Friday, December 3, 2010

Celebrating International Volunteer Day

by Christina Malliet

This Sunday, December 5, is International Volunteer Day (IVD) 2010. Celebrated annually since the UN passed the resolution in 1985, IVD is observed in many countries around the world. Each year, people celebrate in more than half of the world’s countries, from
New Zealand to Lebanon to the UK. IVD focuses on celebrating the efforts of volunteers and organizations, increasing their visibility and offering them thanks. Typical activities surrounding this day include rallies, parades and campaigns that promote volunteerism.

Sunday also marks the launch of
IYV+10, a year-long campaign by international volunteer-based organizations worldwide aimed at better understanding, promoting and supporting volunteerism. Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers, these organizations, led by UN Volunteers (UNV), seek to claim recognition for volunteers throughout the year which will culminate in two UN General Assembly sessions dedicated to volunteerism in December 2011.

This year, UNV also hopes to highlight its efforts toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) during IVD activities. The MDGs are a set of eight major goals, which address human rights issues like health, poverty and peace, that UN member states agreed to achieve by 2015. In honor of this Sunday’s holiday, UNV is asking for participation in an online community forum for its
Share the Story campaign.

Of course, a day recognizing volunteerism wouldn’t be complete without the activity itself, so many cities and groups are organizing community volunteer projects, hoping to excite people who may not volunteer regularly. UNV and many other websites also offer many resources for finding your own activities. It can even be as easy as volunteering online. For even more resources, please refer to our Thanksgiving post!

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