Millions of volunteers worldwide have risen to the challenges posed by COVID-19 in the last nine months. On International Volunteer Day (IVD) 2020, the United Nations has come together to recognize and show our appreciation to all volunteers during the global pandemic. Events and recognition social media activities have been carried out in all regions of the globe to emphasize the impact of volunteering for communities during crisis.
On this IVD, with the campaign ‘Together We Can through Volunteering’, we showcase volunteers’ contributions and impact during COVID-19 and thank volunteers for their actions and commitment. We are also highlighting that volunteers must be safe and taken care of, both mentally and physically.
The United Nations stands-by volunteering as a mechanism to advance people participation and action for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). And now, while the world is in crisis, the UN expresses the even more essential engagement of volunteers for response and recovery.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, states: “Around the world, volunteers have been assisting vulnerable groups, correcting misinformation, educating children, providing essential services to the elderly, and supporting front-line health workers. As we gradually recover from the pandemic, volunteers will have a key role to play in accelerating the transition to green, inclusive and just economies.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) identifies community volunteers as key to responding to the pandemic.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, explains that, “In the face of great challenges, volunteers around the world have given their time, energy and skills to offer assistance to their communities… volunteers have played an essential role.”
Toily Kurbanov, Officer-in-Charge, of the United Nations Volunteers spell out this need: “Volunteers during the pandemic response are under exceptional stress, they face health risks and over work. On International Volunteer Day and every day, we need to recognize and support UN Volunteers, and all volunteers around the world.”
The world will get through this pandemic, together, and in solidarity. As we move into the vaccination roll-out our communities will again call on volunteers, whose role will continue to be essential.
Watch the full IVD messages here: