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International Volunteer Day 2021: From theme to significance, this is all you should know

The day celebrates the work of volunteers, on the native, nationwide and worldwide ranges and in the direction of the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals

Representational picture. News18

Every yr, the world observes International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development on 5 December to recognise and promote the contributions of volunteers around the globe. The day celebrates the work of volunteers, on the native, nationwide and worldwide ranges, in the direction of the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Also often called International Volunteer Day (IVD), the event is marked by each particular person volunteers and organisations. The United Nations General Assembly mandated observance additionally encourages governments to assist volunteer efforts.


This yr the theme for the day is “Volunteer now for our common future”. It seeks to encourage individuals to work for the betterment of the planet. The United Nations Volunteer Program (UNV) coordinates the IVD programme annually to recognise the work being finished by volunteers the world over.

Benefits of volunteering

Research reveals that — in contrast with individuals who by no means volunteered — the chances of being “very happy” rose by seven % amongst those that volunteer month-to-month and by 12 % amongst those that volunteer each two-four weeks.

Volunteering additionally helps maintain individuals develop a stable assist system and keep in common contact with others. This mitigates the chance of social isolation, stress and melancholy in lots of volunteers.

As per the United Nations web site, International Volunteer Day gives a possibility for individuals to advertise volunteerism the world over. IVD encourages particular person volunteers, organisations, and communities to spice up their contributions in the direction of the event and betterment of the world at each the grassroots and worldwide ranges. The day can also be noticed by civil societies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the non-public sector.

About 70 % of volunteer work occurs informally between individuals and communities and doesn’t contain any organisation.


The UN General Assembly invited nations to look at IVD in 1985 beneath decision 40/212 . It additionally urged the governments to take obligatory steps to unfold consciousness in regards to the significance of volunteer companies and encourage extra individuals to supply their companies as volunteers.

On 20 November 1997, the UNGA proclaimed 2001 because the International Year of Volunteers (IYV) beneath its decision 52/17 to facilitate the work of volunteers and promote volunteerism.

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