International Volunteer Day (IVD), mandated by the UN General Assembly, is marked annually on 5 December. It provides volunteers and organizations with the opportunity to promote their contributions to development at the local, national and international levels. This year’s theme, "Volunteers Build Resilient Communities", celebrates volunteers who improve the resilience of communities in the face of natural disasters, economic stresses and political shocks.
In 2018, four candidates have already been selected for assignments with UNDP in Armenia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Ukraine.
International Volunteer Day is celebrated by many non-governmental organizations, civil society, and the private sector, among others. It is also marked and supported by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme.
UNV coordinates a campaign to promote IVD every year, building on the impact volunteers have in communities, nationally and globally for peace and development.
East and Southern Africa are vulnerable to climate change, food insecurity and water scarcity. These issues have been exacerbated further by rapid population growth, urbanization and overgrazing. Over 36 million people face hunger across East and Southern Africa largely due to drought and high temperatures.
South-South Cooperation is embedded in UNV’s Strategic Framework 2018-2021. Working closely with partners, UNV facilitates South-South cooperation by deploying UN Volunteers and promoting the value of volunteerism for peace and development.
Volunteering and South-South Cooperation share common ideals that make them perfect partners: solidarity, respect and equality. Both have an opportunity to derive mutual benefit from their alliance. --UNV Executive Coordinator Olivier Adam
Kenyan communities have always voluntarily organized themselves, whether formally or informally, to help each other in times of need and in times of celebration. At independence, this volunteering spirit was adopted by the government of the day as “harambee”, loosely translated as “pooling resources for community development”. This spirit of harambee is the backbone of today’s volunteerism in Kenya.
What images come to mind when you think of a disaster? Search and rescue teams pulling people from the rubble? Relief camps filled with displaced families receiving aid from international organizations? These are the typical images we see in the media. However, they misrepresent the reality that the vast majority of people are rescued and helped by their fellow community members after a disaster.
Tshepiso steps back and admires his handiwork. As part of his contribution to Mandela Day, he has painted the interior walls of a corrugated iron shack that serves as a crèche for young children in an informal settlement in Johannesburg. In the spirit of ubuntu, he regularly ferries his elderly parents, aunts and uncles to hospital or assists them with shopping. Just last weekend he repaired a broken kitchen cabinet door for his neighbour, Mrs Potts.
Arta has been involved in the Territorial Employment Pact, an innovative joint initiative of the municipality of Gjakovë/Djakovica, Austrian Development Agency and UNDP aiming to promote inclusive local economic development, serving people who are looking for skills and income to achieve a better life.
Adfter graduating from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Kosovo, Arta started working in The Ideas Partnership, a non-governmental organization that promotes employment, social inclusion, preservation of cultural heritage and healthy environment.
The number of asylum applications in Trinidad and Tobago by citizens of Venezuela is on the increase. In 2017, nearly 40,000 people applied for asylum.
In response, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is working to support countries throughout the Americas and the Caribbean, including Trinidad and Tobago, by engaging in registration and profiling of the population, reinforcing reception capacity of host communities, assisting with emergency preparedness and contingency planning, and providing basic humanitarian assistance.