2001 was designated by the United Nations as International Year of Volunteers. Now, 10 years later, we are celebrating International Year of Volunteers + 10. It’s a year to reflect and review the actions which have taken place during the past decade. How has the world changed as a result of more awareness, more promotion, more volunteering? And how are we going to push forward to make sure we are establishing a future where volunteering and community life is strong, sustainable – and in a position of power and influence.
After all, as we have often said at Volunteer Wellington, ‘volunteers have always been, and continue to be, on the cutting edge of society. They often recognise issues and the need for change before anyone else does. They are social entrepreneurs, they are people with dreams, imaginations, energy and humanity; they are agents for change. They are vital if we are to maintain and develop a sustainable community life.’
The tasks we do may be little or big, they may take a few minutes or fill the next few months – or years. The key to the success of these activities is that we were inspired and motivated; that we could see the difference we were making; that we felt the world had taken a turn for the better.
A creative, innovative leader and manager of volunteer programmes will make this happen. Therefore we are aiming to make this important year of 2011, a time for acknowledging the value and place of managers of volunteers (whether paid or unpaid) within the community organisations of greater Wellington. A position with the expectation of working with people who are ‘agents for change’ and have the ability to ‘develop a sustainable community life’ needs to have status, be rewarded and remunerated (well) and have ongoing access to training and professional development.
Our International Year of Volunteers + 10 celebrations will begin with an early morning breakfast session to be held at the Volunteer Corner garden on the corner of Dixon and Victoria Streets, Wellington, on Valentine’s Day, 14 February. Passion, enthusiasm and love all go together we feel! Mayor Celia Wade-Brown will speak. Ring Volunteer Wellington for more details – 04 4994572.