Addis Ababa, 4 June 2022 (TDI): The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Programme launched its flagship SWVR report in Addis Ababa on Thursday. The fourth State of the World’s Volunteerism Report (SWVR) is titled Building Equal and Inclusive Societies.

Ergoge Tesfaye, the Ethiopian Minister of Women and Social Affairs at the UN Economic Commission in Africa, announced the publication of the report. Some significant names that attended the event included Ambassador Mohamed Lamine Thiaw, the Permanent Representative of Senegal to Ethiopia and the African Union, Hans Henric Lundquist, the Ambassador of Sweden to Ethiopia, and Cleophas Torori, the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative.

Simultaneously, representatives from other UN member states, UN entities, the African Union Commission, the diplomatic and volunteer community, and private sectors also joined the event.

SWVR Report and Its Significance

The event focused on Building Equal and Inclusive Societies. SWVR aims to help the understanding of volunteerism and demonstrate its universality, scope, and extent.

During the event, Cleophas Torori mentioned that volunteerism offers an opportunity for people to remember those people who are marginalized. Moreover, Torori also said that the vulnerable group can feel heard with a voluntary platform. Meanwhile, Ergogie mentioned that volunteerism is crucial as it enables more people to engage in development at all levels of society. Furthermore, voluntary activities can empower more people to take part in development priorities.

Findings and Recommendations from the SWVR Report

The SWVR report focuses on case study research in Africa, the Arab states, Asia and the Pacific, and Europe. Also, the commonwealth of independent states is also under consideration in the report. Accordingly, Africa has the highest volunteer rate of 17.5% per month compared with the rest of the world.

Contrasting, other regions have monthly volunteer rates from 9% to 10.6%. According to the report, Kenya and Senegal have the highest rate of volunteering participation in COVID-19 response. The result came from the Global Multi-country survey. Additionally, Kenya has a rate of 92% volunteer participation while Senegal has 98%.

Regarding the SWVR report, recommendations have been given as follows:

Firstly, enhancing volunteering beyond service delivery to engage social innovation and inclusiveness.

Secondly, strengthening public social acknowledgment of volunteers can compensate for the fact that they are not remuneration.

And lastly, building a space where volunteers and state authorities can share their experiences and find a common ground.

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