Aussies Take Up Online Volunteering
27 August 2013 at 9:56 am
A small but growing number of Australians are going online to volunteer their expertise, according to figures from the United Nations Volunteer organisation.
The United Nations Volunteers Programme connects development organisations with volunteers to collaborate online for peace and development projects.
The programme, based in Germany, says that since 2000 more than 55,000 online volunteers have supported many United Nations agencies, non-governmental organisations and governments around the globe.
It reveals that amongst those who have signed up, about 1,000 are Australians.
“Organisations that benefited from online volunteers’ support indicated that volunteers contributed to enable disadvantaged groups and communities to have wider access to services and to the inclusion and participation of stakeholders, in particular the disadvantaged," a spokesperson said.
“In 2012, 92% of organisations and online volunteers who used UNV Online Volunteering service rated their satisfaction with their online volunteering collaboration as good or excellent,” they said.
“This year more than 350 individuals were nominated for the Online Volunteering Award. A jury made up of UNV representatives and external experts in volunteerism and development cooperation will review the nominations and select the 10 winners or winning teams of volunteers.
“In the run up to International Volunteer Day (IVD) on 5 December, we will invite the global public to vote for their favourite winner. The volunteer or team that gets the most votes will be announced as the public’s favourite on IVD,” she said.
In 2012 Pat Redmond, an Australian freelance web developer was among the Online Volunteering awardees for his support to the UNHCR Regional Support Hub (RSH) in Nairobi in the development of a Regional Shelter Portal.
The organisation says it hopes more Australian organisations benefit from a quick and flexible way to leverage volunteer support to advance peace and development.
Find out more information about the eligibility criteria for the 2013 awards and the different ways in which online volunteers can support organisations here.