Strategic Plan 2015 – 2020

RATIONALE

Volunteer Mauritius passionately believes that our people can fulfil their potential through volunteering and that volunteering can change our world for the better

INTRODUCTION

Volunteer Mauritius (also known as the National Young Volunteer Scheme) is a new organization under the aegis of the Ministry of Youth and Sports. Volunteer Mauritius promotes, celebrates and facilitates volunteering projects in the Republic of Mauritius.

CONTEXT

Volunteering has been the backbone of both social and economic development in Mauritius. Seniors will remember the days where small clubs or other local associations bloomed in almost all villages and how each and every individual would spontaneously volunteer to help. This natural disposition to work together ensured solidarity and went a long way to build inclusive communities.

Today we are witnessing considerable change in our social and economic fabric. Volunteer Mauritius pledges to uphold our fundamental values, including empathy and solidarity. Volunteering will combat poverty, improve self-esteem and contribute towards “Nation Building”.

Technological advances have made connecting with people, communities and causes easier and raised expectations regarding the immediacy of impact. Technology will also allow better access to volunteering. Also, statistics on volunteering may be collated to inform research leading to more effectiveness, greater awareness of the value of volunteering. Volunteering projects may be easier to market.

Volunteer Mauritius welcomes the increased demand for transparency, accountability, legal obligations and best practice in the community and the voluntary sector. This could mean potentially stronger confidence and investment in the volunteering infrastructure.

Hosting key national volunteering events and building on the profile of Volunteer Mauritius as the national voice for volunteering will be crucial to ensuring the long-term stability of the organization, as well as increasing its potential funding base.

Four core values

underpin the work ofVolunteer Mauritius

Connectivity

Volunteering is a positive movement within society which enables people to connect with others and their communities.

Community Ownership

We believe that healthy communities can respond to their own social needs and issues and volunteering is one mechanism that assists these causes.

Equality/Inclusion

We believe all people should be valued and respected equally. We are also committed to identifying and removing barriers that prevent inclusion of vulnerable groups.

Sustainability

We champion durable solutions and commitment over approaches that produce unsustainable results.

Our approach

Accountability & transparency

We must be accountable and transparent in all our dealings to build confidence in our approach

Working collaboratively and in partnership

We are aware that there are several players/organizations that share our vision. We want to build partnerships and collaboration in order to maximize the impact of our work and efficiencies of our resources.

Being result-driven

We expect professionalism, high quality work from all levels within the organization. We expect to see a positive impact as a result of our work and professionalism.

STRATEGIC AIMS

Raise in Awareness
Volunteering Access
Quality in Volunteering
Ensure Organization's effectiveness and sustainability

Why?

The instinct to give time to others is our most precious natural resource and a fundamental value to Mauritian society. Improving the awareness of its value should lead to renewed support and funding for volunteering projects.

How?

  • Set up a media plan with a website, Facebook and twitter account and adequate radio/TV coverage;
  • Provide quality research on volunteering, volunteer trends and the impact of volunteering in Mauritius;
  • Be a voice for volunteering through communicating the experiences of volunteers, volunteer infrastructure and volunteer-involving organizations;
  • Engage with policy makers to put volunteering on the national agenda and ensure it stays there;
  • Promote the role of volunteering in creating healthy communities, contributing to social capital, as an expression of active citizenship and central to participative democracy;
  • Promote the diversity of volunteering and its worth (physically, psychologically, economically, culturally and socially) to our people;
  • Host recognition events and co-ordinate awareness campaigns that celebrate, publicize and showcase voluntary effort;
  • Involve personalities

Outcome?

  • Increased public awareness of the breadth of volunteering.
  • Increased public awareness, evidence-based, of the impact, value and worth of volunteering.
  • Increased political awareness of the importance of volunteering and its relevance to policy.
  • Increase the visibility of the banner Volunteer Mauritius as the national voice for volunteering in Mauritius

PROPOSED PROGRAMMES

TRAINING

Training courses need to be developed. They need to be of high standard and will be published and revisited at regular agreed periods. Training courses need to be held in high regard in the community and the voluntary sector. There should be an ongoing opportunity to broaden the scope of our training courses and include a train the trainers’ course for volunteer management.

Quality Standards

Volunteer Mauritius needs to promote quality practices in volunteering organizations. We need to set in quality assurance programmes such as quality standards for involving volunteers. We may need to set in Quality Standards Award for Volunteer Centers. We need to be seen as a center of excellence for best practice in volunteer issues. This commitment to quality and best practices must continuously be improved and invested in to ensure the organization develops and maintains the highest standards.

PROFILE

Research, documenting and building up a body of evidence on the positive benefits of volunteering is essential to build up confidence, weight and credibility for funding raising and/or when running campaigns.

Membership

Volunteers will need to be profiled and enlisted on a data bank such that they may be traced as and when required. Membership may also be offered to organisations, volunteer managers, and companies on the basis of a Memorandum of Understanding and/or on the basis of existing or acquired skills and competencies. This may mean that Volunteer Mauritius does not offer all of the programmes that we would like from the start, but that the programmes we do offer are of the highest standard. On the other hand, we must be aware the other organizations could step in and offer services that we should.

EVENTS

Good marketing of our events remains an essential tool to promote volunteering.

One of the most cost efficient way to increase visibility would be to increase our online presence. We need to invest in our online tools to attract more volunteers and organizations to interact via our website. Our major stakeholder – the network of more than 20 Volunteer Centers – is a major benefit to us as a national organization, giving us a national voice and a local reach.

High standards in training and quality standards will provide us with an opportunity to develop a reputation for excellence. We need to establish good informal relationships with other national bodies and institutions. These relationships should be formalized where appropriate.

Volunteer Mauritius will host several key events throughout the year including a National Volunteering Week, a Volunteer Award Ceremony and a National Conference for Volunteering. If these events are well run and well attended, they will become important tools to promote Volunteer Mauritius. This emphasis on promoting and increasing the awareness and positive impact of volunteering needs to be built upon over the next few years.

If these events are well covered in the media, volunteering will be seen as a good investment opportunity both in terms of human resources and finances. Volunteering is a fluid and movable concept, and our organization must stay ahead of the trends in volunteering in order to remain relevant and to have a voice on volunteering.

FUNDING

Volunteer Mauritius will be under the aegis of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and will be dependent on state funding and may need to diversify revenue sources. The objective may be to achieve a funding ratio of 50% government funding and 50% sponsorship and earned income. This will depend solely on the quality of the activities and events and their perceived usefulness to the society.

STRUCTURES

Our strengths will lie mainly in our people. The skills our people bring are quality standards, training, and event management, social inclusion, public relation, fundraising, volunteer management and database training. We may include more volunteers in the work of the organization, for example to develop and update high-tech online tools.

There is a need to invest time in developing and following policies and procedures to manage Volunteer Centers. There is an opportunity to co-opt more expertise from diverse sectors such as the commercial sector and potential funders on the Steering Committee

GOVERNANCE

Developing a strategic plan for Volunteer Mauritius is a positive step towards strengthening our direction and expectations over the coming years. Ensuring there is a strong monitoring and reviewing of the initial plan will be key to increasing the focus, the governance and the accountability of Volunteer Mauritius.