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Czech volunteers annually work 45 million hours

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Prague, Dec 5 (CTK) – Volunteers annually work approximately 45 million hours in the Czech Republic and their work is worth more than 5.5 billion crowns, which corresponds to 0.15 percent of GDP, according to the Czech Statistical Office and a government report on state policy on nonprofit organisations.
The International Volunteer Day is marked yesterday.
“Surveys from the past few years showed that the number of volunteers in various fields and organisations reached nearly two million people. This is 29 percent of the (Czech) population aged over 14 years,” the government report on nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) says.
In the European Union, the Czech Republic is eighth in volunteer activities.
The report writes that volunteer activities are stagnating in the country. If the state clearly appreciated such volunteer work, these activities would probably develop even more, it writes.
The extent of volunteering indicates that people are ready to show solidarity and take an active stance on dealing with public affairs, the report says.
Volunteers are active in health care, social services, culture, sport, environment protection, education and activities with children in the Czech Republic. Most of the workers in the nonprofit sector are volunteers (78 percent).
In 2014, volunteers worked 45.6 million hours in the Czech Republic. In 2012 it was 44.7 million hours, in 2010 44.0 million hours, and in 2008 it was 46.7 million hours.
Volunteers were active in Czech territory already in the Middle Ages, especially in connection with churches and aid to the ill and poor. In the 19th century, patriotic clubs in support of arts, culture, science and education were established. Some of them have existed until now, such as the Sokol gymnastics organisation.
Volunteer activities developed in Czechoslovakia in the interwar period, but the Nazi occupation and the communist regime suppressed them. A massive development began after the fall of the communist regime in 1989 when the nonprofit sector was established.
($1=25.426 crowns)

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