The NGO Market 2011 Was Marked by a Great Interest in Volunteering

The 12th annual non-profit fair, NGO Market 2011 organized by the Forum 2000 Foundation, took place on Friday, April 29 in the National Technical Library in Prague. The diversity of the non-profit sector was presented to the public by a total of 156 exhibiting organizations.

Since this year is the European Year of Volunteering, the fair paid special attention to this issue, with the goal of showing the public that volunteer work is diverse, as well as presenting the possibilities and ways of becoming a volunteer. Through “private ads”, visitors to the fair had the opportunity of finding an organization where they could do volunteer work. They could place an ad on the given bulletin boards, or contact organizations who had placed ads indicating that they were looking for volunteers.

As a part of the associated events, 19 discussions, lectures and workshops were held. The events dealt with, among other topics, volunteering, corporate social responsibility and managing non-profit organizations. Throughout the day, visitors could also learn about the projects of the exhibiting organizations by watching various video presentations, visit the “Volunteering in the Czech Republic” exhibition or design their own organic cotton T-shirt by printing their own, original images. A children’s corner was prepared for the fair’s youngest visitors.

For the first time this year, the NGO Market 2011 was accompanied by a cultural program, which took place on the stage in front of the National Technical Library. The Kazakh group Jagalmaj created a very pleasant atmosphere and visitors could also try group drumming with Drum Circle, as well as listen to Jewish liturgical songs interpreted by the singer Veronika Diamant or to the Syrian lyrist Marwan Al Solaiman. The cultural program was concluded by the performance by this year’s patron of the fair, the singer Tonya Graves.

One of the fair’s visitors wrote: “I learned about organizations that I had no idea existed, even though I have a pretty good knowledge of the sector. But the main thing that caught my attention was the overall atmosphere of the fair, imbued with an incredible sense of peace, goodwill and friendliness.”

This year, more than 1800 people visited the NGO Market. Visitors showed a wonderful interest in cooperating with non-profit organizations and many of them found “the right one”; that is, the non-profit they had been looking for.

More information and photographs from the fair can be found here.