The number of selflessly committed people has remained constant in Switzerland over the last 20 years.
Six out of ten people do voluntary work in Switzerland. Special attention is paid to this commitment on Saturday, International Volunteer Day.
The aim of this day is to highlight voluntary work, as Benevol, one of Switzerland’s many voluntary organisations, has written on its website. Voluntary workers are rarely in the limelight, but their commitment is essential for social integration, economic growth, cultural life and the functioning of democracy, according to Benevol.
The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) also welcomed this commitment on Twitter on Saturday. “We say THANK YOU! To all those who are committed to their neighbours, families, senior citizens and young people. Your commitment is worth its weight in gold. Let us continue to show solidarity”, he wrote.
On behalf of 28 organisations, the Swiss Red Cross presented a national manifesto for volunteering to parliament on 17 November. The text calls for more promotion and recognition of voluntary work.
650 million working hours
According to the Swiss Red Cross, volunteers provide more than 650 million hours of work in Switzerland every year, worth some CHF 34 billion.
According to the Swiss Public Benefit Society (SPSU), the number of people who have made a selfless commitment has remained constant over the past 20 years: 62% of Swiss people aged 15 and over regularly volunteer their time to help others, society or nature.
Play and leisure clubs, cultural associations and social and charitable organisations are popular among volunteers. Men are more present in formal associations, such as sports clubs, while women are more numerous in informal activities, such as self-help.