International Volunteer Day 2023
An occasion to remember the role of civil protection volunteers in building a better future for our country
International Volunteer Day has been celebrated annually on December 5 since 1985 to acknowledge volunteers' valuable contributions and efforts worldwide.
In 2023, this date represents a significant time for reflection on volunteers' role in truly making a difference in our society. This year's theme is "If everyone did." This theme highlights the power of collective acts of solidarity. If everyone would engage in organized volunteering, associationism would become an immense renewable resource with which everyone could help solve our time's significant social and environmental difficulties.
On a national scale, civil protection volunteers are particularly well-known and appreciated for their generosity. They are among the operational structures of the National Service. Civil protection volunteers are committed to ensuring the preservation and well-being of communities every day and during emergencies; they are trained to work closely with local authorities and other operational structures and cooperate with them in managing natural disasters. However, civil protection volunteers do not contribute exclusively in emergencies. Over the years, they have been increasingly engaged in prevention activities, participating in local planning, territorial monitoring, and the national campaign "I don't take risks - good civil protection practices" to promote the spread of risk awareness among citizens.
Civil protection volunteers help improve the lives of people in need and provide an excellent opportunity for personal growth.
As Head of Department Fabrizio Curcio remarked, "Being a civil protection volunteer allows one to develop skills, knowledge, and significant relationships that can last a lifetime. We hope that the number of people volunteering will continue to grow, thanks to a greater awareness of the issue and given the importance of volunteering in facing current and future challenges. The Civil Protection Department expresses gratitude and support to volunteers, who actively participate in the activities of the National Service at different levels, offering their time and abilities."
To participate in forecasting, prevention, and intervention activities in case of natural disasters and to carry out training and educational activities, civil protection voluntary organizations must be enrolled in the national list, which is divided into two branches: a central one - in which, today, there are 60 national organizations - and one that gathers the territorial lists maintained by Regions and Autonomous Provinces, in which thousands of local associations and groups are registered. Civil protection volunteering is characterized by various association forms, including national organizations, with a central coordinating structure and a network of branches distributed throughout the territory, and local associations and municipal groups.
Today, approximately 300,000 civil protection volunteers are a unique resource for the National Civil Protection Service and the entire country.
During the recent flood emergencies that have hit our country, many young people's desire to contribute to populations in need has emerged. The younger generation's involvement in civil protection is also crucial to ensuring generational turnover without wasting the valuable knowledge, experience, and skills present within the organizations so that they can be transferred to new volunteers. It is essential to operate in a secure and well-organized environment. Those who wish to actively take part in the activities of the National Civil Protection System can, therefore, enroll in a civil protection voluntary organization.