December 4, 2020

Address of the President of the Red Cross of RNM, Prof.Dr. Romel Velev, on the occasion of December 5 – International Volunteer Day

Distinguished President of the Republic of North Macedonia, Mr. Stevo Pendarovski

Distinguished Secretary General of the Red Cross of RNM, Dr. Sait Saiti

Dear media representatives

Dear Red Cross volunteers

It is a great pleasure for me to address you on the occasion of the celebration of the International Volunteer Day – December 5th. Celebrated worldwide since 1985, under the auspices of the United Nations, this day aims to promote volunteerism, encourage governments to support the efforts of volunteer organizations, and above all to express gratitude to our volunteers around the world for their contributions, importance and role in strengthening our communities.

Volunteering is an important aspect that affects the ability of society to deal with different types of social challenges and security threats and disasters. Volunteers and volunteering represent the potential of communities to respond to these challenges in the local environment. Volunteering is based on the principle of voluntary service, acting in benefit of others without financial compensation. Volunteering as a way of acting has social and individual benefits.

Volunteering as a model of functioning within society creates national solidarity and in times of unfavorable conditions, where more prosperous groups contribute to the well-being of those in need of support. On the other hand, volunteering offers people the opportunity for personal development and capacity building, both professionally and personally. People volunteer because they want to be part of a wider social group in the community by promoting coexistence, peace and tolerance as core values ​​in human life.

Volunteering is an important aspect of the work of the Red Cross of the Republic of North Macedonia, and has continuous development during the existence of the organization.

Over the years, we have been dedicated to promoting voluntary service in the Red Cross by developing new, more flexible, open and complementary approaches that will enable us to create a more efficient network of humanitarian workers working for the common good in the country.

In the past year, the Red Cross faced a major challenge in securing support for various target populations affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, which unfortunately is still ongoing. Of course, this would not have been possible without the support of our volunteers. I would like to single out just some of the key activities of Red Cross volunteers.

They made a special contribution in conducting surveys for passengers entering at border crossings. They also participated in the distribution of hygiene items, disinfectants and personal protection, delivery of food and medicine to the elderly and frail and the chronically ill, singles, isolated citizens, self-isolation and quarantine, and single parents. Volunteers also provided assistance in providing support through telephone lines for psychosocial assistance to the vulnerable population and persons in isolation.

These are just a few of the small things that our great volunteers have done. And their interest in providing support is undiminished, and new volunteers apply daily to help in these difficult times by making a personal contribution to overcoming the effects of the pandemic.

Many thanks to all the volunteers in the country. To the people who volunteer in the Red Cross. And we will continue to nurture a volunteer base to provide a wide range of volunteer services, contributing to the social environment especially in times of crisis.

Finally, on behalf of the Red Cross of the Republic of North Macedonia, allow me to once again sincerely congratulate December 5, the International Volunteer Day and to thank the thousands of active volunteers in our country for their continuous dedicated work and good deeds and their contribution to the development of the Red Cross as the largest volunteer organization in our country.

Thank you

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