March 18, 2020
How France Volontaires is dealing with the Coronavirus
In view of the current global health crisis, France Volontaires – the French platform of volunteer and solidarity commitments around the world—wishes to convey its heartfelt support of the victims of this pandemic and of their loved ones.
Our organization has taken a number of measures that we would like to bring to the attention of our volunteering stakeholders.
France Volontaires has set up a crisis unit that is already cooperating with the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs Taskforce, diplomatic posts, volunteers, as well as its member associations and national representatives in order to effectively manage whatever situations may arise.
Status of volunteers due to leave, or already in the field
The assigning of volunteers (regardless of status), and mission startups has been postponed until further notice.
The volunteer pre-mission preparation phase scheduled for the end of March/early April has therefore been postponed.
The contracts of volunteers already working with our partner organizations remain in effect. Monthly allowances will be fully paid and Social Security and insurance costs will, of course, continue to be covered by France Volontaires. We ask that all volunteers currently on assignment, regardless of their location, rigorously follow protective guidelines and comply with the measures taken by health authorities or recommended by embassies.
Our partners are urged, to whatever extent possible, to offer volunteers accommodations that are compatible with the preventive measures endorsed by their country’s authorities, and to give top priority to teleworking.
Relations with volunteer hosting and sending associations and dialogue with public authorities
A discussion work group for platform members was set up by France Volontaires on March 12, 2020.
France Volontaires has initiated a dialogue with public authorities about the repercussions and potential impact that the Coronavirus crisis may have on the volunteering sector: financial impact, HR, effect on activities, etc.
We are calling upon hosting and sending associations, as well as our international partners, to keep us informed of how these steps are affecting their volunteering activities, and potential solutions that we can explore in order to meet these challenges.
Service continuity/France Volontaires’ executive teams
France Volontaires’ teams in France and abroad will remain mobilized, but will restrict themselves to teleworking until further notice.
Travel and outside meetings are prohibited.
All communicating must be done primarily via email and telephone (France Volontaires’ switchboard is operational, and the Ivry HQ teams’ landline phones, which are being reallocated, will very soon be functional).
France Volontaires’ national representatives in partnering countries can still be reached, but their offices are no longer open to the public. Our country offices known as “Espaces Volontariats” are therefore closed.
International teams have been fully mobilized to work with volunteers and partners while complying with each country’s health guidelines.
All events and face-to-face meetings in France and worldwide have been cancelled until further notice—at least until the end of April.
We will / Let’s continue to uphold the spirit of volunteerism
Our thoughts naturally turn to those volunteers who, far from family and loved ones, may be going through difficult times. We will remain constantly on watch, ready to assist with any situation that our volunteers or partners wish to bring to our attention.
In these moments so conducive to social distancing, it is our responsibility to come up with creative solutions to ensure, as much as possible, service continuity for the international solidarity commitments in which we are engaged in cooperation with our partners and local communities. In so doing, we will continue to uphold the spirit of exchange and solidarity driving all volunteering stakeholders until circumstances improve and public mobility has been restored.
Pour lire le communiqué en français, cliquez ici.