Tanzania celebrated International Volunteer Day (IVD) on the 5th December 2021 with the theme ‘’ Volunteer now for our common future’’. The objective of the event was to recognize and support the spirit of volunteerism to help create a better future. It was nationally commemorated in Arusha region under the partnership of United Nations Volunteers and DSW Tanzania.
Participants at the event were Volunteers from Volunteer Serving NGOs, Government officials, health professionals, Development partners and other key stakeholders. Activities at the event included volunteer community services, booth exhibitions, volunteers and experts presentations. The topical issues were on the role of ICT in promoting volunteer work, harnessing demographic dividend through volunteer work, sustainable development goals and volunteering during COVID-19
During the presentations, DSW Tanzania Program Manager, Ms. Philomena Marijani emphasized on Volunteer Skills development for harnessing Demographic Dividend. She stated that majority volunteers are youth who need to be recognized and given opportunity to enhance their skills towards attaining Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Volunteers shared their journey of life in their volunteer work towards improving lives in the communities
The key note speech was presented by representative from UN Resident Coordinator’s Office (UN-RCO) in Tanzania who highlighted on how the volunteerism spirit saw beyond the threat of COVID-19 pandemic and how Volunteers’ passionately supported those in need. Volunteers around the world, including Tanzania, have been supporting vulnerable groups, correcting misinformation on COVID-19, providing essential services to the elderly, educating children and supporting health front line workers.
The event was graced by the presence of His Excellency Ambassador Richard Kabonero, High Commissioner of the Republic of Uganda in Tanzania. He emphasized on the importance of volunteerism and appreciated the technical support provided by Volunteers in the implementation of the SDGs and in fighting COVID-19 pandemic by saying “Volunteers in East Africa Community including Tanzania has come in many forms during the pandemic and all should be thanked including online, local, formal and informal, community helpers and activists”.
The day recognized the efforts, commitment and leadership of volunteers for their tireless efforts of bringing about change within their communities. Development partners committed to continue promoting the spirit of volunteerism for creating a more equal and inclusive future for communities worldwide.