Egypt and the UN celebrated the International Volunteer Day (IVD), which falls on December 5 of each year with the aim to promote solidarity through volunteering.
This year focuses on contributions by volunteers with the aim to make positive change in their societies, particularly where climate action and sustainable development is concerned.
The celebration was attended by Social Solidarity Minister Nevine el Qabbaj, UN Resident Coordinator in Egypt Elena Panova, UN Development Program (UNDP) Resident Representative in Egypt Alessandro Fracassetti and UN Volunteers (UNV) coordinator in Egypt Heba Nosseir.
The IVD is celebrated this year, with millions of volunteers worldwide working in solidarity to underscore the life-changing impact volunteering has on millions of people every day.
Over a billion people volunteer their time, skills, and experience to help improve their communities. From providing practical support to vulnerable children and adults to advising on sophisticated technical and legal issues, volunteers are present at all levels of society. Each one brings a specific set of skills to their tasks.
In line with Egypt hosting COP 27 and in partnership with the Ministry of Social Solidarity and Volunteerism Network Members, UNV Egypt recognizes the best national and UN Volunteers.
The national volunteer award was adopted by the Minister of Social Solidarit during IVD 2021. This year, the award is given under the theme of Environment. UNV Egypt is recognizing best performing UN Volunteers under three categories, initiative, innovation and teamwork, in addition to, special award for the 9 UN Volunteers mobilized for COP 27.
Addressing the ceremony, Minister Qabbaj praised the important role played by volunteers in Egypt, pointing out that 600 volunteers had been selected to contribute to the organization of the COP27 in the Egyptian Red Sea resort city of Sharm el Sheikh last month.
Egypt has some 600,000 volunteers working across the country with the aim to help improve their communities, families, schools and universities, Qabbaj said. They also help with implementing many national projects, she added.
The minister, however, underscored the need to have a systematic mechanism for volunteering and securing enough training for volunteers.
UNV coordinates IVD on December 5 every year to recognize and promote the tireless work, not just of UN Volunteers, but of volunteers across the globe.