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Volunteering in Slovakia

When compared with other developed countries, there are not as many people involved in voluntary activities in Slovakia. This is not because there is no need for volunteers in Slovakia; on the contrary there is a great need. Part of the reason for not volunteering is that volunteer work does not get the social recognition and status it does in other countries.

There are numerous fields in which volunteers are needed in Slovakia. Some areas with great demand for volunteers include the health and social institutions, schools and education development, uplifting housing, protecting the environment, help in running recreational, culture and art activities. Durations of the programs vary greatly but on average they run from 1 to 3 weeks.

One environment protection project, based in the Tatra Mountains, allows volunteers to work with expert conservationists, trackers and researchers in the deep wilderness. Volunteers track lynx, and collect samples of DNA so analysis can be carried out. The information is used to calculate the size of the population in the area and to identify any changes that may require immediate action.

Volunteer-work exchanges are another common option in Slovakia. Many people with small to medium sized farms request help in running the farms. Duties may include carrying out repair and maintenance work, taking care of the farm animals or picking fruit, in exchange volunteers get food and a place to stay. This type of a program gives the volunteer freedom to explore the countryside in their free time.

 

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