International Volunteer Day 2022: History, Significance and Theme

International Volunteer Day or officially known as the International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development is annually observed on 5th December worldwide. It is a UN recognized event. 

This day recognizes the efforts of the volunteers in transforming the societies, economies and environment of our world. Further this day also encourages people go volunteer for bringing a change and creating a positive impact for our world. 

The goal of the day is not just to get others to volunteer for one day but to overall change people’s mindsets, attitudes, and behaviors so they become agents of change and work as partners to build a better world. 

Event International Volunteer Day
Date December 5, 2022
Day Monday
Significance The day recognizes the efforts of the volunteers.
Observed by World wide

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International Volunteer Day History: 

The origin of volunteering can be traced back to 12th century Britain, where there were more than 500 hospitals operated by volunteers. But it still cannot be excluded that people were selflessly helping others even before then. In the beginning, volunteering was strongly connected to religion and religious institutions. Using of the word ‘volunteering’ is taken from the French language and it is first traceable to the 17th century, but started being extensively used in the 18th century when people were willingly joining the military service. Today, the word is not so much connected with the military service, but with community service. 

The history of organized volunteering as we know it today starts with big battles and wars when young people, and especially women would organize to help wounded soldiers and to collect supplies. The officially organized volunteering started in the 19th century with its peak in the early 20th century, and some of the organizations being active even today. The founding of one of the most famous humanitarian organizations in the world was the Red Cross which is known to have happened during the American Civil War when people were organizing to provide free medical under the guidance of Clara Barton.  

It may surprise some that the biggest revolution in volunteering was brought by the invention of the Internet. Connecting individuals and organizations from all around the world, making it possible to spread the word globally and not being limited by physical boundaries, make the Internet a true revolution in the volunteering world. Because of it oganizations were able to reach people easier and launch online listings and indexes. Hence the important role which internet played in expanding volunteering cannot be neglected and it is still playing a very major role. 

Since 1985, the United Nations Volunteers Programme has coordinated International Volunteer Day on every December 5th. They’ve worked with civil society groups, government agencies, corporate entities, non-profits, individuals, and academic institutions to recognize the importance of volunteering in community and nation-building. Volunteerism remains one of the essential tools for developing a peaceful and sustainable world. Hence this day works as a medium to get more and more people towards volunteering.  

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International Volunteer Day Significance: 

Volunteering is very essential for our world because supporting a worthy cause you care about today helps build a better world for tomorrow. Taking care of the environment, building schools, and passing on valuable skills to youths help create a better future and set an example for future generations. Our world is a ruthless place sometimes which makes people helpless and that’s why it is very essential to provide support to such people on correct time to save them. Helping and caring for others is a good character in itself but helping the needy and helpless one is a necessity.  

One of the better-known benefits of volunteering is the impact on the community. Unpaid volunteers are often works as a glue that holds a community together. Volunteering allows you to connect to your community and make it a better place. Even helping out with the smallest tasks can make a real difference to the lives of people, animals, and organizations in need. And volunteering is a two-way street: It can benefit you and your family as much as the cause you choose to help. Dedicating your time as a volunteer helps you make new friends, expand your network, and boost your social skills. 

Volunteering also provides many mental and health benefits as well. As volunteering can provide a healthy boost to your self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity. It also helps you in combating depression as isolation is seen as the biggest cause for depression these days so if you are volunteering you will always find yourself surrounded by friends and people. Helping someone in need also give you an inner satisfaction in your heart which is also essential for healthy mind. 

Volunteering offers you the chance to try out a new career without making a long-term commitment. It is also a great way to gain experience in a new field. In some fields, you can volunteer directly at an organization that does the kind of work you’re interested in. For example, if you’re interested in nursing, you could volunteer at a hospital or a nursing home. Your volunteer work might also expose you to professional organizations or internships that could be of benefit to your career.  

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International Volunteer Day Theme: 

The theme of International Volunteer Day 2022 is “Solidarity through volunteering”. 

This theme highlights the power of our collective humanity to drive positive change through volunteerism. Thus it urges people to act together for creating a better world. 

Rising inequalities throughout the world implore that we need to work together to find common solutions. Volunteers, drawn together by solidarity, develop solutions to urgent development challenges and for the common good. Volunteering is where compassion meets solidarity. Both share the same root values – supporting each other from a position of trust, humility, respect and equality. 

Most Searched FAQs on International Volunteer Day: 

1. When is International Volunteer Day observed? 

International Volunteer Day is annually observed on 5th December. 

2. Why do we observe International Volunteer Day? 

To encourage others to get involved in problem-solving through volunteering so that they can take action for the people and the planet right now. 

3. What is the theme of International Volunteer Day 2022? 

The theme of International Volunteer Day 2022 is “Solidarity through volunteering”. 

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