In difficult times, we often look to humanitarian groups to support those in need. Since the onset of the refugee crisis, this has certainly been the case in Brazil – where the number of refugees has doubled each year since 2011. Atados, the winner of Points of Light’s 2017 George W. Romney Award, adapted its successful volunteer engagement model to respond to the global refugee crisis and provide aid to the people taking refuge in Brazil.
Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in March 2011, thousands of Syrian citizens have arrived on the shores of Greece in search of refuge. Today, more than 62,000 refugees still reside in Greece and roughly half of them are women and children, according to the International Rescue Committee. Volunteers from around the world are providing assistance – helping refugees arriving by boat make it safely to land, providing support at refugee camps and packing care packages with essential supplies.
We are witnessing the emergence of a global changemaking movement. During our recent global network gathering, more than 50 leaders from 27 countries came together to talk about the future of changemaking – 15 to 20 years out – and how we are innovating engagement strategies, storytelling, and community impact approaches to both anticipate and build that future.
With the increasing importance of employee volunteer programs comes an increasing demand by companies for external support and infrastructure to help align event programming with company values. Volunteer centers are powerful tools in this sphere, and Hands On Manila, a Points of Light global affiliate, has emerged as a leader in helping companies build their employee volunteer programs.