Working to keep Volunteers at CVTL Longer

Volunteers are the lifeblood and heart of CVTL. Without them, much of the work that we do such as during disasters or epidemics, could not be done. As with many organizations that has a volunteer base, retaining volunteers can be problematic.

While the role of volunteers is central to CVTL, managing them can pose as a challenge. Volunteers are actively recruited and mobilized to implement CVTL activities in communities such as supporting the COVID-19 operation, community-based programs, dissemination on disease prevention, charity activities supporting the vulnerable, branch fundraising activities, and many more. Often the volunteers are recruited when needed and when the project is finished, the volunteers often leave the CVTL. The reasons volunteers left vary, including engaging in the same activity for too long, continuing their studies in other municipalities or other countries, starting a family, or working elsewhere.

CVTL has adopted a Volunteer Policy with procedures to regulate, manage and maintain the volunteers to provide more motivation, reward, and support when carrying volunteerism.

To facilitate the implementation of the Volunteer Policy and Procedures, CVTL wanted to have a standard competency and skills for all CVTL volunteers which can enable them to work as Red Cross volunteers for a longer period of time.  This called for the development of a Volunteer Training Manual to provide a standardized training for the volunteers, to create an environment that enables the volunteers to grow and work together efficiently towards common goals. By making volunteering more attractive, rewarding, and purposeful for the volunteers, should hopefully encourage them remain engaged and committed to the organization. A volunteer who receives proper training, and is well-trained in their role, tend to have more confidence and reason to continue volunteering.

As part of developing the volunteer training manual, an assessment using desk review, focus group discussions, and interviews were held in four branches (Baucau, Dili, Ainaro, and Bobonaro) with the Branch Coordinator, Staff, and Volunteers to collect issues on volunteers. These issues are then used to frame and feed into the volunteer training manual. Key findings from the assessment related to volunteer capacity building are that there is no standard competency and time (how many hours of training) to identify a volunteer is ready to be assigned, and there is limited mechanism to engage volunteers in activities to maintain their existence at branches.

From these findings, a syllabus for volunteer training was drafted focusing on providing roles for volunteers to be the following:

  1. As disseminator of CVTL mandate and the Fundamental Principle of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
  2. As facilitator of CVTL Youth in schools.
  3. As provider of basic first aid services.
  4. As actor for basic emergency response services (assessment, distribution, and beneficiary data collection).
  5. As facilitator for community-based health and disaster program at communities.

This draft syllabus was piloted to representatives of 13 Branch volunteers for further improvement and finalization, and to test the volunteer training manual and its material package.  The pilot training was held from 18 – 21 December 2023 at CVTL NHQ.

 Facilitators for the training were from: CVTL NHQ; OD/Volunteer, Communication/Dissemination, Youth, DM and Health. Main facilitators were Ms. Rina Utami (Consultant) as volunteer practician.

This pilot training was realized with the funding from IFRC and Italian Red Cross.

Leave a Comment

Recent Posts


Sign Up Newsletter

Subscribe us and get latest news and upcoming events.

Twitter Timeline

Facebook Timeline