International Volunteer Day (IVD) December 5th is an international observance designated by the United Nations since 1985. It offers an opportunity for volunteer organisations and individual volunteers to make their contributions visible – at local, national and international levels – to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Apart from mobilising thousands of volunteers every year, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme works closely with partners and governments to establish national volunteer programmes to create structures that foster and sustain local volunteerism in countries. Through the Online Volunteering service, volunteers can take action for sustainable human development by supporting the activities of development organisations over the Internet.
The International Volunteer Day (IVD) mandated by the UN General Assembly, is held each year on 5 December. It is viewed as a unique chance for volunteers and organisations to celebrate their efforts, to share their values, and to promote their work among their communities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), United Nations agencies, government authorities and the private sector.
Apart from mobilising thousands of volunteers every year, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development by advocating for the recognition of volunteers and working with partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming.
Through the Online Volunteering service, volunteers can take action for sustainable human development by supporting the activities of development organisations over the Internet. Every day thousands of people are volunteering, online or on-site, contributing to peace and development, working to achieve the MDGs and engaging people to shape the sustainable development agenda.
International Volunteer Day 2020
Let’s make IVD this year a worldwide moment to thank volunteers and celebrate their efforts despite all the challenges at hand.
Over the last months, as the COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged across the world, volunteers have been at the forefront of medical, community and societal responses.
The COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan by the WHO identifies community volunteers as key stakeholders for risk communication and community engagement. This indicates the value and the great effort the WHO believes volunteers is doing during COVID-19. Yet, recognition is still not enough, especially when it comes to volunteers’ own well-being and access to health care.
This year’s IVD campaign, that starts today and culminates on IVD 2020, December 5th, will thank volunteers worldwide and also shed light on the difficulties and needs of volunteers during the pandemic. Showing the impact of volunteers in their communities during this crisis, we will reach to all corners of the globe with the message of Together We Can Through Volunteering.
As UN Deputy Secretary General Amina J. Mohammed reminded us in opening the GTM2020 in July, “the efforts of 1 billion volunteers is an important foundation at a pivotal moment for development to enable us to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic”.
Follow the social media channels @UNVolunteers and use the hashtags #TogetherWeCan and #IVD2020 to be part of the conversation. The blue heart emoji will be associated with the IVD2020 and contribute to building the campaign image that conveys a positive feeling, solidarity, and compassion toward volunteers.