In 2015, the United Nations adopted the resolution “Integrating volunteering into peace and development: the plan of action for the next decade and beyond,” which recognizes that volunteers can be a powerful tool in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The UN Volunteers programme specifically highlights the essential role volunteers play in solidifying ownership of results in international development. They point to the “ripple effect” of volunteering, highlighting the impact that volunteers have in inspiring others and advancing “transformations required for the SDGs to take root in communities.”
At Health Volunteers Overseas, we’ve long understood the pivotal role of volunteers and the long-reaching impact of their work.
For more than 31 years, the personal dedication of HVO volunteers has brought improvements in health care around the world. In 2016 alone, 388 HVO volunteers contributed to the training and education for nearly 4,000 health workers and students in health-related fields. Those health workers and students, in turn, shared their knowledge with colleagues and classmates. The impact of each HVO volunteer ripples out from their initial assignment, spreading knowledge and skills throughout the health system in the community where they served.
Examples of this ripple effect can be found at numerous project sites:
Tuesday, December 5 marks the United Nations’ International Volunteer Day, celebrated worldwide to recognize the positive solidarity of volunteers around the world. On this day – and every day – we say THANK YOU to the individuals who help contribute more than 6,000 days of volunteer service each year and spread the knowledge and skills health workers need to save lives.