International Volunteer Day
International Volunteers Day was created in 1985 for organizations, communities, and individual volunteers to celebrate and make visible their contributions at local, national, and international levels. It is now observed every year on December 5th.
Volunteering is defined as, “a person who voluntarily offers himself or herself for a service or undertaking.”
Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa with an estimated 170 million people, but despite being the largest economy, poverty rates are still climbing with 65% said to be living in extreme poverty. These conditions breed discontent and disaffection amongst youth. It also becomes an entry way for corruption, Islamic extremism and ineffective governance. VSO International says Nigeria needs to create at least 2.5 million jobs every year for the next decade to meet the needs of its growing workforce, and with 10.5 million children currently out of school, something needs to be done.
That is where volunteering comes in. There are many great benefits to volunteering. It can help
- fight poverty
- improve education
- by making sure that everyone gets the skills they need to live a full, exciting, and dignified life.
- volunteering can also help contribute to the delivery and enhancement of education. Baker, Gersten and Keating (2000) showed that volunteers can have a direct impact on students such as helping them to learn how to read.
- improve health
- by making sure people have access to better quality healthcare.
- improve livelihoods
- Giving people the freedom to live with independence and dignity by offering secure and reliable access to food and income.
It also has positive effects on the volunteers themselves, bot intrinsically and extrinsically. It can help with self-esteem, open and expand career paths and allow them to get proper training, along with helping with mental and physical health. They are also able to build up their resumes, develop leadership skills, and develop long lasting relationships with people in their communities and community leaders.
There are many things for today’s youth to volunteer with. Things like working in a foodbank, volunteering for administrative tasks, working with children, and working with the homeless are just a few.
If you are interested in volunteering there are numerous volunteering projects available.
A few for you to look at are:
Let’s all start coming together and becoming a cohesive community. Let’s make sure everyone has the access to healthcare, education, and a chance for great livelihoods! Help us observe International Volunteers Day and show appreciation for our volunteers all around the world!
VSO International – https://www.vsointernational.org/volunteering/ICS-youth-volunteering
USAID – https://www.usaid.gov/nigeria