Volunteers and COVID-19: How volunteers help build back better during the pandemic to achieve the 2030 Agenda
COVID-19 has highlighted how the one-billion volunteers globally are helping communities respond to the pandemic. How has volunteering changed during the pandemic? What were volunteers’ experiences and motivations during these times? How can volunteers contribute to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and building forward better to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals? And what do volunteers expect from the ways citizens and states work together to address the most pressing development challenges?
UNV partnered with the Volunteer Groups Alliance (VGA) to hold a virtual side event on 6 July 2021 at 1.00pm ET or 7.00pm CEST on the theme of “Volunteers and COVID-19: How volunteers help build back better during the pandemic to achieve the 2030 Agenda” at the 2021 High-level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development. This virtual side event shared research findings from a recent UNV-Gallup survey on volunteering during and beyond COVID-19, coupled with the real-life experience of volunteer organizations and governments around the world to learn more about how volunteers can contribute to sustainable and resilient recovery from the pandemic. The side event provided insights on the role volunteering can play in the way citizens and states work together to achieve the 2030 Agenda, and will inform UNV’s State of the World’s Volunteerism Report on volunteering and the new social contract.
Member State representatives from Guinea, France and Chile presented how volunteering evolved during and helped address the COVID-19 pandemic in their respective countries. Those were:
Assiatou Baldé, Minister of Youth and Youth Employment of Guinea
Yann Delaunay, General Delegate of France Volontaires
Renata Santander Ramírez, National Director of the National Institute of Youth of Chile
The Member State interventions were followed by a round of presentations by expert speakers.
Kyoko Yokosuka, Deputy Executive Coordinator of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme presented key findings of a recent study on volunteering during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, and thus launched the publication of UNV's new paper "From care to where? Understanding volunteerism in the global South: A multi-country study on volunteering before, during and beyond COVID-19".
Nichole Cirillo, Executive Director of the International Alliance for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) and Helene Perold, International Researcher, then presented the findings of a study that IAVE had undertaken to learn more about how volunteering had been affected by the pandemic and how volunteering leadership structures help advance the 2030 Agenda.
The presentations were followed by volunteers' own reflections, shared by Ahmad Al-Zubi, Founding CEO of Naua in Jordan, Alexandra Infante Perales, Executive Director or Peru Voluntario, and Keneth Ramah, Executive Director of Youth for Sustainable Development in Nairobi, Kenya.
After a brief video by the AVENIR Project in Guinea, the VGA Chair Mei Cobb closed the side event.
Watch the recording here.