International Volunteer Day (IVD) on 5 December was designated by the United Nations in 1985 as an international observance day to celebrate the power and potential of volunteerism.
It is an opportunity for volunteers, and volunteer organisations, to raise awareness of, and gain understanding for, the contribution they make to their communities. It is also 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 (NG0’s), United Nations agencies, government authorities and the private sector.
The act of volunteering is found in all cultures, languages, and religions. Each year, hundreds of millions of people volunteer their time and skills to help make the world a better place. When they volunteer, they help to improve the lives of others. And when they volunteer, they also gain a greater sense of belonging to their communities.
On 5 December, people around the world will celebrate IVD with rallies, parades, volunteer fairs, group clean ups, blood donations, conferences, exhibitions, fundraising, workshops and volunteer recognition events.
Heres's what a couple of our International Volunteers (based in Northern Ireland) have to say about their experiences….