Written by: Alyssa Marie Villa

Photo taken during the Opening Ceremony of the International Volunteerism Symposium and Volunteer Fair on December 06-07, 2023 at the University of Mindanao – Matina Campus together with PNVSCA, University of Mindanao, AVP, distinguised speakers, panelists, international volunteer service organizations (IVSOs) representatives.

The Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA), in partnership with the Australian Volunteers Program (AVP), University of Mindanao (UM), and Davao Colleges and Universities Network Inc. (DACUN), successfully conducted a two-day International Volunteer Symposium and Volunteer Fair on December 06-07, 2023 at the University of Mindanao – Matina  Campus, Davao City in celebration of the 2023 International Volunteer Day (IVD).

In photo: Executive Director Donald James D. Gawe providing an overview of the International Volunteerism Symposium.

The International Volunteer Symposium aims to create a venue for international and local volunteers for knowledge sharing and network building – highlighting the role and contributions of volunteers in fostering international cooperation, and as a means towards achieving the country’s sustainable development goals. 

The Symposium featured topics and discussions on Volunteerism Paradigms, Concepts, Measurement, Research, Practices, as well as trends and opportunities. It also centered around the power of collective action and how individual contributions can create a significant positive change in society.

Distinguished speakers and panelists from the International Labour Organization (ILO), UP Statistics, Josefa Segovia Foundation, Inc., University of London, San Pedro College, CHED – Regional Office XI, UP Mindanao – Pahinungod, Ateneo de Davao University – Al Qalam Institute for Islamic Identities and Dialogues in Southeast Asia, MADARIS Volunteer Program, University of Mindanao (PakiglaUM Program), National University – Manila, UP Cebu – Pahinungod, World Vision, Habitat for Humanity International, ForumZFD, City Government of Cagayan de Oro, Philippine Red Cross as well as representatives from PNVSCA, Australian Volunteers Program, and DFAT provided valuable experiences, insights, and best practices in the field of volunteerism.

Moreover, PNVSCA and partner IVSOs took the IVD Celebration as an opportunity to honor outstanding international volunteers and  work partner for their commitment and dedication that have significantly contributed to fostering the spirit of volunteerism as a strategy to attain community and national development and international understanding.

Likewise, the Volunteer Fair, a key component of the celebration, provided a space for various organizations to showcase their volunteer opportunities, projects, and initiatives. This fostered meaningful connections and inspiring a new wave of volunteers to join the cause.

The success of the IVD Celebration reflects the dedication and burning desire of individuals and organizations to work together and make a difference. It also served as a platform in engaging students and promoting the value of volunteerism within the academic community.

Lastly, the event serves as a reminder that, collectively, small actions can lead to significant and positive transformations in society – staying true to this year’s IVD theme “#IfEveryoneDid”.

Prior to the two-day activity, a solidarity night / networking was also organized participated by international volunteer service organizations, local government units, national line agencies, state universities and colleges and other government instrumentalities, private higher education institutions, and civil society and business organizations, nationwide.

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Article from PIA – Davao


The author is currently the Volunteer Service Officer II of the Program Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation Division (PCMED), Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency.

Visit PNVSCA website (www.pnvsca.gov.ph) and PNVSCA Facebook (facebook.com/PNVSCA) for other stories and information on volunteering.