Volunteers are important change-agents for a sustainable development. The 21st IAVE World Volunteer Conference that is going on this week in Singapore gives us a good opportunity to focus our attention on the public benefits of the work done by volunteers. Many generations of youth volunteers have made their mark in various areas from population and family planning to community health and sanitation work. While senior citizens have contribute their time and energy in community education and in safeguarding the environment. Supporters of volunteer are not just governments, and non-governmental organizations, but also foundations and business communities. Many corporations encourage employee’s volunteerism by spending time outside the office to do something good for the community. The slogan that employers used in motivating staff is “Volunteering isn’t just good. It’s good for business”. Employee volunteering programs do benefit equally the company and the staff, so companies often give employees “time off” as incentive for the staff to do voluntary work. Volunteers are the backbones of humanitarian work when a disaster strikes. Humanitarian and relief organizations depends heavily on volunteers to help them meet the basic needs of the community for example: food distribution, disease prevention and provision of basic health care services.

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