Celebrate International Volunteer Day!
International Volunteer Day was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1985 to give volunteer organizations and individuals an opportunity to make their contributions known. On December 5, civil society organizations, governments and individuals around the world celebrate volunteering.
International Volunteer Day is a great opportunity to increase awareness about any project, and to promote your goals.
- Several UN agencies and organizations in Syria are raising environmental awareness through a campaign focusing on canvas bags as an alternative to plastic bags. They have several events to take place on December 5 such as cleaning up plastic and waste, children’s activities, a documentation show, and distributing canvas bags in the supermarket. They expect to mobilize 500 volunteers and 500 children in each city throughout Syrian organizations.
- In Pakistan, they honor volunteers for meritorious performance with International Volunteer Day “Shields of Honour.” 150 volunteers, the majority of who are Senior Citizens of Sindh, receive the awards for praised public services and leadership in promoting social causes.
- Through United Nations Volunteers and www.OnlineVolunteering.org, there is a new movement of volunteering online. Individuals can search the network to find organizations in need of volunteers to use their online skills and talents to help developing countries. Volunteers can work with grassroots organizations, international and local NGOs and educational institutions to do volunteer research, project development, translation, writing, editing, IT, design, training and much more. All from their computer at home!
- The Canadian organization Community Empowerment Collective Society is made up entirely of online volunteers. They make training materials available for community workers in more than 30 languages, effecting low-income communities in least-developed countries. Most of the online volunteers work on translating the training material. Teams are organized by the same language, and the coordinators make a conscious effort to build teams in which the volunteers are in touch with each other and work together. Individual contributions range from a single page to dozens of pages, with such success that now the training materials are accessible to local community workers in a language they can read.