Feature stories

Volunteering can make a huge impact on people’s lives. It can make a difference to anyone from single individuals to communities and even countries.

Anybody can be a volunteer and get involved in the big issues, like the Millennium Development Goals, peace-building and disaster response.

Read about the main events of the Year, and learn more about the impact of volunteering through the links below and to the left.

Libya crisis map

As the 2011 crisis in Libya unfolded, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) faced a critical challenge: the lack of information about events inside the country.

So it activated the Stand By Task Force (SBTF), an organized group of more than 150 online volunteers skilled in crisis mapping.

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Un techo para mi pais_Chile_0035_Chile 4

Through A Roof for my Country (Un Techo para mi País), volunteers help build transitional homes in order to provide the neediest families on the continent with small, functional houses to improve their living standards.

Here, we feature volunteers from A Roof for my Country as they share their stories in their own words.

Read more about Erika Botteri and Erika Garcia.

Angelique Kidjo

Internationally acclaimed singer and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Angélique Kidjo, joined forces with the volunteering world to promote the International Volunteer Day campaign, 'Volunteering Matters'.

“Volunteering matters to me because there are many things all of us can do every day to help others,” she said.

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Swechha is a youth-run, youth-focused NGO based in Delhi, India. The organization focuses on the environment and social development, inspiring action and raising awareness. Communication, training and advocacy are its primary tools.

Swechha also empowers youth through campaigns, action projects, field exposures, community initiatives, plantations, music, theatre and more.

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497296 - GA am - 05_12_2011 - 14.58.05

New York, USA, 5 December 2011: Celebrations of the tenth anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers culminated at the UN General Assembly with the launch of the first State of the World’s Volunteerism Report and testimonies from two UN Volunteers.

Emphasizing the contribution of volunteering to the Millennium Development Goals, and calling for a people-centred, holistic approach to development, in Resolution A/RES/66/67 the United Nations General Assembly has set the path for the future of volunteerism.

The Resolution also emphasizes the participation of individuals and communities in the achievement of sustainable development and related initiatives.

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