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Volunteerism worldwide: News, views & resources
February 2007


28 Feb 2007
Swimming lessons: Lifeline for Ugandans 
Kampala, Uganda: When many people think of aid to Africa, they imagine sacks of grain for the starving or blankets for the homeless. But in Uganda, one volunteer-involving charity is offering something different: swimming lessons.  

24 Feb 2007
A shoulder to cry on  
In Swaziland in southern Africa one in 10 households is run by a child. Society has been hollowed out by HIV and Aids. Orphans are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. Some men infected by HIV believe they can be cured by having sex with a child. But now Unicef has set up a unique scheme to protect them. 

23 Feb 2007
UK survey reveals volunteers more interested on personal benefits 
London, UK: Volunteering is increasingly centred on the volunteers' benefits according to an online survey released by Volunteering England (VE), the national development agency for volunteering in the UK.

21 Feb 2007
Canadian volunteer organizations urge returned volunteers to do good at home
Toronto, Canada: A coalition of international service organizations in Canada is calling on returned overseas volunteers to join a new movement called Global Citizens for Change and fight poverty at home.  

21 Feb 2007
Bahamas immigration arrests expatriate doing volunteer work
Nassau, Bahamas: A foreigner doing volunteer work was allegedly arrested by Bahamas Immigration because she did not have a permit to do that type of service in The Bahamas.

12 Feb 2007
Singapore: Tighter rules won't hinder volunteerism
Singapore City, Singapore: The Singapore Commissioner of Charities (CoC) has said tightened charity registration will not discourage the spirit of volunteerism. Nine in 10 Singaporeans support stricter charity and volunteering rules.

07 Feb 2007
Scrutiny hinders volunteers in Hawaii 
Hawaii, USA: The American Red Cross Hawaii state has mandated background checks for volunteers nationwide, including board members, after accusations of impropriety among volunteers surfaced in the aftermath of Katrina. The new rule is unprecedented for one of the nation's most well-known charities, and officials of the Hawaii chapter are concerned that the organization will lose some of its 2,000 local volunteers over the issue.  

07 Feb 2007
Australian Premier proposes tax breaks for volunteers 
Perth, Australia: Australian Premier Alan Carpenter seek tax breaks for emergency service volunteers. He said there was no doubt that the work of emergency service volunteers was highly regarded and admired by governments at all levels and the wider Australian community.  

06 Feb 2007
Young UK professionals shun volunteering
London, UK: The pressures of getting on the property ladder and holding on to a good job are preventing professionals in their 30s and 40s from taking time out to volunteer in developing countries.  

06 Feb 2007
Ireland launches disaster volunteering programme 
Dublin, Ireland: Ireland today launched the Rapid Response Corps programme to fill gaps in emergency disaster relief and calls on highly skilled professionals to volunteer for humanitarian operations in "challenging" situations.   

06 Feb 2007
Young Thai volunteers as 'bird flu busters' 
Udon Thani, Thailand: Watch out, the "Bird Flu Busters" are on their way.  These are children dressed as chickens marched through the streets of Thailand chanting slogans and waving banners bearing simple facts on how to prevent the spread of avian influenza.  

05 Feb 2007
Over 320,000 volunteers for Beijing Olympics 
Beijing, China: More than 320,000 people have volunteered to work at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The large number means many Olympic fans will be disappointed, since Beijing organizers will need only 70,000 volunteers for the Summer Games with 30,000 more for the Paralympics.  


02 February 2007
Why is it so difficult to become a volunteer? by Marisa Duffy
Become richer: work for nothing. That's one of the slogans to attract volunteers. You have time on your hands, you have a social conscience, so why not give something back to society? The simple way would seem to be to volunteer; to trade what you have - time - to make someone else's life better. Except it's not always that easy.  

Volunteer story

Young volunteers as vehicles of change by Deepanjali Kakati
Through the Swechha-We for Change Foundation organization thousands of young Indian volunteers got involved environmental conservation work. Another NGO, SMILE, engage youth in influencing public opinion on issues such as sexual harrassment in public transport. Through these various forms of volunteering, the organizers witnessed how young volunteers were transformed -- from being the targets of change to become vehicles of change.  


Are you a volunteer leader or manager? 
Should there be a significant difference in leadership ability between the head of the organization and the head of the volunteer program?  Everyone, including volunteer managers, has the capacity of becoming a leader. In this article, authors Bailey and Petro provide some self-assessment considerations and tools. (Subscription required)

EU implements Youth in Action Programme 
Youth in Action is the new EU Programme in the field of youth, which will be implemented from 1 January 2007 until 31 December 2013. The Programme is a key instrument in providing young people with opportunities for non-formal and informal learning with a European dimension, including volunteering abroad. 

Individual Pathways in Participation 
To reverse antagonism towards traditional democratic practices and institutions, local politicians must move beyond consumer satisfaction and public consultation to more deliberative and participatory politics such as volunteering, says a new booklet ‘Individual Pathways in Participation’.  

Voluntourism: Pros, cons & possibilities by Susan Ellis
Volunteering expert Susan Ellis discusses voluntourism or combining holidays with volunteer work. The author points out that the biggest gripe about volunteer vacations is that they simply expand the trend of episodic volunteering, in which feel-good bursts of service give the volunteer pleasure but do not result in much useful help for the recipients or the complex cause.   

Volunteer opportunities

Adventure volunteerism 
Airdrop Assist, a newly-formed nonprofit school, aims at meeting the gap between volunteers and the rigors of remote-area volunteerism, among other things. The potential volunteer is someone who savors the outdoors, accessible only by airdrop in some places, and who is willing to endure hardship while providing humanitarian aid to those in need.   

Alternative travel guide 
Alternative travel can be one of the most educational, inspiring, and exciting things you do in your lifetime. OneWorld U.S. has compiled a list of volunteer and travel opportunities offered by their nonprofit partners to make it easier for potential volunteers to find something that matches their interests. 

Impak: Pakistan Volunteer Corps 
Impak is a volunteer-run organization, supported by a network of individuals spread out all over the world. Impak provides volunteers from abroad who can work effectively and provide a useful skill set. While overseeing volunteer placements, Impak supplements the program with workshops, field trips, and extensive excursions.

Volunteering Options 
Comhlámh’s Volunteering Options programme aims to develop best practice in the growing sector of overseas volunteering, and to support volunteers in a longer-term commitment to development.


The Global Volunteer Update is published by the United Nations Volunteers programme in partnership with several organizations. Information is posted from various sources in the effort to advance understanding of volunteering issues. Copyright of content lies with original authors/publishers. Opinions expressed in articles are solely those of the authors and not of UNV or its partners.