International Volunteer Day 2015

The theme for International Volunteer Day 2015 was “Your world is changing. Are you? Volunteer!”

International Volunteer Day (IVD), on December 5th, was designated by the United Nations in 1985 as an international observance day to celebrate the power and potential of volunteerism. It is an opportunity for volunteers, and volunteer organizations, to raise awareness of, and gain recognition for, the contribution they make to their communities.

The theme for IVD 2015 was “Your world is changing. Are you? Volunteer!” and the goal was to start a dialogue about how volunteerism is vital to the success of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme and volunteers around the world took the opportunity to encourage people to think about how they could make a difference in implementing the 2030 Agenda. On IVD 2015, volunteers worldwide were celebrated for making a difference in a changing world, showing the power of volunteerism to move towards sustainable peace and development.

To celebrate IVD 2015, volunteers around the world organized different events, such as:

  • The first eco-friendly ‘green’ municipality of Amazon in Paragominas, Brazil, where 2,300 people came together in a group hug, symbolizing the commitment of volunteers to positive social change in the world.
  • The UNV Field Unit in Ethiopia sent more than 75,000 SMS texts with information on IVD throughout the country, reaching citizens even in the most remote areas. The objective was to attract more active public participation in IVD celebrations and to raise awareness about volunteering in general.
  • UNV Nepal launched a Facebook photo competition under the motto “Faces of Volunteerism”. Volunteers were invited to send their photo contributions and tell the story of why and how they decided to participate in the volunteering movement within their community. Three volunteers whose photos received most likes were invited to the celebration on 5 December 2015, where they were awarded special certificates.
  • UNV’s own global selfie campaign spread the message of IVD.  People around the world were invited to take selfies while volunteering, and share them on social media platforms with descriptions of how they were making a difference, using the hashtags #IVD2015selfie, #actioncounts and #GlobalGoals.

More stories from world's volunteers are available here.