21st IAVE World Volunteer Conference

The 21st IAVE World Volunteer Conference will be held later this month in Singapore; the first time it has been held in Asia. IAVE is a huge volunteer organisation connecting volunteer networks across the globe. The conference will be held between the 24th and 27th of January and will coincide with the 40th anniversary of the founding of IAVE. The conferences rather bland and unoriginal theme is ‘volunteering to change the world’ but hopefully the conference itself will deal with some more original issues. It will aim to assess the current trends in volunteering and to see what improvements can be made. As well as this it is also hoped that:

Through this conference, it is hoped that volunteer capital is truly recognized by governments, by businesses and by the not-for-profit sector itself for what it has to offer as an equal partner in building communities in a sustained manner.

This theme of ‘recognition’ runs through many contemporary issues concerning volunteer organisations and their ability to maximise their potential contribution. The fact that the conference is being held in Asia for the first time is also of significance to this theme of ‘recognition’. Many Asian governments are loathe to fully recognise volunteer organisations in the fear that they will threaten the power of the government. In many cases, this failure of ‘recognition’ actually achieves the opposite effect; undermining the legitimacy of the state by demonstrating its desire to limit the power of society.

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