Voluntary service is one of the 7 Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross Movement and it is related directly to the Principle of Humanity, consequently being a way of putting the latter principle into practice. In order for the Red Cross to carry out its work, it must inspire a sense of humanitarian commitment and bring out the best in people so they cultivate a highly developed spirit of service.
The present Analysis of Volunteering and Youth in the Americas 2022 aims to acknowledge and celebrate this spirit of service and provide evidence-based input to National Societies to strengthen their volunteer management and growth. Despite advances in global development, one in every 70 people worldwide is being affected by a crisis and is in urgent need of humanitarian assistance and protection. Attracting, motivating and retaining volunteers, protecting, promoting and recognizing them, is essential to reach those in need and to build more resilient and inclusive communities in a world that is constantly changing.
Similarly to the first edition of this analysis in 2016, the Regional Coordination of Volunteering and Youth Development (V&Y), which is part of the PSK Unit of the Regional Office for America, has continued working for the consolidation of strategies and actions that facilitate the volunteering and youth development in the National Societies (NSs) of the American continent. This guarantees a solid base of motivated and qualified volunteers who can meet in a better way the needs of the most vulnerable populations, which is the ultimate goal of the Red Cross. The Regional Coordination of V&Y supports National Societies so that they can provide favorable environments, both inside and outside the organization, that encourage and facilitate the work and involvement of volunteers and young people and also promote volunteering and youth leadership in all sectors of the civil society.
This analysis seeks to promote a better understanding of the current situation, monitor progress in recent years and adjust or rethink strategies to develop and strengthen volunteering in the region. From 2013 to date, the Regional Coordination of V&Y has conducted annual baseline studies in order to collect information that allows to establish an updated framework for action at the juncture of the National Societies. These studies have shed light on the diagnosis of volunteering and youth in the Americas and are the basis for the formulation of future action strategies.
This study is conducted to recognize the progress made, while providing a guide of the Red Cross action in volunteering and youth matters, monitoring the changes since 2016 when the last study was published, to date.
For the first version of the Analysis of Volunteering and Youth in the Americas (published in 2016), data of baseline studies from 2013 to 2015 was used. In the present analysis, data collected between 2016 and 2021 is considered.