UNV coordinates International Volunteer Day on 5 December every year to recognize and promote the tireless work, not just of UN Volunteers, but of volunteers across the globe. Every day, volunteers dedicate time and effort to ensure the inclusion of those often left behind, drive climate action and advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Volunteerism is one of the most vital delivery mechanisms for social, environmental and economic transformation, ensuring a lasting impact with its ability to change people’s mindsets, attitudes and behaviours. People become actors of change and equal partners in the attainment of local, national and international progress towards sustainable human development and global peace. The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) program recognizes the shared universal values underpinning volunteerism – free will, commitment, equity, engagement, solidarity, compassion, empathy and respect for others.
The International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development (5 December), more commonly referred to as International Volunteer Day (IVD), is an international observance mandated by the UN General Assembly in 1985. It offers an opportunity for volunteer-involving organizations and individual volunteers to promote volunteerism, encourage governments to support volunteer efforts and recognize volunteer contributions to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local, national and international levels.
International Volunteer Day is celebrated by many non-governmental organizations, civil society, and the private sector, among others. It is also marked and supported by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) program.
UNV coordinates a campaign to promote IVD every year, building on the impact volunteers have in communities, nationally and globally for peace and development.
In 2018 the focus of IVD is not only to celebrate volunteerism in all its facets, but also to highlight the role that volunteers play in building resilient communities. It is worth noting that current estimates equate the global volunteer workforce to 109 million full-time workers. 30 per cent of volunteering that takes place formally through organizations, associations and groups; and 70 per cent occurs through informal engagement between individuals. Overall, 60% of the informal volunteers are women.
For IVD 2021 celebrations, UNV worked with UN agencies, partners, Member States and governments across the world to recognise and support the spirit of volunteerism to create a more inclusive and sustainable future for all – people and planet. Therefore, the campaign message – “Volunteer now for our common future.”
2021 Theme: Volunteer now for our common future
We aim to inspire people, whether they are decision makers or citizens of this world, to take action NOW for people and the planet.
The United Nations Volunteers Programme (UNV) coordinates International Volunteer Day on 5 December every year to recognize and promote the tireless work, not just of UN Volunteers, but of volunteers across the globe. Every day, volunteers dedicate time and effort to ensure the inclusion of those often left behind, drive climate action and advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
When people are encouraged to get involved in solving problems, the solutions are more likely to be feasible and lasting. Volunteers engage communities and build a people-centric movement to help build a better and safer future for us all.
For the generations of TOMORROW, we must take responsibility for the changes needed to build a better future NOW. Encouraging, recognizing and promoting volunteerism is an important part of creating a more equal and inclusive future for communities and worldwide.
In the lead-up to #IVD2021, let us celebrate the contributions of the millions who #volunteernow.
UN Volunteers, making a difference to the lives of many
State of the World’s Volunteerism
The State of the World’s Volunteerism Report (SWVR) is a flagship United Nations publication that strengthens understanding of volunteerism and shows its universality, scope and reach in the twenty-first century. Produced every three years, the SWVR examines the contribution of volunteerism to peace and development based on a specific theme.
Why do we mark International Days?
International days and weeks are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. We also mark other UN observances.
Volunteering is giving, sharing, standing by others, supporting causes you care about and creating a better future for everyone.
Help UN spread the message and volunteer for our campaign by:
Posting a photo, video or graphic to show how you #VolunteerNow for our common future!
Did You Know？
70% of volunteer work does not involve any organization but happens informally between people in their communities.
A key risk factor for depression is social isolation. Volunteering keeps you in regular contact with others and helps you develop a solid support system, which in turn protects you against stress and depression.
Research shows that – compared with people who never volunteered – the odds of being “very happy” rose by 7% among those who volunteer monthly and by 12% among those who volunteer every 2-4 weeks.
We’ve found for you at least one perfect volunteering opportunity in the Gulf! Join the NGO that helps the UAE environment since 2018. Take a look at our exclusive interview with Azraq organization.