Press Release

The Ministry of Youth and Sports and UNICEF jointly announce the forthcoming online National Youth Volunteering Platform, marking the International Volunteer Day.

05 December 2022

Under the slogan Solidarity through Volunteering, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and UNICEF, also will mark International Volunteer Day with activities encouraging meaningful youth participation in the streets of Baghdad.

BAGHDAD, 5 December 2022. – The forthcoming online National Youth Volunteering Platform was announced today by the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS) and UNICEF and will be operational in coming weeks. The announcement came as part of the events marking International Volunteer Day, under the theme Solidarity through Volunteering. The online platform will follow the offline structure launched by MoYS and UNICEF in 2021.

The online platform, to be operational at Federal level, will be ready in coming weeks and is part of the overall engagement of UNICEF with MoYS to ensure a meaningful volunteering programme is available in Iraq.

Over 350 young volunteers, out of the almost 5,000 young volunteers engaged country-wide as part of the offline National Youth Volunteering Platform since its launch last year, carried out various activities in Abu Nauwas Street in central Baghdad, with the presence of the Minister of Youth and Sports, HE Ahmed Mohammad Al Mubarqa´a, and the UNICEF Deputy Representative, Ken Legins. The activities, ranging from cleaning the streets to greening the environment, highlighted the power of young people’s collective action to drive positive change through volunteerism.

“We are committed to supporting the National Volunteering Programme to encourage unity and urgent action and promote volunteerism among young people, but also to acknowledge the inavluable contributions of young volunteers in Iraq,” said HE Ahmed Mohammad Al Mubarqa’a, Minister of Youth and Sports.

“Young volunteers are the most effective changemakers. They have a unique power to galvanize their peers around issues they are passionate about,” said Ken Legins, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Iraq. “UNICEF remains committed to supporting and promoting the development and participation, including volunteering of young people, because they are making a difference for every child.”

“Since I joined the National Volunteering Programme, I am actively and systematically contributing to my community, but also building my self-esteem,” said Aya Al-Saidy, 23, a young volunteer.

The International Volunteer Day is about togetherness to act now. It aims at galvanizing the power of young people to work together to advance the rights of children and young people, especially the most impoverished.  It is a means to raise the voices of young volunteers to the attention of decision makers, and showcase volunteers in action, and the contributions they make in the society.

UNICEF works with the Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Government of Iraq, as well as with the Ministry of Culture and Youth of the Kurdistan Regional Government, non-governmental organizations and the private sector to promote young people’s civic engagement, especially the most impoverished. This is carried out through empowering young people aged 10-24, to design and lead civic engagement initiatives in their own communities on a voluntary basis. 

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About International Volunteer Day
The International Volunteer Day is an international observance mandated by the UN General Assembly in 1985. It provides an opportunity for volunteer-involving organizations and individual volunteers to promote volunteerism, encourage governments to support volunteer efforts and acknowledge volunteer contributions to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local, national, and international levels.

 

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.

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Miguel Mateos Muñoz

Miguel Mateos Muñoz

UNICEF
Chief of Communication – UNICEF Iraq

Monica Awad

UNICEF
Communication Specialist

UN entities involved in this initiative

UNICEF
United Nations Children’s Fund

Goals we are supporting through this initiative