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Cesvov - Centro di Servizi per il Volontariato della provincia di Varese
(Centre of Services for Volunteering of the province of Varese) is an organisation instituted in 1997 by the Italian law on volunteering (L. 266/91). Cesvov has at the moment 83 member associations. Cesvov seeks to establish a network with non-profit organisations and to produce a positive outcome for the community by promoting local development. Cesvov aims to spread the culture of volunteering and to promote the citizens’ active participation and active citizenship.

For this purpose, the centre carries out different kind of activities:

  1. Legal and technical consultancy and assistance: Our consultants help non-profit organisation in planning projects, fundraising, promoting their activities, managing the organisation, etc. The aim of this service is to develop the organisations’ managing, organisational and bookkeeping skills. Cesvov also helps informal groups to become associations, giving them legal advice on which type of association to become according to their activities and objectives and by supporting them during the whole procedure.
  2. Training: Cesvov wants to promote the organisations’ growth by developing their competencies, their motivation and their awareness of the role they play in the society. We organise directly or in partnership with associations free training courses, as well as conferences and seminars for the divulgation and the updating of relevant issues for the non-profit sector.
  3. Communication and database: Through this area of activities, Cesvov offers information, news, documentation and data about volunteering at local, national and European level. For this purpose, several tools are at our disposition: website (, newsletter, database with the province’s organisations, Cesvov’s news bulletin, collaboration with local media, …
  4. Promotion of volunteering: In this area are included all our activities and instruments that aim to spread the culture of solidarity, to promote volunteering initiatives and to reinforce existing ones. We help citizens to find associations where to do voluntary work. We also work on the diffusion of tools and initiatives that intend to enhance the idea of volunteering. These can be our own initiatives or initiatives of our local associations. For example in 2007, one of our big project was the “Accessibility guide of Varese.” We have been working with local associations that work on disability issues to create Varese’s guide for people with reduced mobility. Cesvov also gives particular attention to the promotion of volunteering among young people. Therefore, we promote the European Voluntary Service (in which we are involved as a host, sending and coordinating organisation) in schools, conferences, through our website, through leaflets, ... To concentrate more on the local youth, Cesvov also organises “Giovani nel volontariato” (Youth volunteering), a kind of contest for young people of the province who participate or have participated in voluntary activities. The aim of “Giovani nel Volontariato” is to let people know that indeed young people are involved in volunteering and so to go against the common saying that nowadays young people do not have that kind of values anymore. Another aim is to encourage other young people to start volunteering.
    Cesvov also promotes research and study in order to know better the local reality of volunteering. For these matters we frequently collaborate with the local university of the Insubria.

Cesvov's main office is located in Varese and there are branches in 4 other towns of the province (Saronno, Gallarate, Castellanza, Laveno Mombello). At Cesvov there are 9 employees and 5 part-time consultants.