Participants learn about volunteerism at an event held in Pristina, Kosovo, on International Volunteer Day 2017.

Transforming passion for volunteerism into action in Kosovo

A Volunteer Fair was organized in Pristina, Kosovo to mark International Volunteer Day on 5 December. Participants learnt about volunteerism and careers in development. A conference co-hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, UNICEF Innovation Lab, UNV and OSCE also focused on raising awareness about the importance of voluntary work for the overall well-being of the community, and praised the work of volunteers in Kosovo.

Around 150 young people and potential volunteers met UN agencies and local NGOs during the Volunteer Fair in Pristina. The event also allowed participants to register on the Kosovo Volunteer Platform designed by the UNICEF Innovations Lab. The aim of this platform is to connect non-profit organizations and passionate volunteers for future collaborations.

The long-lasting contribution of volunteers in Kosovo was acknowledged by the Kosovan Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, with the support of UNICEF, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Volunteerism is something sacred. Volunteers contribute to the development of society without expectation of monetary remuneration. They are an asset to our community and the ministry, and we will make sure that we ease their way in continuing to do this phenomenal job - Mr. Kujtim Gashi, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports of Kosovo

UNV in Kosovo has promoted volunteering both at policy and community levels, and supported major cultural events in Kosovo throughout the years. According to Blerim Azizi, UNV Programme Associate, UNV in Kosovo will remain a strong backbone to volunteers in Kosovo and will continue to assist their projects in the future. UNICEF, working to bridge the gap between school and work among youth, also encourages “volunteers to promote an inclusive society in Kosovo”, says Dr. Brandao Co, Head of UNICEF Kosovo.

The best way not to feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Go make good stuff happen. Hope is scarce in Kosovo. We need to get together and contribute for the greater good - Ambassador Jan Braathu of the OSCE mission in Kosovo

The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport stated that it will initiate the process of drafting the Law on Volunteerism in 2018, enabling all volunteers to actively participate and contribute to society.

All references to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999).