UN Volunteers

On the occassion of the International Volunteer Day, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) launched their very first State of the World’s Volunteerism Report 2011. The Report presents for the first time empirical evidence of the importance and contribution of volunteerism on a global scale. It gives recognition to the millions, perhaps billions, who are volunteering their time and energy for the well-being of their communities, underlining that volunteering does notonly occur through formal, structured civil society organizations in developed countries, by well-off, educated, unskilled older women. The report urges countries not to forget this largely untapped asset, and stresses that volunteerism should not take the place of actions that are the responsibility of the state.

The Report highlights three major trends: migration and travel are transforming the way people volunteer; the private sector is increasingly involved in volunteerism; and information and communications technologies (ICT) are opening up new means of civic engagement.

It also shows that the new forms of volunteerism contribute significantly to human development. Cell phones, and their short message services (SMS), have had perhaps “the most profound impact” on volunteerism. This “micro-volunteerism” raises awareness of local issues. It provides information and can help to improve public services in areas such as crop forecasting, education and health.

UNV expects that the Report will help to move volunteerism into a new era in which its true dimensions and significance are an integral part of the general discourse on global issues.

To download the Report, please visit UNV webpage. Should you just like to get the essence of it, please donwload the Overview, but don’t miss to read the Conclusion: the way forward.

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Milutin Milošević
About The Author

Milutin Milošević

Milutin comes from Serbia and is a Director of Adult Resources at European Scout Office. He is following the Region's work on Educational Methods and Volunteering.

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