Dugnad. Tatawa’a. Ubuntu.

Dec 16, 2011

Earlier this week, the United Nations released its report titled, “State of the World’s Volunteerism: Universal Values for Global Well-being.”

While reading it, we learned some new definitions from around the world, including “dugnad,” which is the sense of community created among neighbors doing good works together in Norway; “ubuntu” which refers to caring for one another’s well being in southern Africa; and “tataw’a,” which means a volunteer act not required by religious obligation in Arabic.

The report is a study of the way volunteerism benefits both society as a whole, and the individuals who give of their time and talents. At Amway, we believe strongly in the principles outlined in the study and here are few highlights from our perspective:

▪ Volunteerism should be recognized as an essential component for the sustainable, equitable progress of communities and nations.

▪ The well-being of individuals is intrinsically linked to their contributions to the lives of others.

▪ Volunteering helps those at risk of lifelong poverty and social exclusion to gain opportunities and resources to help them participate fully in social, economic and cultural life.

▪ Volunteering reduces stress; combats feelings of loneliness and low self-worth; and employer-supported volunteering raises morale, increases job satisfaction, pride and positive feelings towards the company.

▪ Small-scale volunteer action often builds momentum and blossoms into national and international campaigns.

The links above are examples that weave together the Amway story of volunteering through the One by One Campaign for Children. Examples woven throughout the United Nations’ report include the Teach for India movement that mobilized 83,000 volunteers in three months; the growth and impact of volun-tourism; and how the country of Bhutan, which some consider the world’s happiest place, measures Gross National Happiness over Gross National Product.

And finally, although it was first said in 2000, it is just as applicable – if not moreso – today: “More than ever before, caring and sharing are a necessity, not just a charitable act.” At Amway, we do more than believe that. We live it.

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