Daniel Halliday
Nov 29 · Last update 9 mo. ago.

What are the most important volunteer organisations of history?

Volunteering has become of massive cultural importance with surveys showing that millions of people volunteer their time to a charitable organisation every year. Some of the highest profile volunteer organisations have a history of well over 100 years, for International Volunteer Day let’s take a look back and remember the most important volunteer organisations of history. un.org/en/events/volunteerday
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UNICEF
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The Red Cross
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The YMCA
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UNICEF

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund was founded following the Second World War to provide much needed emergency food and medical care to children affected by the war. Years later UNICEF’s mission was extended to help the women and children of developing nations everywhere, and has continued on in the following decades to address issues as wide ranging as security, economic development, the environment, and upholding international law. UNICEF is funded by governments and private supporters and has multi-billion dollar yearly budget which is used to carry out some of the most important humanitarian programs in the world.

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Daniel Halliday
Feb 10
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The Red Cross

The Red Cross is a humanitarian movement of organisations and societies founded in Switzerland in 1863, inspired by Jean-Henri Dunant’s experience of wartime causalities. Although the organisation began as a way to provide care for the injured in times of war, they continued to protect human life and health around the globe, carrying out various humanitarian roles in order to prevent and alleviate human suffering. The institution has gone on to include a number of multinational societies that employ around 17 million staff and volunteers worldwide and the International Committee of the Red Cross has won the Nobel Peace Prize three times since the institution's foundation.

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Daniel Halliday
Dec 23
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The YMCA

The Young Men’s Christian Association was started in 1844 in London by George Williams to try and provide low-cost housing and a safe Christian environment for people travelling from the countryside to inner cities around the time of the industrial revolution. In 1855 branches from the UK, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States came together as a federation and formed the World Alliance of YMCAs. Although primarily promoting Christianity and healthy lifestyles to youths and young families, they started to diversifying into rural development in India in the early 20th century, and working with refugees and displaced persons during the Second World War. This voluntary charity work continued to the point where today the YMCA employs approximately 20,000 full time staff and 600,000 volunteers serving 10,000 communities in the United States alone.

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Daniel Halliday
Nov 29
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