Cambodian Red Cross (CRC) president Bun Rany has called on people around the world to join in volunteering in solidarity and sharing love and smiles.

Bun Rany made the call on International Volunteer Day on December 5, which was marked under the theme Volunteering Together, We Can Do It.

The CRC is the 85th member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

In a letter dated December 5, Bun Rany said: “In the context of Covid-19, volunteers from the IFRC, who have extensive experience in disaster relief work, continue to volunteer by working hard to help vulnerable communities.”

She added that volunteers have been doing their job with mercy, compassion and courage to overcome any impact on personal life, family or community.

“Of course, due to the spirit of unity and strong will to volunteer among our people, Cambodia has achieved success in natural disaster management and in preventing the spread of Covid-19. I would also like to applaud the Cambodian doctors, health workers and volunteer doctors who are active on the frontline and not afraid of fatigue and danger,” Bun Rany said.

She also called on the people to continue to improve sanitation and implement a series of measures taken by the Ministry of Health to avoid cases of Covid-19 community transmissions such as those of the November 28 community event, a reference to the first confirmed local transmission of Covid-19.

International Volunteer Day was established by the UN in 1985 to recognise the invaluable contribution of volunteers to international development around the world.

On the occasion of the International Volunteer Day on December 5, Australian ambassador to Cambodia Pablo Kang said that recognising the value of skilled international volunteers this year is more important than ever.

“The impact of Covid-19 on the Cambodian community has been profound, and while it has been a challenging year for Australian volunteers and the organisations they support, volunteering always finds a way,” he said in press release on December 4.

He added that since 1984, skilled international volunteers have supported development in Cambodia by joining hundreds of local organisations to help them achieve their own development goals through the Australian Volunteers Programme, which is sponsored by the Australian government.

According to the embassy, Australian volunteers returned to Australia early this year due to the impact of Covid-19. However, the Australian Volunteers Programme has continued to support partner organisations in Cambodia throughout 2020 via a new Remote Volunteer Programme.