The number of individuals across the world who dedicate their time to volunteer is immeasurable. Many of these individuals do so because they want to make a difference...
According to the volunteering database, Do-it, the highest motivation for volunteering is to help other people, and one only has to look at the recent events in Haiti to see that there is no shortage of willing individuals who put others before themselves.
The 2007-08 Citizenship Survey, undertaken by Communities and Local Government, found that 27 percent of people in England participated in formal volunteering at least once a month. In the USA, the figure is remarkably similar. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last month that approximately 26.8 percent of the population – some 63.4 million people – volunteered through or for an organization between September 2008 and September 2009.
Much of the time, since the notion of voluntary work is that it is unpaid, people's best efforts can go unrecognized in the wider field. A campaign venture by GVI entitled Are You The Difference? hopes to change that by providing volunteers from across the globe with the opportunity to showcase their community efforts.
During Spring and Summer 2010, Are You The Difference? will provide a platform for those individuals who wish to share their voluntary experiences and demonstrate the impact they are making by volunteering their time and commitment. In doing so, the global community will witness the formation of a network of individuals taking initiative locally, nationally and internationally from all walks of life and in all manner of activities. Are You The Difference? will celebrate the accomplishments of volunteers worldwide and the diversity of roles in which they are engaged.
Are You The Difference? is inviting individuals to produce a short video showing how they make a difference through volunteering, either within their home country or overseas. Entries will be accepted until 31st May 2010, when a panel of judges, each of whom has demonstrated a strong interest and commitment within the volunteering industry – Justin Francis (Responsible Travel); Ruby Rose (MTV Australia); Donna Callejon (Global Giving) – will select the Top 20 videos from a short-list of fifty videos. The general public will subsequently be able to cast their vote to decide who will be crowned the winner of Are You The Difference?
The winning entrant will be invited to visit critical GVI conservation and community volunteer projects worldwide, reporting on their experiences and thereby further expanding the volunteer network initiated by the campaign. In addition to volunteer placements for one year, the prize includes a round the world flight, travel insurance, outdoor equipment and a video camera.