Brazil’s National Volunteer Day was commemorated yesterday, August 28. According to a study conducted by the United Nations (UN) in 2002, Brazil has around 42 million people engaged in volunteer activities and is considered by the UN the country that has advanced the most in this type of work in recent years.
Volunteer work gained momentum in Brazilian society in the decade of the 1980’s, when the movement Citizenship Action against Extreme Poverty and for Life, led by Herbert de Souza, known as Betinho, got started.
An example is Jairo Miranda, who founded the Golden Kids Association (AMO, Associação Meninos de Ouro) five years ago to take care of needy children and adolescents in the Federal District and surrounding region.
To commemorate Volunteer Day, the athletes he has trained went to the City Park to compete in the Soldier’s Run.
“Volunteer work is very gratifying. Donating your time, without earning anything in return, is a very human act,” observes Miranda, who dedicates himself to the AMO three times a week.
Miranda recalls that being a volunteer means contributing unremunerated services in favor of the community, and he underscores the importance of this work for the country’s socio-economic development.
“To be a volunteer, all you need is to be interested and willing to help others,” he said.