Solidarity Through Volunteering: Unveiling the National Volunteer Policy

December 5, 2022
Zambia's Honourable Minister of Community Development and Social Services, Ms.  Doreen Sefuke Mwamba, MP and the UNDP Resident Representative, Lionel Laurens, and the UN Resident Coordinator, Beatrice Mutali, at the launch of Zambia's first National Volunteers Policy

Launch of Zambia's first National Volunteers Policy

The rising inequalities throughout the world has not only called for the need to work together to find common solutions to shared challenges but has also inspired an estimated one billion volunteers whose passion, selflessness and commitment contribute to changing and transforming the world.

Volunteerism is undoubtedly now more than ever an important vehicle for shaping and advancing nations and a powerful means for implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Agenda. Speaking during the commemoration of the International Volunteer Day (IVD), observed annually on 5 December, the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Beatrice Mutali noted that the collective humanity and invaluable contributions of volunteers to sustainable human development continued to shape the progress of communities throughout Zambia and beyond.

“It is through volunteers that citizen voices are amplified, ensuring that the concerns of the people are at the heart of our work and that of other volunteer-involving organisations in Zambia,” she said.

The commemoration also marked the launch of the National Volunteer Policy, which is a landmark achievement in Zambia’s journey of strengthening collaboration with the local volunteers’ network and enhancing volunteer action across the country. The National Volunteer Policy is a demonstration of the interest by both Government and the UN system to help create a 21st century social contract that is more inclusive and responsive to the needs of communities.

The event, which was graced by the Honourable Minister of Community Development and Social Services, Ms. Doreen Sefuke Mwamba, MP brought together a cross-section of volunteers from government, UN agencies, private sector, and civil society organisations.

Ms Mwamba said that the National Volunteer policy would provide the strategic and legal framework required for the effective and efficient management of volunteer activities in Zambia. She said that it would also standardize incentives for all volunteers in Zambia.

The United Nations boasts of over 8,000 volunteers offering support in climate change, healthcare, education and giving marginalized people more opportunities to improve their futures. In Zambia, the UN has over 100 volunteers working across the UN system in partnership with the Government of Zambia. Almost 80 percent of them are national volunteers spread across the 10 provinces.