current events and we have a lot of participants. The third and last group are NGOs.
And why did you choose these targets in particular?
We did some market analysis and evaluated that these three groups are, let’s say, really “fragile”, we wanted to support them, we saw potential in them.
So which kind of courses or activities do you do?
Language courses or youth ones, for unemployed youngsters. This course was leaned to people until 29 years old and between different activities, we addressed them in the work field and also brought them to future potential employers. So they had a true contact with them.
We’ve also had a needlework course, and that was an appreciated activity between youngsters.
We do lectures for families too. The first part is from the beginning of the year until April, and we have one monthly. The “teachers” are known people and less known ones, but the topics are many, like personal growth, education and so on. The other part is from September until the end of the year and always one monthly lecture. We encountered a real success with it because we always get around 80 and 110 people.
Impressive. Why did you decide to take part in the ESC program?
We did it last year. We hosted this Italian girl that helped us. We decided to do it a bit for curiosity and also for necessity. She helped us a lot, especially in the field of ideas, creativeness, multimedia and photography. For example, the presentation video that we have on our website was made by her.
And did you have a good experience?
Yes, she was nice, cheerful, approachable. It was a wonderful experience.
So I guess you would recommend it to other organisations that don’t take part in it.
What did the volunteer bring to your organisation?
A lot of ideas, advice, great videos and a lot of happiness.
That’s good. How long have you hosted her for?
It was from April until the end of the year.
Okay, and are you thinking of hosting more volunteers in the future?
We will see. Now we know how to move and approach them because last year, PiNA helped us a lot, since they had a project for helping other organisations to get involved in ESC. So if there will be a necessity, why not?
What would you suggest to the other organisations that don’t take part in it? Why should they and what should they be aware of?
Well the cultural part, because there’s a lot to learn, on both sides. And the working part, because she transmitted us a lot. I would suggest this experience. The only “negative aspect” is that you have to choose the volunteer you want to host well because sometimes they can be unmotivated.
So about the selection of the volunteers, I guess it’s the hardest part. What are you looking for in a candidate?
Well, we are a NGO, so we asked the volunteers if they would have liked to work in a social enterprise and multimedia. We didn’t have any limit. We had some interviews and at the end, we chose this girl, more for a feeling.
Did she have maybe some qualities you appreciated more?
Well yeah, we were looking for someone that would have helped us with multimedia, so maybe that could have leaned us more to choosing her.
Okay, the last question. Are you still in touch with her?
Not right now, because she travels a lot, but it’d be nice to stay in touch. Maybe when she will come around here, she can come to visit us, we’re always open.
Photos: Središče Rotunda