December the 5th is International Volunteer Day and Volunteer South | Kaitūao o te Taitonga is celebrating volunteers and the change they bring about in their communities.
Established by the United Nations the theme this year is the power of collective action: if everyone did.
“If everyone volunteered, the world would be a better place. Imagine more than eight billion of us volunteering. Limitless possibilities for sustainable development – food and education for everyone, clean environment and good health, inclusive and peaceful societies, and more.”
“Volunteerism is an enormous renewable resource for social, economic and environmental problem-solving throughout the world. As the world faces mounting challenges, volunteers are often the first to help. Volunteers are at the fore in crises and emergencies, often in very testing and dire situations.” says the UN.
On a national level Aotearoa has seen volunteers step up in 2023 following the weather events on the North Island, with 1000s of people helping out in their communities, and continuing to do so in the recovery phase.
Locally there are teams of volunteers that have formed Community Response Groups, getting ready to respond in an emergency, and there are groups and organisations supporting food security across the region, alongside 100s of wider initiatives all supporting stronger communities.
“Volunteer involving organisations and community groups continue to be active in a range of areas, ensuring communities are connected and vibrant. Whether their focus is emergency response, wellbeing, events, arts, culture, sports or the environment - volunteers are the change makers in our communities and we thank them for their commitment to their community.” says Volunteer South’s CE Sues Russell.
Photo credit & thanks to Journeys - creating a fun and nurturing environment as we adventure together in our local wild places