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Volunteer for an Inclusive Future – E whai wāhi ai te katoa, kia tūao te tū

michelle-kitneyMichelle Kitney

Chief Executive | Volunteering New Zealand

International Volunteer Day celebrates the contribution and impact volunteers make in their communities.

Volunteer for an Inclusive Future – E whai wāhi ai te katoa, kia tūao te tū’ highlights the power of volunteering to achieve SDG 10 and the pursuit of equality – including inclusion – through volunteerism.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future. They are also a call for action by all to promote prosperity while protecting the planet.  They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice.

They also encourage Governments, in partnership with the United Nations, the private sector, civil society and others to integrate volunteerism into national development strategies.

Achieving the SDGs depends on empowerment, inclusion and equality of all people. Volunteer action widens spaces for engagement, including for remote and marginalized populations.

In fact, a recent study from Volunteer Scotland on the contribution of volunteering to peoples’ health and wellbeing concludes that “there is clear-cut evidence that those subject to exclusion and disadvantage in society have the most to gain from volunteering in terms of their health and wellbeing”.

“The SDGs are our kaupapa. Take for example Kaibosh’s 200 volunteers who redirect food from landfill to communities daily, parents and teachers volunteering to ensure our children start the school day with food in them as part of the Breakfast in schools programmes, or VSA’s Provincial Water sector volunteers in the Pacific. The recent People’s Report shines a light on the many contributions volunteers make towards achieving the SDGs and shaping Aotearoa’s response to a more just, equal and sustainable society. .

“The Government must promote and facilitate the involvement of all people in volunteering for the achievement of the SDGs in line with the 2015 UN Resolution: integrating volunteering in the next decade.” Ronja Levers, Pou Menetia – External Relations Manager Hui E! Community Aotearoa.

Thursday 5 December is a day to celebrate and give thanks to the 1.2 million people in Aotearoa New Zealand who participate in volunteering, social action and Mahi Aroha.

Volunteering New Zealand is the kaitiaki of Mahi Aroha, empowering volunteers to enrich Aotearoa New Zealand. Our aspiration for Aotearoa New Zealand is that volunteering is valued as part of who we are as a nation. We thrive and are enriched by the goodwill of volunteers in every community, and their contribution and impact is recognised and supported. To find out more visit our website.

Additional Links

  • IVDay is an international event run by UN Volunteers and celebrated every year on 5 December.


This blog has been contributed by a member of the ComVoices network. The views presented here are not necessarily those of ComVoices.

ComVoices is a Wellington based network of national community and voluntary sector organisations. It was established so that sector organisations would have a more powerful voice at Government level and in the community.

Click here for our website