Cover image: International Volunteer Day

International Volunteer Day

Taking place on 5th December every year.

Celebrating the contribution and achievements of volunteers.

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Updated 1 year ago

About the event

A day to celebrate the contribution and achievements of volunteers across the world, providing an opportunity for volunteer organisations and individual volunteers to show their contributions to peace and development. Inaugurated by the UN in 1985, the day is celebrated by the United Nations Volunteers, NGO’s, and civil society organisations across the world. 

How to approach it

Fundamentally today should be about showing students the important values that underline volunteering. Show that volunteering is about freely giving your time in order to help others. It embodies an alternate sensibility to a self-interested world in which people only do things for money or themselves. Volunteering is about having the courage to get out there and start working towards the world that you want. 

To explore these themes ask your class: Why do people volunteer? Good answers here are to help solve a problem, to look after others, to learn new skills or because it feels good to help out. Next you could ask: what would the world be like if more people acted like volunteers? Perhaps it would be kinder, more caring or less individualistic.

Finally use this inspiration as a platform for students to think about how they could volunteer. Ask: what issues do you feel strongly about in the world? Who would you like to help? In order to help this discussion list with your class what issues and volunteering positions are out there. Food banks, litter picks, climate education or fundraising for charities are all good examples. 

Organised by

United Nations

Conversation starter

Volunteers freely give their time to help others. With a little bit of initiative we can all be volunteers and we can help to solve the problems we care about the most. If you could volunteer to help solve any problem, what would it be?