12 December 2005
Suva, Fiji :
International Volunteer Day (IVD) was celebrated at Ratu Sukuna Park on 5 December by hundreds of volunteers from around the country who marched through the capital city.
The theme for the day was 'volunteers promote partnership' which was derived from the Millennium Development Goal 8 'developing a global partnership for development'.
Hans de Graff, the deputy resident representative for the United Nations Development Programme said the IVD gave the volunteers an opportunity to make visible their contributions at local, national and international levels.
Mr Graff said volunteers were always working behind the scenes and days such as the International Volunteer Day gave them a chance to come out and let their work be acknowledged.
He said volunteerism was embedded in every culture and tradition and said UNDP volunteers were encouraged and expected to identify with and relate to local volunteerism. "The UN greatly values volunteers' contributions and recognizes that volunteering benefits both the society at large and the individual volunteer," he said. He said volunteerism embraced all types of volunteer action while holding to the values of free will, commitment, engagement and solidarity.
In his speech at the celebration, the mayor of Suva, Ratu Peni Volavola, encouraged all corporate houses to encourage volunteerism among their staff.