International Volunteer Day 2014: Make change happen, volunteer!

On 5 December, we celebrate International Volunteer Day (IVD) 2014 - Make change happen, volunteer! This year, on this very special day, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme not only celebrates and recognizes volunteerism in all its facets, but pays special tribute to the participation of people in making change at all levels – locally, nationally and globally. For IVD 2014, please join us in acknowledging and enhancing people's participation, engagement and voice, in shaping and implementing development policies and the world we want.

The IVD theme in 2014 theme underlines the ability of volunteerism to help create open spaces for dialogue and inclusion, ultimately fostering the participation of people from all age groups, genders, and backgrounds in decision-making processes. This grassroots engagement is currently helping to build a more inclusive process of crafting the post-2015 development agenda – the world's next plan for eradicating extreme poverty and achieving sustainable development.

On 5 December 2014, people in more than 80 countries will celebrate International Volunteer Day by taking action to improve their communities. From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, global citizens will organize parades, sports festivals, group clean-ups, blood donations, rallies, social media campaigns, conferences, exhibitions, fundraisers, workshops, and other events, in order to make change happen around the world.

Volunteers around the world are sharing how they are making change happen on the International Volunteer Day 2014 campaign website, www.volunteeractioncounts.org, and on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media channels. UN Volunteers invites citizens to use the hashtags #actioncounts, #IVD2014 and #makechangehappen to share photos, videos and messages to showcase how they are volunteering to create the future they want.

For example, in Bangladesh, national and international volunteers will gather in Rabindra Sarabor Park in Dhanmondi to share their stories about how they have made a difference by volunteering. The well-known Bangladeshi band Chircutt will be among the performers at the event, singing a song they have created specifically for International Volunteer Day about the importance of solidarity.

In Hong Kong, a networking breakfast event will help foster partnerships between corporate professionals interested in volunteering and local organizations.

Namibian volunteers will gather food donations for people who have disabilities and HIV/AIDS, while in the United States, at an event at the United Nations headquarters in New York, United Nations Volunteers and partners will launch IMPACT 2030, an initiative that will recruit corporate volunteers to contribute to the post-2015 development agenda.

For information on additional IVD 2014 events happening around the world, please visit https://www.DropCatch.com/redirect/?domain=volunteeractioncounts.org

Moreover, watch the Executive Coordinator of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, Richard Dictus, deliver his statement on the occasion of International Volunteer Day 2014: https://www.DropCatch.com/redirect/?domain=volunteeractioncounts.org

Together, let's make IVD 2014 memorable!