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Grow Volunteers to Build Resilient Communities

Grow Volunteers to Build Resilient Communities This International Volunteer Day 2018

International Volunteer Day (IVD) on 5 December is a day to recognise and connect with the global volunteer movement. Over a million New Zealanders are part of the estimated one billion volunteers around the globe freely giving their time to make a difference on the issues that affect them and their communities.

From UN Volunteers bringing together youth and religious leaders to take action on gender equality, to the work of our award-winning Edgecumbe Volunteer Fire Brigade during the 2017 flooding. This year’s theme, ‘volunteers build resilient communities’ acknowledges the vital role of volunteers in preventing, preparing and responding to shocks and stresses and building resilience.

“It is on the ground, in our local communities, that we really see the unique impact of volunteers, often in the most difficult of circumstances” says Katie Bruce, Chief Executive of Volunteering New Zealand.

“Grow volunteers, build resilient communities” says Katie. “Without volunteers our country would be completely unrecognisable. That means we need to invest in better developing, training and recognising our volunteers and volunteer leaders.”

This theme closely resonantes with Sam Johnson, board member of International Association of Volunteering (IAVE) and founder of Student Volunteer Army (SVA) that embodied the spirit of resilience by mobilising thousands of student volunteers in the wake of the Christchurch earthquake. Sam says, “I just love volunteering. I have learned that people of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels want to use their skills to help others. This International Volunteer Day I’m excited about creating new models and frameworks that enable people to volunteer.”

Volunteering New Zealand (VNZ) is an association of national volunteer-involving organisations that have a commitment to volunteering. Their mission is to maximise the impact of volunteering in our communities. www.volunteeringnz.org.nz

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