Volunteers are at the forefront of every major conflict, natural disaster and other acute shock. Less visibly, everyday and everywhere, all types of people are volunteering to tackle stresses that test their resilience, such as poor education, ill health and poverty. In many communities, particularly where public support and safety nets are absent, volunteering emerges as a fundamental survival strategy, because it enables collective strategies for managing risk.
The 2018 State of the World’s Volunteerism Report, The thread that binds: Volunteerism and community resilience, looks at how the distinctive characteristics of local volunteerism help or hinder communities in crisis. For the first time, the report draws on field research carried out by volunteers with 1200 participants in 15 diverse communities. The report also explores how governments and other development actors can partner with locally owned solutions to strengthen community resilience.