AS the world marked International Volunteers Day (IVD), an international development and advocacy organization with headquarter office in Hannover; Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevoelkerung (DSW) Tanzania was noted to have registered more than a million local youth in different clubs for their own economic empowerment purposes.
The NGO was initiated in Germany to empower young people and communities in low- and middle-income countries, by addressing the issues of population dynamics and by improving health as a way to achieve sustainable development.
According to DSW Tanzania Program Manager, Ms Philomena Marijani, said the day was important also for them to promote the concept of inclusiveness, equality and their roles in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
She also said that they are well focused on implementing a series of advocacy and outreach efforts, which highlight and raise youth volunteerism and role in achieving the SDGs.
Ms Marijani said UN Volunteers and DSW collaborate to implement a joint outreach and community services in Arusha region aimed at reaching out about 500 volunteers directly.
Collectively, they also aim at linking the various volunteer groups with other UN bodies, international, national and local governments.
“DSW runs youth clubs in different regions and now we have a million mark, besides doing different activities, which include peer education and participation in health services’ deliveries, as well as economic activities to produce goods and do business. We are happy that we are doing well and we look forward to doing more,” said Ms Marijani.
Expounding, she said that they network and link also with other several nongovernmental organizations and volunteers from community groups to enhance and achieve the SDGs with a special focus on SDG 10, and the pursuit of equality and inclusion.
MS Marijani said that this year they aimed at uniting over 500 formal, informal volunteers and partners in Tanzania to showcase the immense value of volunteering and strengthen their volunteer platforms to realize the SDGs in the country.
Commenting, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Mr Sergio Valdini, said more than one billion people volunteer globally that is equivalent to over 109 million full-time workers.
Most of the volunteer workers happen to be in informal work, where around 70 percent of all volunteers, work in their own communities to help the locals.
UN reports indicate that progress in achieving the SDGs is slow with developing countries still facing an average annual funding gap of about USD 2.5 trillion.
For that matter, volunteers make up a critical human capacity resource to help lock the gap.
However, despite their selfless actions, volunteers have been under-valued, unrecognized and unaccounted for, for several decades.
In Tanzania, DSW works in the regions of Mtwara, Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Kilimanjaro, Dodoma, Mwanza, Arusha, Shinyanga and Manyara.
The IVD event was also supported by the UN agencies hosting UN Volunteers such as UNDP, UNICEF, UNHCR, UNFPA, UNWOMEN, UNCDF, UNEP and UNDRR.
IVD that was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly through Resolution A/ RES/40/212 on 1985 and was domestically celebrated in Tengeru, Arusha, attended by different youth and officers from the government, the UN system and Civil Society Organizations.