December 5th is International Volunteers Day, and this year’s theme was "Global Applause: Give Volunteers a Hand". This year’s International Volunteers Day was eye opening for me as I got to experience the celebrations first hand. Celebrations started on 30th November, with a Forum discussion. This was a learning experience for me as I got to hear about many Volunteer efforts that are happening all over Malawi, both by local and international Volunteers. We heard presentations and saw videos from other organisations that focus on Volunteerism like VSO, AISEC, and Peace Corps and of course CorpsAfrica also had a chance to present what it does. There were also testimonies from Volunteers on what their Volunteerism experience has been like and why they choose to Volunteer.
What was quite interesting for me to learn on this day was that currently CorpsAfrica is at the lead in sending out national Volunteers. Most Volunteers in Malawi are international and CorpsAfrica stood out as the organisation that is intentionally sending out local Volunteers to Volunteer in their own country.
The actual celebrations for the International Volunteers Day were on 5 December and the ceremony took place at Children of The Nation in Lilongwe, just along Mchinji road. This was another enlightening moment for me as I got to see and interact with so many other Volunteers from different organisations. It was amazing to be surrounded by people who are doing same thing as you are. Hearing stories from these many Volunteers made me realise that this year’s theme was very much suited. Volunteers really are doing a lot of work in this world and if all Volunteer work around the world was valued in monetary terms, it would be in the millions of dollars, and to that effect, I agree that Volunteers should be given a big round of applause.