“engagement-lokal” promotes local commitment in a sustainable and sector-connecting way: local cooperations from civil society, economy and public institutions are financially supported and professionally accompanied. Together they create strategies, concepts and projects to promote voluntary work on a local level.
Commitment to society takes place primarily on a local level: in communities and cities, agglomerations and urban districts. However, individualism and mobility are growing, social commitment is changing and poses new challenges for society. A new framework for local involvement is needed to strengthen the sense of community and social cohesion. Joint efforts by all social sectors and players are needed to ensure that the fulfilment and financing of socially necessary services can be guaranteed and financed in the long term. This is why fifteen organisations jointly launched the “engagement-lokal” project to promote local initiatives.
What is new about “engagement-lokal” is that social cohesion and volunteer work are promoted through local, sector-connecting cooperation in a spirit of partnership and on an equal basis between civil society, public institutions and the economy. The focus is not on specific projects or forms of organisation. “engagement-lokal” offers initial financing and support for local cooperations that jointly create concepts, strategies and projects to promote volunteer work on site. The result of local involvement can take different forms. Because “engagement-lokal” relies on the problem-solving skills of the local people. They know best what the biggest local challenges are that need to be tackled.
Over a period of three years, ten communities in Switzerland will be supported, which will develop and promote local volunteer work in a sustainable manner. When the application period for the three-year support project ended on 31 January 2020, 47 cities, municipalities and regions had applied online. All of them were able to demonstrate that they are willing and able to sustainably promote local volunteer work in cooperation between the state, business and civil society within three years. It is a great pleasure that “engagement-lokal” has aroused such great interest. The member organizations were impressed by the wide range of activities in Switzerland and by the great willingness to cooperate across sectors. The fifteen member organisations studied the application dossiers with interest and respect and discussed them together. The selection process was not easy. Several important criteria had to be taken into account:
- Diversity in terms of planned strategies and projects
- Diversity in terms of previous experience in the field of volunteer promotion
- Diversity in terms of the size of municipalities, cities and regions (5,000 to 50,000 inhabitants)
- Diversity in regard to the various regions
The following 10 municipalities, cities or regions were included in the 3-year funding project:
- Emmen (Canton Lucerne, 31,489 inhabitants)
- Eschlikon (Canton Thurgau, 4,700 inhabitants)
- Grenchenberg-Weissenstein-Balmberg (Canton Solothurn, 64,000 inhabitants)
- Kloten (Canton Zurich, 20,625)
- Mendrisio (Canton Ticino, 15,562 inhabitants)
- Upper Engadine (Canton Graubünden, 18,000 inhabitants)
- Pregassona (district of Lugano, 9’518 inhabitants)
- Rheinfelden (Canton Aargau, 13,500 inhabitants)
- Sierre and Sion (Canton Valais, 51,000 inhabitants)
- Vernier (Canton of Geneva, 35,000 inhabitants)
You can find more information (in german, french or Italian) at www.engagement-lokal.ch