Around the world, people volunteer in different ways to achieve diverse impacts, both planned and unplanned. Most volunteering takes place through informal engagement between individuals, with only an estimated 30 per cent of volunteering taking place formally, through organizations. Much of this volunteerism – both informal and formal – takes place at the community level.
Prior to the official launch of the State of the world's Volunteerism Report 2018, the UNV regional office for West and Central Africa conducted a media campaign to share the observations and results of the SWVR Report 2018 and talk about the celebration of the IVD with the populations in Senegal and West and Central Africa. The UNV programme was invited to talk about both events in the BBC, West Africa Democracy Radio (WADR), Radio China International and two national radio stations (I-Radio and Trade Point FM)
ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
Volunteers are on the frontlines of the global refugee response, fostering social cohesion and protecting and assisting the forcibly displaced men, women and children in their midst.
The regional launch of the SWVR 2018 coincided with the International Volunteer Day 2018 (IVD 2018) Commemorations. The event was organized by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) in Zimbabwe with support of Higherlife Foundation, VSO and other UNV’s key partners in Zimbabwe. It was preceded by a Youth Dialogue on volunteerism on 4 December facilitated by UNV Regional Manager, Mr. Njoya Tikum, and aimed at kick starting the discussions on the results and recommendations of the SWVR 2018, and the implications particilay for the youth in Africa.
On 29 November, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme in Fiji launched a flagship report, the State of the World’s Volunteerism Report (SWVR) 2018, demonstrating that volunteers across Asia and the Pacific region are a fundamental coping strategy for resilient communities. The SWVR 2018 launch in Suva, Fiji was held on the occasion of the UNV Executive Coordinator’s official visit to the Pacific.
On 10 December 2018, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme launched a flagship report, the State of the World’s Volunteerism Report 2018: The thread that binds, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, as part of the global celebrations of International Volunteer Day (IVD) 2018. The report was translated to two local languages, Sinhala and Tamil. This was the Asia-Pacific regional launch of the report which addressed the key findings on how volunteerism is connecting individuals, empowering youth and enabling everyone to take action to build resilient communities.
International Volunteers Day is an opportunity for volunteers and organizations to celebrate their efforts and share their work among their communities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), United Nations agencies, government authorities and the private sector.
The day focuses on the values of volunteerism through the appreciation of local volunteers. This year we are highlighting the work of UN Volunteers in the Pacific, one of the regions where they are supporting national health responses through the UNDP-Global Fund partnership.
Where public support and social safety nets are absent, volunteering emerges as a fundamental survival strategy. For example, the SWVR found that in the Dzaleka refugee camp in Malawi, a group of people with disabilities organized to improve their limited access to education and to address their social exclusion in the camp. Without the voluntary networks they established, their needs would have remained invisible to others in the camp.