The United Nation’s Volunteers around the world are a clear example of the power of volunteerism - Claire Medina

Dec 5, 2017

International Volunteers Day is celebrated every 5th December around the world to recognize the contribution of volunteers to peace and development.

This year’s theme is: “Volunteers Act First. Here. Everywhere” to raise awareness on the role the volunteers play in responding when there is a crisis. Forced migration, conflicts and recurring natural disasters are contributing to an increasing number of people living in difficult and life-threatening environments around the world. In Malawi, many have suffered the impact of devastating floods and droughts in the past few years.

Volunteers act first and help when people need it the most. Here, everywhere volunteers are often members of affected communities themselves. They help save lives after a natural disaster providing assistance for people who have lost their homes and provide basic food and shelter, often braving many dangers themselves to bring relief to those who suffer.

The United Nation’s Volunteers around the world are a clear example of the power of volunteerism. Here in Malawi, they are – for example - working with DoDMA to strengthen disaster preparedness, and to support the development of secondary school curricula on disaster risk management; and are working on rebuilding schools after floods.

UN Volunteers, and indeed all Volunteers play an important role in global peace and sustainable human development and through their volunteerism learn new skills. We hope that the national Volunteer Service programme that the Government - in the new Malawi Growth and Development Strategy - has indicated will be established will help further this cause here in Malawi.

I would like to thank the Volunteer Involving Organization, Volunteer Sending Agencies and the Volunteerism for Development Taskforce for organizing this celebration this year and making it community based. I sincerely thank you for the collaboration and partnership.

On this International Volunteers Day, let us recognize the efforts of volunteers and encourage the youth in Malawi to get involved and volunteer for the betterment of their communities and the country at large.

Thank you for your attention.

Zikomo kwa mbiri 

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