How UNV celebrated International Volunteer Day in Arab States
The International Volunteer Day campaign in 2022 focused on solidarity through volunteering. In the Arab States, celebrations aimed to translate the campaign’s slogan "Together, Act Now" into action. In a variety of initiatives, participants joined forces with volunteers or stood in solidarity with people from vulnerable local communities.
Here are some examples:
In Djibouti, International Volunteer Day was celebrated through a networking event held on 4 December and opened by UNDP Resident Representative Ms Emma N'Gouan-Anoh. The event was attended by 60 participants, including representatives of UNHCR, the World Food Programme and UNICEF, as well as representatives from the embassies of France and Japan, the Red Cross and several local youth associations. The day focused on strengthening UNV partnerships and attracting candidates interested in serving as UN Volunteers. At a volunteer-run booth, candidates were given the opportunity to learn more about how to register to serve with the UN.
In Lebanon, a two-day event was organized on 5 and 6 December by the Arab Voluntary Union and National Commission of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It was held at the UNESCO Palace, under the patronage of the Prime Minister and in close collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
The opening ceremony was attended by more than 1,000 secondary education and university students, in addition to non-governmental organizations and UN representatives. Visitors toured the booths of more than 70 participating organizations to learn about their work and the volunteering opportunities they offer. Side sessions were also organized addressing topics related to volunteering, including a session on disability inclusion and volunteering, where three UN Volunteers with disabilities shared their stories.
In the State of Palestine, activities conducted to celebrate IVD focused on volunteer-led action in solidarity with small communities. These included an olive-picking activity by UN Volunteers and UNDP personnel to support the efforts of farmers in the village of Saffa, north of Ramallah.
In addition, a community-volunteering initiative was held to clean-up debris and leftovers of a UNDP sewage construction project in Attile, Tulkarm. UNV took part in the First Educational Forum for Volunteering and Volunteer Management, which was organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the Scouts movement on 16 and 17 November.
Other activities took place in Yemen, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Sudan. Learn more about them here.