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International Volunteer Day takes leaders across the globe


Media Release

Volunteering New Zealand

3 December 2012

International Volunteer Day takes leaders across the globe

1.5 million volunteers will be celebrated across the country on Wednesday 5 December, marking International Volunteer Day.

International Volunteer Day is marked worldwide to celebrate and thank those who dedicate their time throughout the year to worthy causes.

In recognition of New Zealand’s volunteerism activity, Volunteering New Zealand’s Chief Executive, Vanisa Dhiru, and Sam Johnson, founder of the Student Volunteer Army Foundation founder and 2012 Young New Zealander of the Year, have been invited to speak at the 22nd IAVE World Volunteer Conference in London this month.

Johnson will be sharing his experience leading the Student Volunteer Army throughout the clean-up in Christchurch. Dhiru will share insights into the development of New Zealand’s Best Practice Guidelines launched last month through a national webinar, and which have received international attention and recognition.

Dhiru explains, “NGOs are not always enthusiastic about engaging volunteers, and often the roles they fill are not understood. For volunteers to be effective, and for organisations to achieve their goals, it is critical for them to evaluate their view of volunteers, and the source of any resistance they demonstrate. Often that resistance is embedded in organisational culture; our Guidelines can help change this by offering a straightforward set of tips, tricks and checks for organisations to work through.”

She goes on to point out that “Over 270 million hours are given by New Zealand volunteers each year and it’s always important to recognise what they do”.

Volunteering New Zealand is supporting local celebrations through their relationship with the network of regional Volunteer Centres, who will be hosting helping recognition events throughout the country. In addition, Volunteering New Zealand will release a YouTube video to share its thanks to New Zealand’s volunteers online.

The video and further information will be posted online on Wednesday 5 December – www.volunteeringnz.org.nz


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