National Volunteer Week 2021
April 18-24, 2021
The National Volunteer Week theme for 2021, The Value of One, The Power of Many, reflects on the awe-inspiring acts of kindness by millions of individuals AND the magic that happens when we work together towards a common purpose. This past year, we have seen people supporting family, friends, neighbours, and strangers, people standing up to systemic racism, and people sharing insights on how to create a more just and equitable society. We recognize the value of the caring and compassion that each one has shown another, and we recognize the power of people, organizations, and sectors working together.
The power of people working together can bring about monumental changes. We have seen people work together on legislative changes related to impaired driving, same sex marriage, and assisted dying.
The theme is a nod to our past, a reflection of our present, and a wink to our future. The Value of One, the Power of Many was the theme for National Volunteer Week in 2001, The International Year of Volunteers. It beautifully reflects the individual and collective efforts, we have seen during the pandemic, and it sets the tone for re-imagining the next 20 years as the value of one act and the power of many enables us to thrive together.
Launch of International Volunteer Day theme 2020
International Volunteers Day (IVD), is an international observance that was mandated by the UN General Assembly in 1985.
The Day is an opportunity for us all to promote volunteerism, encourage governments to support volunteer efforts and recognize volunteer contributions to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local, national and international levels.
UNV coordinates a campaign to promote IVD every year, building on the impact volunteers have in communities, nationally and globally, for peace and development.
Let’s make IVD this year a worldwide moment to thank volunteers and celebrate their efforts despite all the challenges at hand.
Over the last months, as the COVID 19 pandemic has ravaged across the world, volunteers have been at the forefront of medical, community and societal responses.
The COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan by the WHO identifies community volunteers as key stakeholders for risk communication and community engagement. This indicates the valuable and the great effort the WHO believes volunteers is doing during COVID-19. Yet, recognition is still not enough, especially when it comes to volunteers’ own well-being and access to health care.
This year’s IVD campaign, that starts today and culminates on IVD 2020, December 5th, will thank volunteers worldwide and also shed light on the difficulties and needs of volunteers during the pandemic. Showing the impact of volunteers in their communities during this crisis, we will reach to all corners of the globe with the message of Together We Can Through Volunteering.
As UN Deputy Secretary General Amina J. Mohammed reminded us in opening the GTM2020 in July, “the efforts of 1 billion volunteers is an important foundation at a pivotal moment for development to enable us to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic”.
In the coming weeks we will be developing a designated web page for the campaign. Please follow our social media channels @UNVolunteers and use the hashtags #TogetherWeCan and #IVD2020 to be part of the conversation. The blue heart emoji will be associated with the IVD2020 and contribute to building the campaign image that conveys a positive feeling, solidarity, and compassion toward volunteers.