This International Volunteer Day I would like to thank our volunteers for all their amazing work.

International Volunteer Day (IVD) is celebrated each year on 5 December and was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1985. IVD provides volunteer organisations and individual volunteers with the opportunity to raise the public awareness of their contributions to economic and social development at local, national and international levels.

Over the last year ABV-registered volunteers spent 7179 days – or around 20 working years on assignment across 13 countries in our region. Our volunteers are also critical to our Head Office operations providing support through interviewing, participation on working groups or special projects.

In October the International Forum for Volunteering in Development made the ‘Bonn Call to Action’ which included these declarations:

Volunteers are uniquely positioned to reach out to marginalised, vulnerable people and fragile communities, supporting them to build their resilience and ownership of sustainable people-centred development interventions.

Volunteers and volunteer organisations are essential to people-centred development and vibrant, resilient communities. Acting alongside local and national governments, multilateral agencies and the private sector, volunteers of all ages build capacity and active citizenship.

As a member of the Forum, on behalf of ABV I would like to reiterate these words to all of our volunteers, and add that the skills, experience, enthusiasm, and spirit of altruism of our volunteers are ABV’s key asset. Without them nothing would be possible.

Thank you for all your work this year.

Sarah O’Connor

CEO

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