International Volunteers Day 2018, Volunteerism promoted in all provinces

Kathmandu (Pahichan) December 6 – United Nations (UN) in Nepal, and partners, urged the Government of Nepal to mainstream volunteerism within the current federalism structure. On the occasion of International Volunteers Day (IVD) 2018, UN and partners gave orientations on resilience against natural disaster; entrepreneurship and economic growth; and social cohesion in all provinces to mark the day.  The event, with representatives from the local and provincial government and National Youth Council, sought deeper commitments towards working with volunteer groups and urged to promote volunteerism throughout the country.

IVD, mandated by the UN General Assembly, is held each year on 5 December. It is viewed as a unique chance for volunteers and organizations to celebrate their efforts, to share their values, and to promote their work among their communities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), UN agencies, government authorities, and the private sector.

With the 2018 IVD theme – “Volunteers Build Resilient Communities” – volunteers from United Nations Volunteers Nepal, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Population Fund, United Nations Women, World Health Organization – Country Office for Nepal, Voluntary Service Overseas, and Raleigh International, contributed to making communities in all provinces more resilient against natural disasters, strengthening economic growth and political stability.

Orientations regarding building resilience capacity in community on natural disaster was provided in Province 1; resilience against natural disasters in communities with an emphasis on helping the vulnerable was given in Province 2; post-disaster gender-based violence and women empowerment was given in Province 3; climate change resiliency orientation with a focus on water management given in Province 4 and 5 respectively; economic empowerment and promotion of entrepreneurship for the youth was given in Province 6; and democratic participation and social cohesion orientation was provided in Province 7.

Mayors, dignitaries from the provincial level government, representatives of the local youth organization, students, and volunteers benefited from the localized orientation.  Panel discussions were also held on how community members could volunteer to build resilience in their communities, while community volunteers who had worked in their communities shared about volunteerism and its importance.

Recommendations to the local and provincial government on how to mainstream the essence of volunteerism in the local planning processes were provided as conclusions.

The event created a platform where volunteers all over Nepal could learn best practices from each other in terms of building resilient communities through volunteerism, recognized the efforts of individuals that promote volunteerism and honor their spirit, highlighted importance of volunteerism for the community, and incorporated the importance of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in voluntary work.

UNV Nepal will also be collecting stories of outstanding work from national volunteers. A volunteer, from each province, will also be awarded the V-Award 2018.