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Youth share experiences of community service on International Volunteer Day

By Maria Weldali - Dec 05,2021 - Last updated at Dec 05,2021

(Image courtesy of UN website)

AMMAN — Young Jordanians shared their volunteer experiences during the COVID-19 Pandemic in honour of International Volunteer Day (IVD), which is celebrated on December 5. 

International Volunteer Day was designated by the UN General Assembly in 1985, and is coordinated by the United Nations Volunteers Programme (UNV). 

The IVD aims to promote volunteerism, and to celebrate the efforts and ‘tireless’ work of volunteers across the globe, according to the UN.

“Volunteering is a life-changing experience. It helped me build confidence in myself,” Sara Tareq, a young Jordanian who volunteers both locally and abroad, told The Jordan Times on Saturday.

Tareq, who is currently a part-time volunteer with a local organisation, started volunteering when she was 16 years old. For her, volunteering is fulfilling and has helped her gain much needed skills.

During the pandemic, she helped two charities distribute clothes and basic necessities to families in need.

Marwa Atoun, 22, who is an avid volunteer, told The Jordan Times: “The IVD is a great opportunity to promote the benefits of volunteering and to pay tribute to the participation of young volunteers in particular.”

She noted that virtual volunteerism increased during the pandemic. She has helped many students with their studies during online classes, in addition to distributing hand sanitisers and other hygiene products to the needy.

“Volunteering makes a person committed and more responsible,” Atoun added.

“Volunteers dedicate their time and effort to ensure the inclusion of those often left behind and drive climate action and advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” according to the UN website.

“When people are encouraged to get involved in solving problems, the solutions are more likely to be feasible and lasting,” the website said.

Research shows that compared with people who never volunteered, the odds of being “very happy” rose by 7 per cent among those who volunteer monthly, and by 12 per cent among those who volunteer every two-four weeks, according to the UNV.

“Volunteering keeps you in regular contact with others and helps you develop a solid support system,” the UNV said.

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