Since December 17, 1985, the UN, governments and civil society work in partnership with volunteers worldwide and celebrate each December 5th the International Volunteer Day.
The day is a global observance, not a public holiday, and is a day for the volunteers to raise awareness on their work and gain an understanding of their importance in their communities. The day also focuses on encouraging people to work as volunteers, both in their countries of origin and abroad.
Nonprofit organizations, individuals, businesses and governments play their part in the International Volunteer Day by carrying out different activities:
– Parades, rallies or marches.
– “Time donation” campaigns in which people pledge hours of voluntary work to a specific project.
– Community projects.
– Award ceremonies to the individuals who made significant contributions to their communities.
– Competitions among volunteers.
– Companies launch voluntary programs within the scope of their corporate responsibility.
Maybe you have never taken part in a volunteering project, maybe you are wondering what volunteering is all about. Since today is the International Volunteer Day, what better way to celebrate it and to vindicate the work of volunteers around the world than reminding ourselves why being a volunteer is so important.
1. Feeling useful
By participating in volunteering projects, volunteers feel useful when they see they are making an impact on their communities and themselves.
2. Bonding with your community
By working hand by hand, setting goals and joining forces to make changes you’ll be creating deeper bonds with your community and feeling more connected to your surroundings. Keep in mind that to help make a change you don’t need to take a trip to a faraway country (even though helping abroad is also great), surely there are also people in need in your local community you can help a lot to.
3. Learning about society
It’s not the same reading in textbooks about society’s problems than actually getting involved in helping mitigate them and seeing first hand how society works and how are the lives and situations of those undergoing difficult conditions. By volunteering, people get to learn about their surrounding societies.
4. Becoming an agent of social change
Do not get frustrated if you are feeling you are not changing the world, maybe one person alone is not capable of changing the entire world but thousands will have far more chances of doing so. You are doing your bit and by doing so you are making a significant impact.
5. Promoting social justice
By volunteering you are being consistent with your ideas and beliefs and promoting good moral values. Moral values such as solidarity, altruism, sustainability, social justice, human rights, equality, freedom, and tolerance.
6. Protecting nature
On a daily basis, we are watching on the news how the increasing natural disasters are destroying our Earth. She is complaining that we are not treating her well enough. There are many environmental protection volunteering programs you can participate in. Of course, and most importantly, you can take care of the environment daily at home, by using less plastic, recycled materials or saving water.