International Volunteer Day
Today is International Volunteer Day!
Adopted by the UN in 1985, International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development is observed on 5th December every year and focuses on highlighting and celebrating the important contributions of volunteers to development across the world.
Approximately 1 billion people volunteer worldwide, equivalent to 109million full-time workers, making the volunteer workforce five times the number of people employed in financial services globally. This makes volunteerism an extremely valuable resource in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including the availability of clean water and sanitation.
People of all ages and backgrounds volunteer, with 70% of the work being informal between people and their own communities without the involvement of any organisation, according to the State of the World’s Volunteerism Report 2018.
For charities like us at drop4drop, partnership with local, informal volunteers is an invaluable tool for our water projects, as in-country partners can ensure every project has a significant and long-lasting positive impact on the community. Members of the local community aid in the construction of water sources, and are given the tools and training in basic maintenance of the wells to ensure they remain in good working condition. Furthermore, many female volunteers from the local community are educated on health and hygiene alongside every water project to help improve and maintain the health of the community, as well as reduce the amount of water-related diseases.
Volunteers are also a key part of drop4drop’s UK team as they promote fundraising for projects through our social media pages and blog posts such as this.
Almost 20 years on from the International Year of the Volunteer, volunteerism is as important to global development as ever. It provides vital connections between local communities and external actors, helping to make projects as successful as possible for as long as possible. DROP4DROP work with community volunteers across India and Africa to help local people in many of the world’s most water-stressed areas to realise their right to clean water and sanitation. To help us on this mission, please donate now!