TANZANIA today celebrates International Volunteer Day (IVD) with a forum on 'Volunteerism and Youth Engagement' that will be held at Karimjee Hall.
According to a statement issued by United Nations Volunteers Programme Office in Dar es Salaam , the forum has been organised by the UN together with Government, Volunteer organisations, Academia and youth groups.
The forum aims at engaging youths on volunteerism and encouraging them to play their part on volunteerism. Participants include youth from universities and out of schools youth.
This year's theme for the Day is "Volunteer Action Counts." IVD is celebrated each year on 5th December. The day was designated by the United Nations in 1985 as a day to celebrate the power and potential of volunteerism. It is an opportunity for volunteers, and volunteer organizations to raise awareness of, and gain recognition for, the contribution they make to their communities.
The act of volunteering is found in all cultures, languages, and religions. Every year, hundreds of millions of people volunteer their time and skills to help make the world a better place. When they volunteer, they help to improve the lives of others.
And when they volunteer, they also gain a greater sense of belonging to their communities. People around the world celebrate IVD with rallies, parades, volunteer fairs, group clean ups, blood donations, conferences, exhibitions, fundraising workshops and volunteer recognition events.
The day provides a chance to raise awareness of the contribution volunteers give to the well-being of their community. Currently, there are approximately 7,300 national and international UN Volunteers contributing to UN work in sustainable development and peace work in over 130 countries.
Meanwhile, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon issued a statement to mark the annual event. The Secretary General said: "As we celebrate the impact of volunteers on our world, let us remember the many places they are needed: in war zones and classrooms, in hospitals and homes - wherever struggling people seek a helping hand.
Let us also remember that volunteering can embrace all people, from the activist who works full-time for a cause to the occasional citizen who reaches out when he or she can." "I applaud all people who volunteer each year for the benefit of their communities.
I am especially grateful to the 7,700 United Nations Volunteers who support efforts to prevent conflicts, help societies recover from fighting, promote sustainable development, assist in crisis situations and carry out numerous other projects for the greater good."
He further said that their work has advanced the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and "I am confident they will also contribute to the progress on the post-2015 development agenda".