Being a volunteer is a key factor of the association. It is a team of people decided to fight for the defense of a right; Dying with Dignity. They all work for the same cause and, without them, the association would disappear.
It is crucial to find a system of collaboration that satisfies and motivates in order to keep on working.
In our organization, due to the nature of actions that we take, the’ ideological’ aspect in defense of our ideas, is as important as the strictly ‘assistance service’ individual help to people. For this, and due to the content of our work, we have to warranty that doing an internship in DMD-CAT be a way of personal enrichment, of amplified knowledge and change of ideas. We need to provide spaces of learning and meeting where a debate can be possible putting together the different approaches in concern with the dignified death and our activities. Our image before society, our impact, has to be a solid one, rigorous and coherent. We also have to proof in a periodical way that our efforts meet the desired results in bettering in every way possible.
In relation to the organization, we have to find a system that allows everybody so that they feel they are a member of a more amplified group and knowing how to integrate its work with everyone else’s. This system is meant so that the person gives its best to the organization without feeling of being forced to do more. It is important to know that this is a mutual commitment and that it could be modified when needed.
1- People who work;
At DMD-CAT, we have people with very different situation and linkage with the organization. On one hand, people with contracts or salaries for specific jobs such as, administrative, secretarial and accountant, web page design and cleaning, to name a few. On the other hand, we have people doing professional practices doing a specific job, or something related to the studies they are doing.
The majority of the people are those doing voluntary work (or interns) who identify well with the essential objectives of the organization and commit to collaborate without any economic reward on a permanent way in one of their working fields.
The voluntary work requires some prerequisites;
-Be a member or become one.
-Accept the ideals and strategic plan of the organization.
-Accept the structure of the organization and its work procedures and of internal election decided among all.
-To participate in the Initial Formation sessions planned by the association.
-To sign a mutual commitment document with the association that includes, among other things, respect for confidentiality.
-To be part of a group or area of work to which you can dedicate at least one whole morning or afternoon a week at the association’s headquarters.
-To perform on agreed periodical works, always respecting group work.
-To participate in the association’s general associative life.
There are also collaborators who contribute equally in the voluntary work but, without the permanent commitment assumed by the volunteers. They have to become members of DMD-CAT and have to accept the nature of the organization as well as the group of volunteers. They also have to sign the confidentiality commitment.
2- GETTING TO KNOW THE ASSOCIATION;
Getting to know the organization to perform voluntary work can be done in various ways:
-Speakers and conferences, where this topic is discussed.
-Spontaneous close up by those interested.
-In response to a call by the association (Inside the association, the need and profile of the volunteers are defined, and a search of new people through conferences).
3-INTERNAL SELECTION PROCESS
It all starts with a personal interview with the person that coordinates the organizational area with the objective of presenting mutual interests and motivations (personal and professional trajectory). A form is filled with personal information and an indication of the favorite areas of work.
If needed, a contact with the person responsible of a certain area can be organized.
With the purpose of warranting the coherence inside the voluntary work and favoring the positioning shared before all aspects of the Right to die with Dignity, the new voluntary co-workers are invited to participate in a formation course of five sessions, in which topics such as, history and structure of DMD-CAT, the Spanish and Catalonian laws, the world situation, concepts and basic topics of medicine and the bioethics of a dignified death.
During the initial phase of the formation, statutes and strategic plans are presented (now in process of participative elaboration) and the organization chart and the internal functioning of the organization are explained. Equally, the detected needs of the volunteers in each area of work are commented.
All material in need for this formation will be sent previously by email.
5.-INCORPORATION AND RELOCATION OF VOLUNTEERS INSIDE THE ORGANISATION;
The volunteers and the DMD-CAT responsible agree, in function of their interests, the experience and availability of the volunteer as well as the function and needs of the association, what group or field they will placed on, and the work they will develop.
It is very clear that this volunteer work can be changed or modified if demanded by one or both parties.
A document that synthesizes the commitment of the association with the volunteer and vice versa is signed. This commitment is framed within the “Letter of Volunteers of Catalonia” (rights and duties) and in the law 25/2015 of “Volunteers and associationism”, where an explicit mention to the respect of confidentiality is made.
It is about a revocable commitment when one of the two parties considers so, only when being expressed in a proper way a month in advance (unless it is decided by a major and unexpected cause) in order to pass all the information to another person or volunteer so the work can be carried on.
To the new volunteer person, a complete folder with all the general information about the organization is given: Volunteer’s plan and internal organization, organization chart, name and phone numbers of all volunteers, a copy of the commitment form with the association, with both signatures, and the documents that are considered appropriate.
The new volunteer person starts it’s insertion by integrating to a certain group or area; the responsible person of such group will provide specific documentation and pertinent explanations about the objectives and dynamics of the group. At the group’s first reunion, specific tasks will be proposed.
A volunteer person “in practice” will be considered as such for a period of three months linked to another volunteer with more experience who will act as a companion and will help the new volunteer to allocate within the complexity of the program and the work process. This tutor will look after guaranteeing the personal presentation towards the maximum number of other volunteers. Equally, this tutor will inform about how the documentation will be classified and archived within the organization and other procedures of internal functioning.
- a) Participation
Every volunteer person is assigned to one or more groups. As a minimum, it will be expected that this volunteer person does one particular job once a week, be it at home or at the organization. To participate in group reunions and assume specific tasks, to collaborate in the definition of group objectives, in work programming and it’s periodical valorization. When it is not possible to join in a previously committed activity, the volunteer person should contact the association immediately.
Once every three months, the volunteer should inform about the activity performed and participate in the evaluation of the whole group. He/she equally participates when appropriate, in the election of the group coordinator.
In the group reunions, through the person responsible of its coordination, the volunteer person receives the information of the general activity of the association and from the directory board. This is also the right way of delivering opinions, critics and proposals to the directory board
Once every three months, a volunteer’s reunion is organized where different related topics are approached.
- b) TOOLS AND PROCEDURES
All programmed activities in the association count on debated procedures already accepted in general, some of these procedures are already written. Other procedures will be added progressively.
For intern activities (objective definition and collective work programming, chronogram and budget elaboration, contact information or participation in meetings of other entities, acts, reunions, etc.) there are guidelines and common templates at everyone’s disposal.
- c) CONTINUING FORMATION
To develop and keep a solid and coherent association, the continuing formation of the volunteer is essential. For this reason, the volunteers will be asked to assist, within their possibilities, in the diverse formation sessions and debates organized periodically at the association. Equally, they will be informed of the diverse conferences, speeches and formation cycles about punctual topics organized from different entities.
- d) INFORMATION
Besides the information received through the own group, the volunteers have the right to access all the information of the association (except all that is contemplated with the Data Protection law). For this reason, each agreement that comes out of a directory board meeting is sent to every volunteer.
At the headquarters of the association there is a folder available to everyone where the outcome of every directory board is archived.
The volunteer person has also all the periodically updated information about the organization’s documentation, both internally and externally.
- e) INTERNAL MOVILITY
The group of volunteers has the right to evolve within the organization and become interested in other group areas within the organization. This also can be a reason of enrichment for everybody. Nevertheless, to complete a whole task, it is recommended to wait until the end of each trimester to be able to evaluate it and pass on the responsibility correctly to the next volunteer interested.
The volunteer personnel participates part in the periodic evaluation, every three months, of the collective work (group, area, association). Equally, they accept that the work be evaluated by the group where they belong. The programming for the next period has to collect all opinions during this periodic evaluation.
11- FOLLOW UP
The area of internal organization has knowledge of every volunteer within the organization. For this, all data of every volunteer such as address and tasks are archived. The organization does the personalized proposals considered timely, collects any suggestions with the purpose of favoring a better articulation of everyone’s duties. Equally, will try to guarantee the visibility of everyone’s input into the association.
The agenda implies the establishment of the association’s schedule, that allows to visualize the human resources necessities during each moment of the work process (there are moments of special needs, congresses, member’s meetings and general assemblies).
The voluntary personnel can disengage from the association when they best consider it appropriate. With the purpose that this fact does not damage the group work (in the same way that a volunteer signs a commitment letter when entering the association, he/she should also notify by at least one month in advance, its disengagement from its duties, if it’s not from a major cause) a signed disengagement document is needed. On the other hand, the directory board could raise the possibility of a forced disengagement in case the volunteer’s work has not met the requirements agreed at the beginning.
At any moment that the voluntary person requires it, but in particular at the moment of dismiss, an acknowledgment certificate of the work performed will be given.