UNV and WHO to celebrate International Volunteers’ Day

 With special campaign highlighting frontline Covid-19 volunteers

By Naveed Rozais

Covid-19 has helped us appreciate those on the frontlines more than ever. From healthcare workers to the Army to the Good Samaritan going forth and making a difference. This year, the United Nations looks to celebrate frontline Covid-19 volunteers who have gone above and beyond in their quest to make a difference. 

International Volunteers’ Day (IVD), is an international observance that was mandated by the UN General Assembly in 1985. It’s an opportunity to celebrate volunteerism and encourage governments to support volunteer efforts and recognise volunteer contributions. IVD 2020 takes place on 5 December. 

Each year, United Nations Volunteers Sri Lanka (UNV Sri Lanka) co-ordinates a campaign to build on the impact that volunteers have within their communities, nationally and globally, for peace and development. 

International Volunteers Day 2020

For IVD 2020, UN Volunteers (UNV) Sri Lanka and WHO Sri Lanka are jointly organising a campaign to showcase volunteers’ contributions and the role of volunteering during Covid-19, using IVD to take a moment to thank volunteers and celebrate their efforts despite all the challenges at hand.

As part of the IVD 2020 campaign, UNV Sri Lanka and WHO Sri Lanka are collecting inspiring stories from individual volunteers, Volunteer Involving Organisations (VIOs), and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to be featured in their social media campaign and a video to celebrate IVD this year.

Anyone, including individual volunteers or volunteer organisations, can join this campaign by sharing their own experience in helping to prevent Covid-19.

As part of IVD 2020,  two influential youth and volunteer organisations have been invited to conduct innovative sessions in line with this year’s theme, for pre-registered audiences. The sessions will be held in the first week of December 2020 as a pre-run event to IVD.

On IVD itself, 5 December, UNV Sri Lanka will be hosting an online event which will be live-streamed on their major social media channels. 

Being a part of the IVD social media campaign

UNV Sri Lanka calls for volunteers to send in brief video messages of themselves with an introduction to themselves and their organisation, a brief comment as to why volunteers and the work volunteers do is important with some specific examples from their work or that of their organisation, as well as insight on how volunteering can help support the Covid-19 response. 

For more information on IVD 2020 and how to be part of the IVD 2020 campaign, please visit the UNV Sri Lanka website on