For volunteers: a special day — and special thanks

04 December 2013
Any day is a good day to thank Friends of Londiani volunteers. But this may be a better one than most — for a number of reasons. Firstly, of course, the latest Harambee volunteers have just left Kenya. We can’t thank them enough — for the time, commitment and energy they have given to FOL and for the help and friendship they have offered to the communities with which we work. And that goes for all the volunteers: past, present — and to come. Which brings us to the next reason for highlighting our volunteers. We're about to finalise the dates for next year’s Harambee volunteering projects. We can say, however, that they are in July and November, which means that you have a lot of time to think about joining us next year. If you want some practical information well in advance, have a look at the Get involved/volunteer page (just click above). For a taste of on-the-ground experience try some of our recent blogs from Kenya. And keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook pages for the announcement of the specific dates. But possibly the main reason that today is an especially good day to thank our volunteers is that it’s the eve of a day when we are encouraged to celebrate development volunteering everywhere. International Volunteer Day takes place on Thursday December the fifth. Why International Volunteer Day? The formal response is that IVD was established by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly through Resolution 40/212 on 17 December 1985. The more celebratory response is that it’s a day to recognise all volunteers' commitment and applaud hundreds of millions of people who volunteer to make the world a better place. You can read all about it at a United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme website that offers a voice for volunteering and a way to unite the individual actions of volunteers. It’s called the Volunteer Action Counts campaign ( This year’s IVD focus will be on the contribution of youth volunteers in global peace and sustainable human development. However, as we know in FOL, age need not be a barrier to volunteering so we do encourage all of you who have volunteered, are volunteering now or are planning to volunteer, to sign in at the Volunteer Action Counts website. Whoever you are, wherever you are, your actions count. IVD is a day worth celebrating — as is the work of our volunteers. Our thanks to you all.