According to the Codex of Ethics of the International Confederation E.S. and E.H.
“Volunteer is an individual, who, beyond his professional employment and his social responsibilities, can also contribute in various ways, without expecting any profit or reward, believing that his activity is beneficial for the community and satisfactory for himself”.
The volunteers of the Society for Protection of Persons in the Autistic Spectrum, D.A.D. Kastoria, get involved into the actions organized by our Society and the Day Center, by offering their services without any profit and by functioning always within the frame of the Codex of Ethics.
Their presence is precious and multidimensional, as they can offer their voluntary work in many ways of actions, all of which have as a target the holistic rendering of services to persons in the autistic spectrum and their families.
Analytically, the volunteers can help by taking part in the following actions:
- VOLUNTEERING PROGRAM “BE A FRIEND”
The volunteering program “Be a friend”, for supporting the families who have a person in the autistic spectrum, started for the first time in the town of Kastoria in November 2008.
This specific program was carried out in the town of Kastoria, having as a role model the implementation of it in Larisa and Volos. The volunteering program was implemented for the first time in our country by initiation of Miss Eris Kalogeropoulou, ex president of the Union of parents, guards and friends of the autistic persons in the prefecture of Larisa, together with Miss Mavropoulou Sofia, Assistant Professor in the Pedagogical Department of Special Education in the University of Thessalia, who undertook the coordination, the scientific guidance and the translation of the volunteering action, as this was designed and applied by the National Society for the protection of persons in the autistic spectrum in England.
Basic aim of the volunteering program was to give a frame and motive to families on the one hand, so that they come to a more crucial communication with the Society and on the other hand to bring to the Society actions for the support and encouragement of the families.
The philosophy of this program is to train and support every volunteer, so that through his volunteering action, he will be able to help a specific family, as a friend. For this reason, the volunteers, who took part in this action, named a specific program, according to which they supported the family for two hours a week.
As it stands in the philosophy of this specific program, depending on the needs of each family, a volunteer can offer the following:
He can escort a child to activities out of his home (going for a walk, having a dinner out)
He can take part in the outing of the family, taking special care of the child.
He can keep the child busy at home.
He can keep the autistic’s child siblings busy, so giving the rest of the family the opportunity to take care of the autistic child.
He can take care of the autistic child and of his siblings, so that they all find out ways to play together.
He can offer some kind of relief to the family or to the child’s educator.
The volunteers first have an interview. In this way, information, which is crucial, is collected so that the volunteer can be a match to the specific family.
- VOLUNTEERING WORKSHOP OF THE SOCIETY
Taking into account the positive attitude of the volunteers for offer and construction, in 2005 The Society for Protection of Persons in the Autistic Spectrum established the Volunteering Workshop, first aiming at keeping persons in the autistic spectrum busy, at establishing of a good company and the financial support of the Society. In this workshop today, there are special parts of handicraft, of decoupage, knitting, sewing, bomboniers, gifts, and so on.
The workshop is open to the local society of Kastoria for anyone who would like to become volunteering member of it. And so anyone can have the chance to get to know persons in the autistic spectrum, to broaden his abilities and his skills by trying various kinds of work and to become member of a team, whose guiding principle is the selfishness and who tries to enhance the work of the Society.
Korytsas 9, tel:2467024636.
- VOLUNTEERING OFFER TO THE DAY CENTER
The volunteering offer to the day Center can be done in three different ways:
Production of material.
The educational material, which is used during the sessions of the benefiting persons in the autistic spectrum is necessary and it continuously needs renewal so that it can respond to the needs but also to the targeting of the benefactors of the day Center. The volunteer’s help in this part of production of material is precious, as they promote the services of the Day Center.
Participation in the Sessions
The volunteers can help by taking part in the therapeutic sessions of the benefactors in the Day Center, aiming at a specific purpose. Analytically, there is often need of socialization of the benefactors with children in the same age, so the session can be fulfilled with the help of an adult volunteer.
Activities within the Society
One of the main targets of the Day Center is the information and sensitization of the community on subjects referring to the autistic spectrum. The participation of the volunteers in actions within the community is precious and they remarkably help with the covering of needs, which are faced during their volunteering work.
Finally, secretarial support is also very important and it can also be offered voluntarily.
The Association for Protection of Persons in the Autistic Spectrum in Kastoria is a non profit, non governmental organization and has as a target the better service. For succeeding this purpose, they organize bazzars/exhibitions, where they exhibit the work and construction of the volunteering workshop. The volunteers can help by taking part in these exhibitions, which are organized all year round.