UN Volunteers building a better world: partnering with youth
“Given the chance, youth bring enthusiastic insight and energy to the challenges of development,” says Flavia Pansieri, UNV Executive Coordinator. “As volunteers, young adults are engaged actors in their own development and agents of change within their communities.”
UNV celebrates this day with millions of youth around the world to highlight how volunteerism is an important channel for sustainable community development. Youth is a sector of society that faces unique challenges and vulnerabilities, but also contributes with unlimited promise. According to the United Nations General Assembly resolution A/RES/50/81, December 14, 1995, “young people in all countries are both a major human resource for development and key agents for social change, economic development and technological innovation.”
As the State of the World’s Volunteerism Report (UNV, 2011) observes, healthy societies need young people who are involved with their communities. Volunteer action can be a highly effective route towards such involvement, and offers immense possibilities for young people to discover their own potential. They also gain valuable experience that helps them access decent work opportunities. Volunteering often displays dedication, integrity and good communication skills, values sought by employers.
Over the past 35 years, UNV has been working with partners to support the creation of an enabling environment for youth participation through volunteering. We have helped thousands of young adults to gain job related skills, develop positive social behaviour and be leaders in their communities. UNV is at work worldwide to harness youth volunteers of all kinds.
Now, with the support of the Secretary General’s Five-Year Action Agenda, we are committed more than ever to promoting the impact volunteerism has on young people throughout the world. Building on our successful experiences, UNV has already initiated the development of a global UNV youth strategy and programme, including the establishment of a UN Youth Volunteer Corps.
UNV will continue to work with its civil society partners as well as the United Nations to support young people´s full participation in their communities. Investing in youth and leveraging this potential will support the development of committed citizens and the creation of social capital which can effectively contribute to the achievement of the MDGs and sustainable development.
About UNV: The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development through volunteerism. UNV is inspired by the conviction that volunteerism can transform the pace and nature of development and by the idea that everyone can contribute their time and energy towards peace and development. With partners, UNV advocates for volunteerism, integrates volunteerism into development planning and mobilizes volunteers. The enormous potential of volunteerism is an inspiration to UNV and to volunteers around the world.
Every year, about 7,500 qualified and experienced women and men of around 160 nationalities serve as UN Volunteers in some 130 countries. They are professionals who play key roles contributing to peace and making an impact on development results. Annually, there are more than 16,000 online volunteering assignments offered by development organizations through the UNV Online Volunteering service.
Visit www.unv.org for more information.
Jennifer Stapper, Chief, Communications Section, UNV, +49 (0) 15201522181
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