Call for 'Stories of Volunteer Action'
26 January 2008

The World Alliance for Citizen Participation in conjunction with its partner organisations the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) and the United Nations Volunteer (UNV) Programme invites interested CIVICUS members, partners, and other civil society organisations and businesses actively engaged in corporate social responsibility  to submit short ‘stories of volunteer action’ for possible inclusion in a joint CIVICUS-IAVE-UNV publication on the indispensable role of volunteering and activism for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. 

The CIVICUS-IAVE-UNV joint publication seeks to advance a broad notion of volunteerism, which moves away from a perception of volunteering as strictly charity, service delivery and philanthropy, to one that also encompasses aspects of social activism such as advocacy, civic engagement, awareness raising and campaigning. Toward this end, the commonalities and synergies between volunteering and social activism will be considered according to a range of perspectives and practical examples from civil society organisations and leaders.  The publication also aims to highlight examples of the indispensable and oftentimes under-recognised role of volunteer action for helping to realise widely held development goals, such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Story Focus and Theme
CIVICUS is seeking inspiring and effective ‘stories of volunteer action’ from all regions of the world to help illustrate the relationship between volunteering and social activism for promoting development and social change.  Descriptions of ‘volunteer action’ must clearly explain the role of volunteers as agents of social change through involvement in advocacy efforts, civic engagement/participation, campaigning and/or awareness building. This may include lobbying for changes in policy and the law, raising awareness about the needs of a community, human rights or poverty, engaging in the development process, advocating for the rights of the elderly, efforts to ensure government accountability, inter-cultural learning, and empowerment through increased access to information and skills.   Examples of ‘volunteer action’ can be formal (i.e. linked to a particular organisation/institution) however exceptional examples of informal ‘volunteer action’ whether by a group or an individual are also encouraged.  The partner organisations are particularly keen to receive stories from the national and local levels where individuals are coming together around shared goals and taking their destinies into their own hands. 

Possible topics for stories include: Youth - Social Inclusion - Good Governance/Anti-Corruption - Gender Equality/Empowerment - Poverty Reduction - Participatory Development - Health and Disease - Education - Environment - Human Rights – ICTs – Peace Building/Inter-cultural Learning.

The Application Process  
Descriptions of ‘volunteer action’ should be no longer then 350 words and must be submitted by Friday, February 8th.  Where possible, please include quotes from volunteers and/or heads of organisations about the relationship between volunteering and social activism to further enhance the description of the ‘volunteer action.’  Also, if available, please send one picture that best illustrates the example of ‘volunteer action’ which you are submitting.

Please also provide the following contact information:

  • Contact Name
  • Organisation/Institution
  • Short description of your organisation’s work
  • Full Address
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Fax
  • Current membership status (i.e. whether your organisation is currently a member)

All submissions should be sent to by Friday, February 8th.

Note: Individuals will be informed no later than the end of February whether or not their submission has been selected for possible inclusion in the joint publication.   

This page can found at: