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.
Although volunteering and volunteers have much more value than can be expressed in numbers, and statistics on volunteering are still not accurate, here are some estimates:
- 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