The International Volunteer Day (IVD) is observed on December 5 every year since 1985. Designated by the United Nations, IVD is meant to promote volunteerism, thank the volunteers for their efforts and increase public awareness on their contribution to society.
IVD IS celebrated in majority countries of the world by many non-governmental organizations, including Red Cross, scouts, girl guides and others youth organisations. It is also marked and supported by United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programmes to 'create structures that foster and sustain local volunteerism' worldwide.
The theme for IVD-2012 is "Celebrate volunteering!" to renew our commitment and hope for a better world. "The purpose is to recognise this commitment, to inform people about the impact of volunteering on peace and sustainable development, and to applaud volunteers for their dedication and impact," informs UNV programme website.
UNV also operates the World Volunteer Web to promote volunteerism globally and advocates the role and benefits of volunteerism for development, integrates volunteers into development programmes, and mobilises volunteers for development projects. It is worth noting that the UN volunteers comprise one third of all international civilians working in UN peacekeeping operations.