USAID has partnered with the American people to leverage the skills of professional volunteers in meeting pressing development challenges in health, food security, climate change, economic growth and education.  In celebration of International Volunteer Day, we are proud to highlight a few of the great volunteers supported by the USAID’s Volunteers for Prosperity program who volunteer their time and skills to meet some of these development challenges.

In 1985, The United Nations General Assembly established International Volunteer Day with the hopes of highlighting the tremendous contributions that volunteers make worldwide.  Since then, governments, the UN system and civil society organizations have joined together around the world to celebrate the work of volunteers on December 5th.   This year, the UN Volunteers program has made volunteering for one or more of the Millennium Development Goals its theme.

The Volunteers for Prosperity program is focused on encouraging international voluntary service by highly skilled American professionals and partnering with U.S. based NGOs who have active volunteer programs abroad.   The Volunteers for Prosperity Service Incentive program supports skilled volunteers through a competitive matching grants process.    We are partnering with the IBM Corporation to launch an International Corporate Volunteer Program which intends to expand the number of companies and volunteers assisting in developing countries. Additionally, the Volunteers for Prosperity website serves as a clearing house whereby volunteers and volunteer organizations can connect.   To find out more about the program visit the new Volunteers for Prosperity website at

Volunteers can have a profound impact on development and we are committed to finding innovative ways to incorporate the use of volunteer resources into the design and implementation of development programming.