UN Volunteers


United Nations Volunteers (UNV) is the nodal UN agency that contributes to peace and development worldwide through volunteerism. UNV believes in ‘Volunteerism for Development’. The concept of volunteerism for development centers on optimizing volunteerism’s impact on peace and development. Achieving this, requires the cooperation and commitment of the public sector, civil society and the private sector with support from the United Nations system and the world community. Individual citizens also have an important role to play through volunteering. Every day, individuals are engaged in development initiatives through volunteer actions, both large and small, in an effort to improve conditions for others and themselves. Volunteerism by many millions of people is critical to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Get Involved: Take Our New Survey on Volunteerism

volunteer, yamuna, clean, youthA young man shoveling the dirt away from the banks of the Yamuna as a volunteer. Credit: UNV

Take part in the survey on youth volunteerism here. Your voice will help us understand the perception and motivation of youth volunteers in India.

As part of the Strengthening Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan and National Service Scheme, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MoYAS) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Volunteers programme (UNV) have initiated an action research on “Youth Volunteering – State of volunteerism and impact of current volunteering initiatives in India.”

The survey will feed into the research that will establish an evidence base on the impact of current youth volunteerism in India. It will also identify emerging trends and opportunities which will provide a basis for future youth volunteer engagement in line with the national development agenda.

Tell Us About Your Best Practices

We would love to hear about some the best practices of volunteerism in India. We invite individuals/groups/organizations to submit their good practices and case studies on volunteerism. Download the template and declaration form for submission. Add your voice now!

Our Goal

UNV is inspired by the conviction that volunteerism can transform the pace and nature of development, and by the idea that everyone can contribute their time and energy towards peace and development. Volunteerism is a powerful means of engaging people in tackling development challenges, and in transforming the pace and nature of development.

Latest Videos

Celebrating the power and potential of volunteerism on International Volunteer Day 2016. Watch the recap of the celebrations.

Good Practices

Watch how UNV District Youth Coordinators are inspiring their communities to affect change.
A three-day consultation was held in October 2016 to take stock on the progress of the project 'Strengthening of Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) and the National Service Scheme. Watch the highlights.


IVD 2016: Celebrating the Power and Potential of Volunteerism

IVD 2016: Celebrating the Power and Potential of Volunteerism

In 1985, the United Nations designated 5 December to be celebrated as International Volunteer Day (IVD), as an international observance day to celebrate the power and potential of volunteerism. ...more 

Consultation to Strengthen Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan

Strengthening Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan with Young Volunteers

In order to understand the progress of the project “Strengthening of Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) and National Service Scheme (NSS)’’, a three-day Consultation and Review meeting ...more 

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Projects and Initiatives

Photo Essays

Make Change Happen: Thousands Volunteer to Clean the Yamuna

Make Change Happen: Thousands Volunteer to Clean the Yamuna

Over 3,000 Delhi residents turned up for the city’s biggest cyclothon and cleanliness drive to promote ‘Clean India’ on 14 December as a part of India’s commemoration of International Volunteer Day, which recognizes the commitment and contribution of volunteers to peace and development around the world. more 

Volunteering to Build Ability

Volunteering to Build Ability

This is the story of one community’s sheer determination to build a more inclusive society where disability is seen as a type of ability. In this journey they have found support from United Nations Volunteers who as speech therapists, rehabilitation specialists, physiotherapists and school administrators, are nurturing and caring for children with special needs. more 

Volunteer Voices

UNVolunteer Profile Series: Victor Igbokwe

UNVolunteer Profile Series: Victor Igbokwe

Victor is a 37 old international UN Volunteer and holds an MA in Human Rights and Conflict Management from Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy. Although having arrived in India only a couple of months ago, Victor has already started travelling the country educating people about Disaster Risk Reduction Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation. more 

UN Volunteer Helps Efforts to Build Participatory Democracy in India

UN Volunteer Helps Efforts to Build Participatory Democracy in India

Sugandha Nagar, a national UN Volunteer, writes about her experience educating electors about the universal adult franchise through the Systematic Voter Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) programme by the Election Commission of India. more 

Stories of Change

  • Ad‘venturing’ into Volunteering

    India’s National Youth Policy 2014 stresses on the impact of sports, particularly adventure sports, in the development of youth. Activities like trekking, river rafting, mountaineering, etc. can bring young people together for their own as well as the community’s development. more