International Volunteer Day is celebrated on 5th December. Why? UN General Assembly, in 1985, decided volunteers should have a day when the whole world recognizes their immeasurable contribution to the world’s social and economic development, a day to celebrate “the power and potential of volunteerism“.
Volunteers participate in making peace and sustainable development a reality, in disaster relief and other humanitarian interventions, promotion and protection of human rights, and many other, big and “small”, non-profit activities worldwide – to the benefit of different individuals and groups with fewer opportunities and communities at large.
- In 2015, in Croatia more than 52.200 people volunteered – if they all lived in one city, the city would be only 10% smaller than Pula (Croatia), exactly like Užice (Serbia) and twice as big as Velenje (Slovenia)
- In the same year, volunteers in Croatia invested almost 3 million working hours in different activities, which (in Croatian context) translate to the financial value of over 12,8 million euros
- Around 93 million people (over 22% people older than 15) living in the European Union are involved in volunteering
- In last twenty years, around 100.000 young people have taken part in international volunteering through the European Voluntary Service
- If all the volunteers in the world were one nation, their country would be at least the ninth most populous country – with more than one billion people!
International Volunteer Day is another opportunity to say THANK YOU to all volunteers who make our world a better place. Both for volunteers and for those of you who are still thinking about becoming a volunteer, here’s a quote:
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” (Winston Churchill)
#GlobalApplause – Give volunteers a hand: IVD 2016 statement