International Volunteer Day 20202 | The United Nations (UN) designates international days to occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity.
One such day, which is being celebrated today is International Volunteer Day (IVD). The day was mandated by the UN General Assembly and is held each year on December 5. This day is a unique chance for volunteers and organizations to celebrate the efforts of volunteers and to share their values, and to promote their work among their communities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), United Nations agencies, government authorities and the private sector.
Considering the year 2020 and the pandemic that it brought with it, the theme for this year’s international volunteer day is ‘Together We Can Through Volunteering’. Over the last months, as the coronavirus pandemic has claimed 1,518,977 lives across the world, volunteers have emerged as some of the bravest and most essential people working on the frontline. They have been at the forefront of medical, community and societal responses. World media have paid credit to volunteers for all kinds of work, from helping to provide medical care, to doing shopping for vulnerable neighbours, or checking up on elderly people living alone.
The work & commitment of millions of volunteers around the world have been essential amid the #COVID19 crisis. On Saturday's Int'l Volunteer Day, we thank these real life heroes who dedicate their lives to helping others. https://t.co/JPZe8gFs6N via @UNVolunteers pic.twitter.com/YQnGqZ9kR7
— United Nations (@UN) December 5, 2020
The United Nations mentions how the coronavirus Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan by the World Health Organisation identifies community volunteers as key stakeholders for risk communication and community engagement. The pandemic has proven how valuable and great an effort the volunteers are in a situation like this.
This year’s IVD campaign expresses gratitude towards volunteers worldwide and also sheds light on the difficulties and needs of volunteers during the pandemic. Showing the impact of volunteers in their communities during this crisis, the United Nations has also launched a digital campaign on social media. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a special message said, “Volunteering is the backbone of our societies. #Volunteers help protect communities, especially by reaching those most at need. They deserve our heartfelt thanks.”