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“With the world population having surpassed seven billion this year, we must tap every person’s potential to help others. Everyone can make a difference. Volunteering matters.”
- United Nations Secretary General BAN Ki-moon

This year, some 13,900 people volunteered at Habitat for Humanity construction sites in Latin America and the Caribbean. 1,700 more participated in non-construction activities, such as advocacy and training. Of the more than 15,000 volunteers in the region, 10,400 were local—Latin American and Caribbean citizens lending a hand in their own communities.

Around the world, the spirit and solidarity of volunteerism is spreading. Young people are seeking ways to support their communities and ensure a better future for themselves and their children. Business people are responding to the call for Corporate Social Responsibility, organizing volunteer teams to help improve the communities where their businesses are located. Families are organizing to mutually help one another and better the neighborhood. Retired adults are joining social causes, leading with their wisdom and experience.

Volunteering matters.

The International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development (IVD) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 17 December 1985. Since then, governments, the UN system and civil society organizations have successfully joined volunteers around the world to celebrate the Day on December 5 (worldvolunteerweb.org).

However, the true importance of celebrating International Volunteer Day today, is what happens tomorrow. Improving the lives of families around the world is a 365-day a year task. Local and international volunteers are stepping to help.

In Haití, we heard voices of solidarity…

In México, we hear them…

In the Dominican Republic as well…

Nicaragua… present!

And you… What will you build?

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