Today the Department of Community Development (DCD) in Abu Dhabi celebrates the 36th annual International Volunteer Day, a United Nations resolution that recognizes the importance of volunteering in making key societal impact and celebrating the spirit of volunteerism.
His Excellency Mohammed Helal Al Blooshi, Executive Director of the Office of Strategic Affairs at the Department of Community Development, said: "The Department of Community Development aims at enabling and encouraging a safe, organized, and impactful volunteering environment that enhances community engagement and builds social cohesion. This focus reflects the directives of our wise leadership who believe in volunteering as an essential pillar for society’s development. Today, we recognize and commend those countless volunteers who have dedicated their time and skills towards advancing positive change in Abu Dhabi and throughout the United Arab Emirates.”
He added: “DCD’s commitment to enabling volunteerism can be seen through the launch of the volunteering policy last year and announcement of volunteer licensing in September 2021 to organize volunteering practices in Abu Dhabi.”
He pointed out that to further build on the policy and licensure activation, DCD’s role in fostering a strong volunteering ecosystem can be seen in its cooperation with the Emirates Foundation and the Authority of Social Contribution (Ma’an) to attract volunteers through the Volunteers.ae platform that allows entities to post volunteering opportunities and grants individuals and teams the necessary license to practice volunteering.
Al Blooshi stressed the importance of the Volunteers.ae platform in preserving volunteer rights and responsibilities of all volunteers, and bridging organizations seeking to post opportunities with volunteers who are looking to make a difference.
Within DCD’s volunteering policy, Abu Dhabi provides nine fields of volunteering, including traditional volunteering, volunteering for social affairs, volunteering in emergency situations, volunteering in events, virtual volunteering, volunteering for visitors, institutional volunteering, specialized volunteering, and volunteering abroad.
The policy includes three types of licenses – (1) a volunteer license issued to individuals wishing to volunteer, (2) a volunteer team license issued to groups of 5 or more individuals, and (3) a license for legal entities wishing to post volunteer opportunities.