Volunteerism is a fundamental source of community strength and resilience that exists in all societies throughout the world. The role of volunteerism, in general, and mobilizing and managing volunteers, in particular, are important components of any disaster risk management strategy that aims at fostering community recovery, strength and resilience in vulnerable areas. In the last decade, almost one million people have been killed by disasters, many of them volunteers who were at the forefront of responding to emergencies, and more than one trillion dollars have been lost.
Manila, Philippines: My name is Alma B. Sevillano, I am from the Philippines and I work as a UN Volunteer for the Haiyan Response and Recovery programme.
Port-au-Prince, Haiti: My name is Francesca Pinna, I am a United Nations Volunteer in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Office in Haiti.
I never thought that I would get engaged in the field of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). It happened by chance after the earthquake that hit the Italian city of Aquila in 2009. I understood what an unexpected natural disaster could really provoke and how much destruction could have been avoided through an adequate knowledge of disaster risks and appropriate preparedness.
The International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR), celebrated every year on 13 October, encourages every citizen and government to take part in building more disaster resilient communities and nations. It is a day to celebrate how people and communities are reducing their risk to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of DRR.