International Volunteer Day 2020 – Together We Can through Volunteering

Millions of volunteers worldwide have risen to the challenges posed by COVID-19 in the last nine months. On International Volunteer Day (IVD) 2020, the United Nations has come together to recognize and show our appreciation to all volunteers during the global pandemic.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, states: “Around the world, volunteers have been assisting vulnerable groups, correcting misinformation, educating children, providing essential services to the elderly, and supporting front-line health workers. As we gradually recover from the pandemic, volunteers will have a key role to play in accelerating the transition to green, inclusive and just economies.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) identifies community volunteers as key to responding to the pandemic. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, explains that, “In the face of great challenges, volunteers around the world have given their time, energy and skills to offer assistance to their communities… volunteers have played an essential role.”

On this IVD, with the campaign ‘Together We Can through Volunteering’, we showcase volunteers’ contributions and impact during COVID-19 and thank volunteers for their actions and commitment. We are also highlighting that volunteers must be safe and taken care of, both mentally and physically.

Toily Kurbanov, Officer-in-Charge, of the United Nations Volunteers spell out this need: “Volunteers during the pandemic response are under exceptional stress, they face health risks and over work. On International Volunteer Day and every day, we need to recognize and support UN Volunteers, and all volunteers around the world.”

The world will get through this pandemic, together, and in solidarity. As we move into the vaccination roll-out our communities will again call on volunteers, whose role will continue to be essential.


For more information, photos, interviews and video please contact:

Jennifer Stapper, Communications, UNV






Every year on the 5th of December, the world celebrates International Volunteer Day (IVD) to recognize the contributions of volunteers worldwide.

The General Assembly invited Governments to observe annually, on 5 December, the International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development (resolution 40/212 of 17 December 1985) and urged them to take measures to heighten awareness of the important contribution of volunteer service, thereby stimulating more people in all walks of life to offer their services as volunteers, both at home and abroad. As such, International Volunteer Day has been celebrated since 1986.

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme leads and coordinates a campaign worldwide to promote International Volunteers Day every year, building on the impact volunteers have in communities, nationally and globally, for peace and development.

To follow the IVD 2020 campaign, you can find our social media resources on the designated Together We Can webpage and Trello Board, as well as on all @UNVolunteers social media channels.

The blue heart symbol – associated with IVD 2020 – was selected to convey a positive feeling of solidarity and compassion towards volunteers. Please join us in recognizing and thanking volunteers across the world who have done so much during this pandemic. Join the Calls to Action on our Together We Can webpage and use the hashtags #TogetherWeCan #IVD2020 #HeartYourMask and #GiveAHeart.

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