Established by the United Nations (UN) in 1985, the day is a celebration of volunteering on a global scale. The focus for IVD 2013 is to highlight the contribution of youth volunteers working towards global peace and sustainable development. It is the recognition that young people can act as agents of change within communities.
Imagine a life where a visit from the postman might be the only human contact you have all week. For those of us who work in a busy office this is hard to imagine, but for many older people, it's a grim reality. Loneliness is a devastating problem in the UK and has a crippling effect on older people who endure it, day in and day out.
The Prince's Trust supports 55,000 unemployed young people a year, 5% of the total, and intends to double the numbers it supports, with turnover increasing to £100 million a year, most of it donated. The Trust's objective is to help them enter the job market or found businesses. Volunteering plays a key role, both for the young and their adult mentors.
This week I was privileged to attend the launch of 'Step Up to Serve', a new cross-party and cross-sector national initiative to increase the number of young people taking part in social action across the UK... This is a vital campaign as the truth is we are currently failing to maximise the energy, talent and potential of millions of young people.
Education is a process of providing structured information. It is accessible to every child for free in the developed world, so much so that it's almost taken for granted. The developing worlds are still striving to gain easily attainable education systems like ours, because education is seen as a platform whereby children can greaten themselves.
It's pretty common at university to be bombarded with images of smiling friends helping poor and clearly suffering orphans somewhere in Africa for a week, then going on safari, 'teach and get a tan'. The problem arises from that fact that all too often it is only the corporations organising the opportunities who benefit from volunteer tourism.
As someone who was actually an 'orphan' in Uganda, the subject of volunteers and the impact they make is particularly close to my heart. My own personal story will hopefully provide a new perspective to the debate, and explain why I believe that you can learn something from everybody you meet in life.
The Tory conference fringe events that focussed on disability and employment were rife with phrases like 'we're leading on this' and 'no-one knows what to do' when referring to support for people with mental health conditions. But Friday night's tweets suggest that what is needed is known, at least in overall detail, but perhaps just isn't politically acceptable.
As a scholarship student, I take issue with the fact that many regard independent schools like mine as elitist intuitions, reserved only for the privileged few. Although it might be fair to say that there a cluster of independent schools that are openly elitist, in my experience to say all schools are the same is a sweeping generalisation.
Globally, women and girls are estimated to account for almost two-thirds of the people who live in extreme poverty. Women currently perform two-thirds of the world's work and produce 50 percent of the food, yet earn only ten percent of the income. To add to this injustice, only one in five parliamentarians worldwide is a woman.
A new report we are publishing today lays bare the fact that the bulk of the people power that drives our charities is concentrated in a small minority of people. If you take together donations and time volunteered, we found that nine per cent of people are responsible for two-thirds of this social action in Britain.
The inaccessibility of clean water and latrines is still a problem devastating developing countries across the world. Recent figures speak of a world of injustice, where nearly people lack access to safe water and 2.5 billion to sanitation. This is a far cry from the flushing toilets, hot showers and clean drinking water taken for granted in most developed countries.