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Volunteerism worldwide: News, views & resources
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Volunteers play a key role in promoting public health and providing health care, including prevention of epidemics such as HIV/AIDS and malaria. From participating in community sanitation campaigns to donating time and resources for building hospitals, voluntary efforts can be seen in myriad forms.

In 2000, ten million people volunteered to support the immunization of 550 million children as part of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Most of them were concerned citizens, volunteering in their own communities. They gave their time to ensure that children reported to immunization stations, were properly documented, and received the oral vaccine. The total value of the support provided by volunteers was estimated at US$ 10 billion, well beyond the reach of governments or international and national organizations.

The example illustrates well how the solidarity and creativity of millions of volunteers are key to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

In this section, read about various initiatives worldwide in which volunteers contribute towards building a healthy, better world. Also featured here are related events and resources, including opportunities for volunteer health workers.

If you have any news, press releases, events, documents, links or other information resources related to this topic, send them to us at and we will post them here.

Related articles
20 December 2011
La journée du volontariat au Togo 
Marche en faveur du volontariat au Togo au cours des festivités de la Journée internationale des Volontaires en 2011. (Programme VNU)
Lomé, Togo:
Le Togo reconnaît la valeur de l'engagement volontaire pour le développement lors des festivités de la Journée internationale des Volontaires.
  Read article
More about: Togo  Activism  Environment  MDG 6  MDG 7  Youth
06 April 2011
Village volunteers and a healthier Nepal 
(Left-right) Sushmita Sumbhamphe, 22, who is nine months pregnant, and her mother listen to Chandra Maya, a woman community health volunteer, at their home in Chowkmagu Village in Panchthar District in the remote, mountainous Eastern Region. Chandra holds a chart with the names of all the pregnant women in the village, together with their ages, number of pregnancies and live births, and frequency of their antenatal visits. Sushmita receives regular antenatal check-ups, and has been taking Vitamin A, iron and folic acid supplements. However, she has anaemia and swelling in her limbs. While Chandra has advised an institutional delivery, Sushmita plans to deliver her baby at home with the help of her mother, who has no midwifery experience. They will send for Chandra if complications arise. Chandra is a trained birth assistant, and has conducted over 150 deliveries in the past 14 years. (UNICEF/Anita Khemka)
Kathmandu, Nepal: "In the last 15 years, we have managed to reduce child mortality by two-thirds... it can be credited the role played by the Female Community Health Volunteers."  Read article
More about: Nepal  Gender
06 April 2011
Editorial: Barefoot doctors and angels in white coats 
Manju, a volunteer nurse, checks the blood pressure of a pregnant woman during the weekly antenatal clinic at Panchthar District Hospital in the village of Phidim in the remote, mountainous Eastern Region. At the clinic, women receive checkups, nutrition counselling and tetanus vaccinations, as well as iron and Vitamin A supplements. (UNICEF/Anita Khemka)
In a world where so few people have ready access to healthcare, volunteers can create big changes.

From community health volunteers to surgeons responding to crisis to the volunteers in healthcare trials, where would we be without them?

World Health Day, 7 April 2011

  Read article
19 May 2010
UNV volunteer shoots '8 Goals for Africa' 
Accompanied by a music video, ‘8 Goals for Africa’ is being disseminated free of charge locally and internationally, before, during and after the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The performing artists will also make special appearances during the soccer tournament, promoting the MDGs and calling for action. 
The music video will be screened throughout the World Cup, across all the fan parks and public viewing areas. On the day of the finals, all eight artists will come together to sing the song in a live performance at the Soccer City Fan Fest in Johannesburg. The video will also be distributed to the international media. (UNIC South Africa/'8 Goals for the MDGs')
Pretoria, South Africa: A UNV volunteer has brought together Africa's top musicians for a high-profile campaign connecting the Millennium Development Goals with the FIFA World Cup in South Africa.  Read article
11 February 2009
A day at Serenity Place 
IVD 2008 at 'Serenity Place, Port Fortin, Trinidad: (standing from left to right)  Dr. Geeta Misra, Dr. Trysa Konstantin, Dr. Muhammad Zaman, Dr. Bikshit Guria, Baby Sanna, Mr. Cole, Dr. Valluri Avinash, Dr. Prasanta Misra, (sitting from left to right)  Dr. Sahana Sharmin, Dr. Nilgiri Kerketta, Dr. Aruna, Dr. Khandker Haque (not in the picture)
Port Fortin, Trinidad: In the spirit of promoting and encouraging volunteerism, a group of UNV volunteers visited 'Serenity Place'. Though an impromptu idea, the group made a small contribution in the form of gift hampers and a First Aid kit.   Read article


Related links
Children Welfare Concern Society (CWCS) 
Children Welfare Concern Society (CWCS) aims at preserving the children and their rights, children who have been suffering from natural disaster or conflict, lost their parents or live in poverty. The organization's focus is on the children’s rehabilitation and education, as well as on women's empowerment.   Visit site
Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) 
The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) is a Cameroonian non-profit organization focusing on the conservation of wildlife and the protection of fragile environments.   Visit site
Our Generation Voluntary Organisation (OGVO) 
The Our Generation Voluntary Organisation (OGVO) is a non-political, non-religious and non-profit making organization in Ghana, aiming to foster cross-cultural understanding to help the helpless and needy in society. Teams of young men and women work for OGVO in both rural and urban Ghana.   Visit site

Related blog entries
31 December 2007, 13:34
Burundi: Sports and donating hospital materials 
In Burundi, the day long IVD programme started in the morning with sports activities; the football, basketball and volley ball teams came from Network of local associations in Burundi and Kamenge Youth Center, among others.  Read entry
From: IVD 2007 Blog
21 December 2006, 11:13
From blood donation to tree planting, Sri Lanka celebrates IVD 
The IVD celebrations were held in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal, with activities including country wide tree plantation, bicycle race,  and clean-up drives.  Read entry