Bhutan has been an active participant in celebrating International Volunteer Day (IV Day) each 5th December. There was also a series of events held in the recognition of the year 2001 as the ‘International Year of Volunteers’.

In 2006, IVD was celebrated organizing IVD Forum and Event having wide range of audience. Essay Contest titled “How can you contribute to Gross National Happiness (GNH) being a volunteer?” was held prior to the IVD celebration as related activity. This Essay Contest enhanced participation of civil society at large (see media coverage).

Past IV Days have tended to be limited to Thimphu, and focused on advocacy and publicity. But IV Day 2004 was much more than this: it served as the launch of a series of activities, in Thimphu and nationwide, where we have the opportunity not only to see what can be done through volunteerism, but actually to do something! That is to say: volunteerism is not something to think about one day every year - it is a continuous spirit!

Already in 2005, the volunteerism spirit showed itself when volunteers organised in January a fund-raising walk in aid of the survivors of the tsunami (see details), and again in March when volunteers gathered to improve facilities provided to the dogs accommodated in RSPCA ground in Serbithang.

For more information about upcoming events, check out the “What’s On” page. And remember: any suggestions for activities are warmly received. Please e-mail us at vib@druknet.bt.

But now - Let’s look back to how we celebrated IV Day and the International Year of Volunteers in the recent past…

In reverse chronological order:

VIB Achievements 2005

  • Volunteers get together to improve the lives of Thimphu's dogs in RSPCA ground at Serbithang - see details
  • More than 300,000 Nultrum raised by a 'Walk of Life' organised by VIB on 22nd January, in support of tsunami victims - see details
IV Day 2004
– After lighting 1,000 butter-lamps, ten teams battle it in a Tug-of-War at the Royal Bhutan Police ground. The same day, the "Volunteers in Bhutan" website was launched, and announcement made of the 'Volunteers in Beautiful Bhutan' photo competition.

Click to see details & photos: butterlamp ceremony & tug-of-war

IV Day 2003
– Fun Walk: The volunteer community and members of the public joined a fun-walk from the Golf Club to the Clock Tower in Thimphu. A beautiful walk on a cool December morning - with everyone wearing with pride their "Let's Volunteer" T-shirt.

Click to see Details and Photos

IV Day 2002
– Tug-of-War: A Tug-of-War competition was held, where fourteen teams fought it out on Changlimithang Ground, in Thimphu.

Click to see Details and Photos

International Year of Volunteers 2001
– a Year of Celebrating Volunteerism: Amongst special activities carried out were an essay competition, a postage-stamp design competition, followed by a special issue of IYV postage stamps, a nationwide high-school debating competition on volunteerism, a series of special programmes on volunteerism on television, and representation by Bhutan at Global IYV meetings and symposiums.

Click to see Details and Photos

Volunteers in Bhutan Committee
c/o UNV Office
UN House
Thimphu, Bhutan
Tel: 322424 ext 114 vib@druknet.bt

Copyright (c) 2004 Volunteers in Bhutan. All rights reserved. Designed by Seishu Ueno (JOCV)