Legal and Regulatory Volunteer Framework: UN Volunteers programme supports Malawi
The Government of Malawi has included the development of a legal and regulatory Volunteer Framework in its Growth and Development Strategy III (2017-2022). The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, which is based in Bonn, has been providing technical advisory services to the Government of Malawi throughout the conceptual and development process since 2016.
The Volunteer Framework is designed to instill professional skills into the young volunteers during their assignment and provide them with work experience, both of which, combined, are anticipated to increase their employability. This step represents a milestone for volunteering activities in Malawi. It provides guidelines as well as recognition to volunteers.
UN Volunteers continuously highlights the importance of volunteerism for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Many of the SDGs call for long-term attitude and behaviour changes. Volunteers facilitate changes in mindsets by raising awareness or championing those changes and inspiring others.
The Growth and Development Strategy III (2017-2022) recognizes the value of volunteerism in increasing the productivity of youth and unemployed Malawians. Malawi’s young people (under 30 years of age) make up 73 per cent of the population. Thus, youth unemployment and poverty is high. According to a 2013 report by the International Labour Organization (ILO), over 70 per cent of young Malawians aged 15 and 29 are employed in the informal sector, often struggling to make a living without benefits or social security.
In this regard, the Ministries of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development and Finance, Economic Planning and Development will work closely with the National Youth Council of Malawi to develop a legal and regulatory framework on volunteerism, as well as an effective national coordination and implementation framework.