“Harnessing the volunteer spirit and power to the work to improve lives and build stronger societies is an essential part of the UN’s work.” — UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Volunteering brings benefits to both society at large and the individual volunteer. It makes important contributions, economically as well as socially. It contributes to a more cohesive society by building trust and reciprocity among citizens.

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that supports sustainable human development globally through the promotion of volunteerism, including the mobilization of volunteers. It serves the causes of peace and development by enhancing opportunities for participation by all peoples. It is universal, inclusive and embraces volunteer action in all its diversity. It values free will, commitment, engagement and solidarity, which are the foundations of volunteerism.


The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development through volunteerism.  UNV is inspired by the conviction that volunteerism can transform the pace and nature of development and by the idea that everyone can contribute their time and energy towards peace and development. With partners, UNV advocates for volunteerism, integrates volunteerism into development planning and mobilizes volunteers. The enormous potential of volunteerism is an inspiration to UNV and to volunteers around the world.

UNV pursues global recognition of volunteers for peace and development, encourages the integration of volunteerism into development programmes, and promotes the mobilization of increasing numbers and greater diversity of volunteers contributing to peace and development.
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Volunteers help clean up Zimbabwe town

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Volunteerism help reduce poverty says UN rep

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Keeping a watchful eye

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UNV signs Memorandum of Understanding with UNFPA

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Inspiration in Action: Volunteerism at Tongogara Refugee Camp in Chipinge, Zimbabwe

The vicious cycle of violence, displacement and loss is a recurring theme in most refugee stories. Despite the personal tragedies […]

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