PA/15/19 5 December 2019
International Volunteer Day: Australians supporting development in Bhutan
The contributions of six Australians currently volunteering in Bhutan, and the local organisations they support, are being celebrated on International Volunteer Day.
International Volunteer Day (5 December) was established in 1985 to recognise the valuable contribution volunteers make to international development across the world.
For many years, Australians have contributed to the growth and development of local organisations in Bhutan across a range of sectors through the Australian Volunteers Program, which is supported by the Australian Government.
Australian Ambassador to Bhutan, Her Excellency Ms Harinder Sidhu, said that the theme of this year’s International Volunteer Day was volunteer for an inclusive future.
“For more than 60 years Australian volunteers have been sharing their skills overseas, and using their personal and professional experiences to contribute meaningfully to international development,” said Ms Sidhu.
“The Australian Volunteers Program is all about people – Australian volunteers come from diverse backgrounds, and support an incredibly broad and inclusive range of individuals, organisations and communities.
“What’s so special about international volunteering is the great achievements that can be made through the power of people-to-people relationships where individuals of all cultures, beliefs and abilities are included equally.”
Australian volunteers are currently supporting 5 organisations, working on projects led by Bhutanese people and organisations.
These volunteers are drawing on their unique skills, experience and background to help organisations, such as Wangsel Institute, National Institute of Zorig Chosum and National Biodiversity Centre, achieve their own development goals.
Volunteers gain as much as they give, forging friendships and having cultural experiences that have an impact long after they return to Australia.
“From speaking with both volunteers and the organisations they support I think the most satisfying part of the Australian Volunteers Program is seeing these local organisations continue to grow and develop,” added Ms Sidhu.