Abu Dhabi / WAM
The Department of Community Development (DCD) in Abu Dhabi celebrates the 36th annual International Volunteer Day, a United Nations resolution that recognises the importance of volunteering in making a vital societal impact and celebrating the spirit of volunteerism.
Mohammed Helal Al Blooshi, Executive Director of the Office of Strategic Affairs at the DCD, said, “The Department of Community Development aims at enabling and encouraging a safe, organised, and impactful volunteering environment that enhances community engagement and builds social cohesion. This focus reflects the directives of our wise leadership who believe in volunteering as an essential pillar for society’s development. Today, we recognise and commend those countless volunteers who have dedicated their time and skills towards advancing positive change in Abu Dhabi and throughout the UAE.”
He added, “The DCD’s commitment to enabling volunteerism can be seen through the launch of the volunteering policy last year and the announcement of volunteer licencing
in September 2021 to organise
volunteering practices in Abu Dhabi.”
He pointed out that to further build on the policy and licensure activation, the DCD’s role in fostering a strong volunteering ecosystem can be seen in its cooperation with the Emirates Foundation and the Authority of Social Contribution (Ma’an) to attract volunteers through the Volunteers.ae platform that allows entities to post volunteering opportunities and grants individuals and teams the necessary licence to practice volunteering.
Al Blooshi stressed the importance of the Volunteers.ae platform in preserving volunteer rights and responsibilities of all volunteers, and bridging organisations seeking to post opportunities with volunteers looking to make a difference.
Within the DCD’s volunteering policy, Abu Dhabi provides nine fields of volunteering, including traditional volunteering, volunteering for social affairs, volunteering in emergencies, volunteering in events, virtual volunteering, volunteering for visitors, institutional volunteering, specialised volunteering, and volunteering abroad.
The policy includes three types of licences – (1) a volunteer licence issued to individuals wishing to volunteer, (2) a volunteer team licence issued to groups of five or more individuals, and (3) a licence for legal entities wishing to post volunteer opportunities.
The International Volunteer Day (5 December) – an international observance mandated by the UN General Assembly in 1985 – offers an opportunity for volunteer-involving organizations and individual volunteers to promote volunteerism, encourage governments to support volunteer efforts and recognize volunteer contributions to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local, national and international levels.