Vol­un­teerism and com­mu­nity

Bhutan Times - - Editorial -

The In­ter­na­tional Vol­un­teer day is cel­e­brated through­out the world on the 5th of De­cem­ber to pro­vide ap­pro­pri­ate plat­form for the agen­cies and or­ga­ni­za­tions to dis­play their con­tri­bu­tions to de­vel­op­ment at lo­cal, na­tional and in­ter­na­tional lev­els. By merg­ing UN support with a grass­roots man­date, the day is a unique op­por­tu­nity for vol­un­teer-in­volv­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions to work with gov­ern­ment agen­cies, non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tions, com­mu­nity groups and the pri­vate sec­tor.

The day was es­tab­lished by the United Na­tions Gen­eral Assem­bly through res­o­lu­tion on the 17th of De­cem­ber 1985. Since then, gov­ern­ments, the UN sys­tem and civil so­ci­ety or­ga­ni­za­tions have suc­cess­fully joined vol­un­teers around the world to cel­e­brate the Day on 5 De­cem­ber.

UNV pur­sues global recog­ni­tion of vol­un­teers for peace and de­vel­op­ment, en­cour­ages the in­te­gra­tion of vol­un­teerism into de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes, and pro­motes the mo­bi­liza­tion of in­creas­ing num­bers and greater di­ver­sity of vol­un­teers con­tribut­ing to peace and de­vel­op­ment.

It also helps to or­ga­nize and run lo­cal and na­tional elec­tions and support a large num­ber of peace­keep­ing and hu­man­i­tar­ian projects. UN Vol­un­teers com­prise one third of all in­ter­na­tional civil­ians work­ing in UN peace­keep­ing op­er­a­tions.

In Bhutan the col­lab­o­ra­tion is the same and as we cel­e­brate the In­ter­na­tional Vol­un­teer Day in the clock tower square, the award cer­e­mony was quite touch­ing. It was the time to thank for all the vol­un­teers who has worked as teacher, nurses and hor­ti­cul­tur­ist in the re­mote Bhutanese vil­lage with bare nec­es­saries. The vol­un­teer who help col­lect old clothes and dis­trib­uted to the poor was ap­plaud able. The vol­un­teers has for­gone their com­forts and made the life of other peo­ple eas­ier. Many thanks for their self­less ser­vice and ap­pre­ci­ate their valu­able con­tri­bu­tion made to the so­ci­ety.

How­ever the big­ger mes­sage is that are we in­cul­cat­ing the habit of vol­un­teerism in our so­ci­ety or are we all still self-cen­tered as we are be­fore. As we cel­e­brate the day we must pon­der over the lessons we have learned from our UNV teach­ers and JICA vol­un­teer who look after your sick child. We need to learn from them and ap­pre­ci­ate the ways we are be­ing served, nur­tured and pol­ished to be­come a bet­ter hu­man be­ing. As what was the theme of the In­ter­na­tional Vol­un­teer Day this year - Make change hap­pen, vol­un­teer, be a vol­un­teer in the lit­tle way we can and be a re­spon­si­ble cit­i­zens.

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