21 March 2005
Volunteerism and its role in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were recently highlighted in Albania’s National Human Development Report.
The report, specifically outlining volunteerism’s role in implementing “pro-poor and pro-women” policies, said that to reach these objectives, “all development initiatives should be solidly anchored at the community level. (Thus,) the solidarity and creativity of millions of ordinary people, channelled through volunteerism, are key to attaining the goals".
"Working primary at the community level, volunteering focuses on activities aimed at strengthening local capacities, fostering ownership and participation -- all key components for people-centred and people-driven development," says the report.
As individuals, volunteers contribute to poverty reduction by mapping and analyzing poverty statistic indicators and coordinating "hunger prevention" activities, among others. They also help micro-credit groups improve their administration skills by holding trainings and workshops.
In addition, volunteer networks also empower local groups by providing them opportunities to prioritize their needs and engage in development initiatives. Volunteer groups also encourage social inclusion by engaging women in volunteer work.
MDGs are a set of time-bound objectives adopted by 189 governments to end poverty and hunger, ensure primary education, promote gender equality and stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and other deadly diseases, among others, by 2015.
Read the chapter on "Volunteerism in promoting the pro-poor & pro-women agenda"