People Powered Change – Volunteerism

Dec 5, 2013

Young. Global. Active. International Volunteer Day 2013 was celebrated in the city of Bahir Dar with a number of sporting activities for the public

Addis Ababa, 5th of December 2013 – Ethiopia will soon have a new national volunteering scheme following an agreement signed between the Government of Ethiopia, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The proposed National Volunteer Scheme for Ethiopia seeks to develop a broad framework that will provide an inclusive, harmonised and coherent infrastructure for volunteering in Ethiopia.


The spirit of giving – which is at the heart of volunteerism – is woven into the fabric of the national identity of Ethiopia. There are over 17 volunteer involving organisations mobilising volunteers across the country to support sustainable development efforts.


The National Volunteer Scheme for Ethiopia is a result of the government’s clear commitment to institutionalise and recognise volunteerism as an invaluable resource. The scheme strives to harness the huge potential of volunteerism in advancing the development of the country.


Latest figures indicate that there are more than 6,800 UN Volunteers were assigned to UN development projects and peace-keeping efforts; over 11,000 people volunteered with the UNV Online Volunteer service; and an additional 57,000 local volunteers were mobilised through UNV efforts in countries around the world.


“Not only have these volunteers brought real lasting through their actions but they are also having a tremendous impact by serving as role models for other young people,” said Richard Dictus, the Executive Coordinator for the UNV programme.


Under the theme 'Young. Global. Active.' the International Volunteers Day 2013 pays a special tribute to youth volunteers in global peace and sustainable human development.


The UNV has introduced several ways of volunteering – including the UN Youth volunteers’ scheme and UNV Online Volunteer service. UN Youth Volunteers are true inspiration in action.


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.


The International Volunteer Day (IVD) is marked annually on December 5th and provides an opportunity for volunteers, and volunteer organisations, to raise awareness of, and gain recognition for the contribution they make to their communities.


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UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in 177 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations. 


Contact information

Ms Elizabeth Agitta, Programme Officer for UNV in Ethiopia, Tel.: 0115 170 877, Email:

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