International Volunteer Day Marked in Kabul

Dec 13, 2017

Youths take part in street-cleaning campaign in Kabul. Photo: UNDP / Ajmal Sherzai / 2017

To mark International Volunteer Day, hundreds of school and university students, members of the association for the blind, civil society activists, residents and shopkeepers participated in a street-cleaning campaign and donated blood.

In partnership with Social Association of Volunteer Youth, the #IVD2017 campaign was launched on 8 December by UNDP under the tagline: “Volunteers act first. Here. Everywhere”. 

“I want to prove that I am not just a disabled person, therefore I am participating with other citizens to clean our city,” said Shafiqa, the member of an association for the blind.

During the campaign, twenty benches and eight dustbins were installed in Allauddin park, and a field was converted into a football pitch. Benches and litter bins were installed in another garden called Peace Garden. This garden, which was established by group of youth volunteer three years ago, will also be fenced.

“Most parts of the park were dusty and we had no place to sit,” said Maruf, a resident of Kart-I-se of Kabul “Now we can sit and read books and chat with friends.” 

Allauddin park is the only public park in the third district of Kabul city. It is used by elderly citizens for morning exercise and by young people who play football and cricket. The park is also where school and university students go to read their books. 

Volunteers are often the first to offer support in times of natural disasters, economic instability, forced migration or humanitarian emergencies. Everywhere in the world, volunteers provide assistance to people and whole communities being pushed to the brink.

Estimates suggest that there are a billion people in the world who volunteer each year. Those numbers always go up when tragedy strikes. Despite their contributions, the vital role of volunteers is not always sufficiently recognized or acknowledged. 

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