Cyprus is one of the few countries in the European Union with an integrated policy framework regarding volunteering, active citizenship and NGOs, commissioner for volunteering Yiannis Yiannakis said on Thursday.
In a message of the occasion of International Volunteer Day, which is marked annually on December 5, he said an integrated policy was adopted for the first time in Cyprus in 2013.
The goal of his office, he continued, is to strengthen civil society, encourage active citizenship from an early age, cultivate volunteerism across the population, and support voluntary and non-governmental organisations.
“Having this multidimensional role, we carry out various actions and enter into strategic partnerships with all parties, civil society, voluntary movements, NGOs, local authorities and government services,” he said.
“Active citizenship and volunteerism provide opportunities for people, especially those experiencing exclusion, to positively influence their own lives and play a constructive role in their communities by offering their time and skills. Through volunteerism, communities around the world are displaying more solidarity and are becoming more receptive,” Yiannakis said.
He continued his speech by referring to the office’s importance in encouraging personal development and empowerment, as well as preventing delinquency and addiction.
According to the United Nations, the theme for this year’s international day is ‘Volunteer for an inclusive future’, highlighting sustainable development goals and the pursuit of equality – including inclusion – through volunteerism.