International Volunteer Day: Significance, history, places to volunteer

This day is to promote volunteerism and encourage governments to support volunteer efforts and recognize the contributions and the achievement of sustainable development goals.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Monday, December 05, 2022, 02:34 PM IST
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International Volunteer Day: Significance, history, places to volunteer | Unsplash - Ray Sangga Kusuma

International Volunteer Day, or International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development, which is celebrated on December 5 was designated by the United Nations in 1985 as a day to celebrate the power and potential of volunteerism.

This day brings an opportunity for volunteers and volunteer organisations to raise awareness and gain understanding of the contribution they make to the society. This day is to promote volunteerism, encourage governments to support volunteer efforts, and recognise the contributions to and achievement of sustainable development goals.

History

It was through the resolution 40/212 of 17, December 1985, that the General Assembly invited governments across the world to observe International Volunteer Day on December 5, urging them to take measures to create awareness of the important contribution of volunteer service. Since then, various governments, civil society organisations, and the UN system around the world have brought together volunteers to celebrate this day.

Significance

International Volunteers Day gives individuals, organisations and communities to promote the contributions made by them at the local, national and international levels.

The theme for International Volunteer Day 2022 is solidarity through volunteering. According to the UN this highlights the power of a collective humanity to drive positive change through volunteerism.

The best way that one can celebrate this day is by contributing or rather volunteering at organisations, government agencies, non-profit institutions, community groups and academia. Each year hundreds of millions of people volunteer their time and skills to help improve the lives of others.

Where can you volunteer?

Trishul is an organization based in Mumbai that focuses on building self-sustainable communities through educational programmes and skill development.

Bhoomi is an organisation in Bengaluru which was initiated in 2006 and aims to provide quality education to underprivileged children. You can directly register to their site for volunteering. It currently has presence in about 12 cities in India.

If you are interested in helping out abandoned animals then you can volunteer with hRed Paws Rescue, which is a Delhi-based NGO. YOu get to volunteer and spend time with the animals at their shelter. Animal lovers can definitely make the most of it.

HelpAge India is another organisation that is seeking volunteers for old age homes, healthcare and helplines for the elderly. It is headquartered in Delhi.

If you want to try something a little more tech centric then you can help out with the SOunds of Silence (SOS) NGO, which provides deaf and mute kids two-month training courses on email marketing, search engine optimisation and data entry.

If you are looking to help out in the food department then maybe you can check out the Robin Hood Army that mobilises surplus food from restaurants and communities to feed the less fortunate people.

Wanting to work in the environmental section then you can help out at Greenpeace India which promotes the use of renewable sources of energy.

This day is focused on giving back to the society and it is time we take on some responsibility to help the society move forward as one unit.

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