Abu Dhabi concludes “World Volunteer Conference 2022” with immense success with the participation of leaders from the volunteering sector

Emirates Foundation concluded the activities of the 26th World Volunteer Conference under the theme of “Volunteering for the Common Good: Making Life Better for People and Communities” in Abu Dhabi with immense success. The event was hosted jointly by Emirates Foundation and International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) from 24th October until 27th October, 2022 at ADNOC Business Center.

The conference was distinctive for the significant turnout of attendees and global stakeholders within the volunteering community, including leaders, civil society organizations, government agencies, academia and businesses from more than 100 countries around the globe, in an effort to share their perspectives on the significance of volunteering and its role in the growth of nations and civilizations.

The “World Volunteer Conference”, which was hosted by Abu Dhabi for the first time in the Middle East after it outperformed three shortlisted cities, is considered one of the largest global gathering of volunteering experts that addresses the significance of volunteering and its role in the growth of nations and civilizations.

Attendees enjoyed an inaugural programme that started on 24th of October, with a Gala dinner, followed by various discussion sessions and workshops that took place on 25th and 26th of October, in addition to a cultural evening and group visits to cultural sites in Abu Dhabi on October 27th including Qasr Al Hosn, Qasr Al Watan, and Louvre Abu Dhabi.

The conference enabled the attendees to learn from the shared experiences, especially those arising from COVID-19, and how volunteers have played a key role in mitigating the direct and indirect consequences of the pandemic.

Over the course of two days, the participants in the conference discussed a number of important topics, such as the positive and direct impact of volunteering in relation to four key global challenges in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that aim for building more tolerant and inclusive communities, addressing the issue of climate change, supporting a more peaceful and secure world, and providing equitable and progressive opportunities for all.

Moreover, a group of experts also shared their experiences and studies in a number of seminars to highlight key practices that address various topics, including partnership, corporate social responsibility, youth volunteering, technology transformation, resilient societies, and impact measurement. The conference also tackled prominent topics such as corporate volunteering for a post pandemic world, developing a world of change makers: young people and volunteering, and information marketplace.

On this occasion, His Excellency Ahmed Taleb Al Shamsi, CEO of the Emirates Foundation, said: “The conference’s enormous success is the result of the UAE wise leader’s vision that aimed to make Abu Dhabi the centre of globally renowned conferences hosted in the capital. The conference welcomed a record number of attendees and speakers, which cements UAE’s pioneering status as a hub of social and volunteering work and an indication of the country’s determined efforts in this sector.”

“The overwhelming response we received cements UAE’s pioneering status as a hub of social and volunteering work and a token of the country’s concerted efforts in this sector.”

His Excellency added “I would like to thank the International Association for Voluntary Efforts (IAVE) and to all attendees and participants in this conference, who contributed to shedding light on UAE’s role as a flagbearer of global model in empowering members of the society, and harnessing technological developments to establish volunteer platforms that are dedicated to raise awareness through volunteer pioneers and leaders. This comes in conjunction with the UAE’s strategy in encouraging the collective engagement in building the Emirati society.”

Nichole Cirillo, Executive Director of IAVE, said: “The conference achieved a remarkable presence and discussed prominent topics that emphasize the importance of volunteering and its positive effects on society and the strategic role played by volunteers and leaders of volunteer work to advance the development process in the society and help address the world’s most pressing challenges.

Cirillo added: “I would like to thank the Emirates Foundation for this exceptional cooperation opportunity in organising this significant international conference that falls in line with the international trend to support volunteers and recognize their tireless work around the globe.
It also emphasizes the importance of consolidating the culture of volunteering in various segments of society and the need to strengthen partnership between government and private institutions to adopt voluntary and community initiatives that activate social cohesion in facing challenges and contribute to improving the living conditions of individuals and societies.”
The conference provided participants with an exceptional opportunity to attend plenary sessions that included inspiring speakers, as well as forums that tackled the most difficult challenges facing the sector of volunteering, while presenting effective practices and new ideas, in addition to providing an opportunity for participants to exchange experiences, and get acquainted closely with the UAE and its qualitative achievements in the field of volunteer work. In addition to that, a volunteering activity was organised by Emirates Foundation, the International Association for Volunteer Effort and Dubai Cares and in cooperation with UPS that included packing 2,800 school kits which will be distributed to charity schools in the UAE and which are attended by students coming from humble backgrounds.

This conference is the result of a fruitful cooperation between the Emirates Foundation and the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) and the result of joint efforts with our strategic partner ADNOC and our destination partner Abu Dhabi Convention and Exhibition Bureau, as well as the sponsorship of TotalEnergies, Occidental Petroleum (OXY), UPS, Borealis, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Mubadala Investment Company, Department of Community Development, Iberdrola & Good deeds day and SAP.

It is worth mentioning that the World Volunteer conference is the largest global gathering of volunteering experts and is held every two years. It aims to tackle many of the challenges and issues in volunteer work and the social and humanitarian challenges. The event attracts up to 1,000 participants from 100 countries worldwide. The IAVE conference was held previously in Singapore in 2011, in London in 2012, in Australia’s Gold Coast in 2014, in “Mexico City” Mexico in 2016 and in Augsburg, Germany, in 2018.