The 05 December is International Volunteer Day (IVD), more formally known as The International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development.
It is an international observance mandated by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 1985.
It offers an opportunity for volunteer-involving organisations and individual volunteers to promote volunteerism, encourage governments to support volunteer efforts and recognise volunteer contributions to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local, national and international levels.
International Volunteer Day is celebrated by many non-governmental organisations, civil society, and the private sector, among others. It is also marked and supported by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme.
UNV coordinates a campaign to promote IVD every year, building on the impact volunteers have in communities, nationally and globally for peace and development.
In 2018, the focus of IVD was not only to celebrate volunteerism in all its facets, but also to highlight the role that volunteers play in building resilient communities.
It is worth noting that current estimates equate the global volunteer workforce to 109 million full-time workers:
- 30% of volunteering that takes place formally through organisations, associations and groups;
- 70% occurs through informal engagement between individuals; and
- Overall, 60% of the informal volunteers are women.
I currently volunteer for a mental health charity in Fife, Scotland, Express Group (Fife).