Yes, save the dates of the 24th to 27th October 2022 as IAVE with its partner the Emirates Foundation host the 26thWorld Volunteer Conference in Abu Dhabi. The first IAVE World Volunteer Conference was held in 1970 and up until 2018 it held this global event somewhere in the world every two years. Only the disruption of a global pandemic caused this record to be broken when the 2020 conference had to be postponed.
While it is true that somewhere in the world there is always a state of flux. The pandemic created a global state of flux that impacted every corner and every person. It caused millions of deaths and impacted lives everywhere, no country and no one was immune. The negative impact on health, on education, on economic stability, on mental well-being are well documented as is the regrettable outcome of increased inequality across the globe. Yet, a huge positive was the way in which volunteers, existing and new, stepped forward to help. When ‘lock downs’ became the response to mitigating risk it was often volunteers who became the first responders to those most vulnerable. When infrastructures could not cope due to inherent weaknesses and huge demand it was volunteers who helped to plug gaps in service provision. We often talk about ‘a volunteer movement; but during the pandemic these words really did ring true as it was truly a movement of people, formally and informally, who were motivated to take action and do something, no matter how small, no matter how local to help out.
There is a feeling currently in parts of the world that while we are not moving post COVID we are moving post pandemic crisis. We are still left with all the challenges we had pre pandemic, many of these exacerbated by the pandemic, and the new challenges directly caused by the pandemic, plus the emerging challenges that are always there as changes in the political and economic landscape emerge. So, what can we do, what action can we take? What is true is that there is a huge need and role for volunteers to take action and get involved. The United Nations has already emphasised that the sustainable development goals cannot be delivered without volunteers.
Into this environment of challenge and change comes the 2022 IAVE World Volunteer Conference. It is no coincidence that the theme for this event is ‘Volunteering for the Common Good: Making Life Better for People and Communities.’ It reflects IAVE’s belief that collectively the world’s volunteering is an expression of civic engagement that has at its heart action that is shared and beneficial for all. At the 2022 World Volunteer Conference IAVE and the Emirates Foundation seek to celebrate volunteering, acknowledge that volunteer engagement and volunteering leadership is needed more than ever to help address the world’s most pressing challenges, and to encourage volunteerism as an important part of creating a more equal and inclusive future for all.
Please join us at the conference in common cause to advance the common good.learn more and register to attend