International Volunteer Day celebrations to be held in Mbarara

Dec 3, 2013

Uganda will join the rest of the world on December 5th to celebrate the International Volunteer Day with a week-long series of activities in Mbarara and Kampala districts aimed at raising awareness of volunteerism and its contribution to peace and sustainable human development in Uganda.

The activities, which will take place in Mbarara from December 2nd to 5th, and in Kampala on the 6th to 7th, include tree planting, volunteer management systems training, an exhibition, and a procession.

International Volunteer Day was designated by the United Nations the United Nations General Assembly in 1985 to celebrate the power and potential of volunteerism. The theme for this year's commemoration is, “Youth Volunteering for a Better Uganda,” and is drawn from the global theme, “Young. Global. Active”.

“The United Nations engages in supporting volunteering because it is about making a difference in other people’s lives. In particular, the potential of young people in Uganda and elsewhere, their energy, ideals and creativity to find their place in society and make it a better place, let them become naturally agents of change. Being, both a challenge and a big opportunity for the country to absorb such a potential to the most benefit to society, it requires targeted and coordinated efforts of all stakeholders. It is a priority that can’t be postponed for the reason that youth is not only the future, but first and foremost the present of the country. Channeling young peoples’ commitment, knowledge and power into volunteering and, in general, engaging can bring forward community development, energize institutions, create business opportunities and dissolve adamant mentalities. This is what is needed to achieve ambitious social goals, such as the MDGs and post-2015 development agenda, but very concretely Uganda’s development plan towards “Vision 2040,” said the United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i., Ms. Birgit Gerstenberg.

The acting UNV Programme Officer in Uganda, Mr. Mwangi Mathenge, added, that a concerted effort is needed to develop a national volunteering policy and its legal framework to harness the potential of volunteerism.

In Uganda, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme directly supports 44 volunteers that work with government and communities across a range of specialised fields including sexual and other forms of gender-based violence, protection affairs, human rights, water and sanitation engineering, health, nutrition and HIV/AIDS, tourism, education, community services, environment, climate change, and UN coordination.

Contact information


Mwangi Mathenge

UNV Programme Officer a.i.

United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Programme

United Nations Development Programme


Phone: 0417 112 125

Mobile: 0716 005 191


Rebecca Makubuya (Intern)

Communication Unit

United Nations Development Programme


Phone: 0417 112 186

Mobile: 0716 005 186

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