2011 European Year of Volunteering: opportunity to recognize the contribution of people with intellectual disabilities

PRESS RELEASE: Brussels, 26 January 2011

Inclusion Europe welcomes the launch of the 2011 European Year of Volunteering, which was celebrated under the Hungarian Presidency. The European Year 2011 aims to raise the profile of volunteering and emphasizes its value and importance to society and individuals.

On this occasion, Inclusion Europe appreciates the commitment of the thousands of volunteers involved in helping people with intellectual disabilities throughout Europe. Their everyday contribution is vital to improving lives for millions of individuals.

“Inclusion Europe sees this year as an excellent opportunity to highlight the voluntary work carried out by people with intellectual disabilities” comments Geert Freyhoff, Director of Inclusion Europe Brussels Office. “A large number of intellectually disabled people worldwide are involved in voluntary activities, demonstrating their ability to provide a real contribution to society. Volunteering is thus a powerful instrument to fight prejudice and promote social inclusion.”

In addition, the European Year of Volunteering also aims to support active citizenship in the European Union. This comes timely as the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ratified by the European Parliament in December 2010, binds the European Union to ensure full participation in public life for people with intellectual disabilities.

For all these reasons, Inclusion Europe hopes that the European Year of Volunteering will help to create better conditions and a greater variety of opportunities for involvement of intellectually disabled people into voluntary activities.

Volunteering will also be among the subjects discussed during the „Europe in Action 2011” annual conference of Inclusion Europe held on 12-14 May 2011 in Larnaca, Cyprus.


Inclusion Europe (IE) is the European voice and representation of over 60 member organizations of people with intellectual disabilities and their families. Founded in 1988, Inclusion Europe has an almost 20-year track record of successful operation and defending the rights of its constituency.

For more information, please contact:

Silvana Enculescu
Communications Officer
Inclusion Europe
E-mail: s.enculescu@inclusion-europe.org