Published on 5th December 2012
VSA volunteers and staff have a busy schedule of activities planned to celebrate International Volunteer Day today.
International Volunteer Day was established by the United Nations in 1985, and is now celebrated every December 5 to recognise the contribution of volunteers in their communities.
VSA volunteers in Timor-Leste and Solomon Islands got in early with events in Honiara and Dili. About 50 people attended an event hosted by the High Commissioner Mark Ramsden in Honiara last week to celebrate VSA’s 50th anniversary — and to mark International Volunteer Day.
The guests included VSA’s International Programmes Manager Peter Swain, who was visiting from New Zealand, as well as Programme Manager (Solomon Islands) Alexa Funnell, current and former volunteers and representatives from VSA’s in-country partner organisations.
A two-page spread featuring photographs of recent VSA volunteers is being published in the Solomon Star today to mark International Volunteer Day.
VSA’s Dili-based volunteers met up on Monday night for a few beers and to take possession of their VSA-branded recyclable bags which carry the Tetun quote "Hau Voluntariu ba Timor Leste" – " I'm a volunteer for Timor Leste".
According to our Programme Manager (Timor-Leste) Karen Horton, plastic bags are becoming an increasing environmental problem in Timor-Leste.
“I got the bags made because I wanted to promote the idea that VSA volunteers in Timor Leste are committed to recycling and to using recyclable bags when they go shopping or to the local market.”
In Vanuatu, Keith and Dianne Hambrook are joining other volunteers in a marquee at Port Vila’s annual 'Christmas at the Park' event today, while Papua New Guinea volunteer Aaron Horrell will spent his last day in the country as a “virtual volunteer”, sending regular tweets during the day to give followers a taste of the volunteer life.
VSA CEO Gill Greer will also be tweeting during the day, as well as updating her blog. Other blogs have come in from Doris in Samoa and Kees in Timor-Leste. Kees has also sent in one photo essay on our volunteers based in Dili, and another on the local community.
If you’re looking for some inspirational quotes about the value of volunteering check out our latest Pinterest offerings, which we’ve put together especially for International Volunteer Day.