The compilation of research findings launched in partnership with the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports in India is an outcome of the India Volunteering Conclave held in August 2019 in New Delhi.
Over 250 stakeholders participated in the two-day event to promote volunteerism and youth participation in development processes and nation-building. They shared good practices and discussed innovative ideas and recommended strategies and policy interventions.
What inspired you to write this book?
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.
According to World Bank data, half of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population is under 25 years of age and each year until 2035, there will be half a million more 15-year-olds than the year before.
While Africa’s youth bulge could present an opportunity for innovation and economic growth for the continent, many countries still struggle to provide sufficient perspectives for their youth. Youth unemployment continues to be a challenge for Sub-Sahara Africa with rates being as high as 60 per cent in some countries.
The Growth and Development Strategy III (2017-2022) recognizes the value of volunteerism in increasing the productivity of youth and unemployed Malawians. It envisages the establishment of a national volunteer service programme.
The Ministries of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development and Finance, Economic Planning and Development will work closely with the National Youth Council of Malawi to develop a legal and regulatory framework on volunteerism, as well as an effective national coordination and implementation framework.
In Burundi, more than 68 per cent of the population is under 24 years old. This demographic structure, with a majority of motivated and ambitious youth, could fuel the economy and lead to economic growth for the small African country. However, the demographic dividend is yet to be realized. Instead, Burundi faces a major challenge of providing its youth with employment opportunities and future perspectives.
On Wednesday 04 July, UNV East and Southern Africa attended the official opening of the Community Volunteerism Center in Kalobeyi settlement in Kakuma Refugee Camp. The opening saw entertainment in the form of group dances and musical interludes and included speeches from funding and implementing partners and the local government. The center consists of 220 seats, a solar powered lightning system, different halls and meeting rooms, and two sports fields. The center will give an opportunity to the communities of Kalobeyi to come together for meetings, events, and sports.
As the secretariat for the plan of action to integrate volunteering into sustainable peace and development under the 2030 Agenda, designated by the General Assembly, UNV is strengthening its convening and facilitating role for multi-stakeholder partnerships for volunteerism and the Global Goals. One way to do so is through enhanced partnerships with the UN Regional Commissions to feed into the existing review and monitoring processes for the 2030 Agenda, involving UN Member States, UN entities, civil society, volunteer-involving organizations, academia and the private sector.
Approximately one billion people are engaging in voluntary action globally. Their activities range from delivering services, preparing and responding to disasters and providing technical assistance such as in mapping and monitoring climate and environmental data.
The growing environmental awareness, often enabled by powerful and cheap new mobile and open technologies, is further triggering new data collection and monitoring efforts by volunteers.