ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
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.
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.
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.
Toily Kurbanov, UNV Deputy Executive Coordinator, moderated the session and opened the event with a brief explanation of the importance of the SWVR 2018 and the scale of volunteerism in the region. According to the report findings, in Russia and CIS alone, there is the full-time equivalent of 5.3 million volunteers.That means if everyone volunteered 1 hour per week, then more than 200 million people are actively involved in volunteering in the region.
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.
For this special day, the National Volunteer Coordination and Promotion Committee and the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme will organize a panel discussion on the impact of volunteering on resilient communities in the region with the participation of Representatives of the Government of Senegal, United Nations Agencies, local and international volunteers.
The 2018 State of the World’s Volunteerism Report : https://bit.ly/2O0W94b