Uganda today December 5, 2022 has joined the rest of the world to commemorate International Volunteers Day (IVD) under the theme “Solidarity through Volunteering”.
The United Nations (UN) set aside this day in 1985 to recognize and promote tireless work not just of UN Volunteers but all volunteers around the globe.
Over a billion people volunteer their time, skills, and experience to help improve their communities. From providing practical support to vulnerable children and adults to advising on sophisticated technical and legal issues, volunteers are present at all levels of society. Each one brings a specific set of skills to their tasks.
The celebration of the day provides an opportunity for volunteers and organizations to celebrate their efforts, share their values and promote their work among countries, non-governmental organizations, UN Agencies, and governmental authorities as well as the private sector.
The Minister of state for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Persis Namuganza, said that Uganda is celebrating, honoring and galvanizing the efforts of commitment and resilience that the volunteers exhibit to promote development work, including that of organizations like Habitat for Humanity in Uganda and Uganda as a country.
“We know that for 40 years now in Uganda, Habitat for Humanity in Uganda has been partnering with government, districts and families to improve the living conditions of Ugandans through helping them access a decent shelter,” Namuganza said.
The pandemic and recent conflicts have reversed years of progress made in the fight against housing poverty, resulting in the emergence of newly poor people who would have exited poverty in the absence of the pandemic but remain poor, and those who would have fallen into poverty on account of the pandemic, rising inequalities especially in the housing sector implore that there is need to work effectively to find common solutions especially for the vulnerable in society.
“As government, the provision of decent shelter, clean water and sanitation facilities are part of the greatest commitment we have and this situation is improving year after year; a big thank you. To the work of partners like Habitat for Humanity Uganda,” she added.
She added that Uganda does not have national celebrations because of the health situation in the country.
The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development is committed to ensure that Ugandans not only have decent homes and the related facilities but also have a decent home without security of their land.
The minister noted that although great work is being done, they also appreciate that there are challenges encountered in supporting every family to access a decent home as the Ugandan population continues to grow because of better health and security among other factors.
“Ladies and gentlemen, concerted effort is therefore required by all of us to join hands and make decent homes a reality for the vulnerable families within our communities. This is the effort I like to commend the volunteers for and continue to challenge us to embrace volunteering to impact our communities,” the minister said.
The minister also challenged the higher institutions of learning, the staff within the corporate world and other friends; the journalists to find a few hours of their time to volunteer so as to bring impact on vulnerable families in the communities.
“The Government would like to use this occasion to urge all Ugandans to embrace voluntarism in order to help fellow Ugandans to have a decent roof over their heads. Doing this will create for us the Uganda we deserve,” she urged.