December 5th marked the annual International Volunteer Day. In Libya, a country plagued by conflict over the past seven years, volunteers came together to mark their efforts and remember fallen friends.
Despite the ongoing political crisis, civil society organisations (CSOs) in Libya are growing in parts of the country. As part of the annual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)-approved International Volunteer Day, volunteers and CSOs throughout Libya have promoted their efforts in rebuilding the country. According to observers the number of Libyan CSOs and volunteers have rapidly increased over the past few years, due to the absence of government institutions. The lack of services by the government has encouraged many individuals to take it it upon themselves to deliver needed amenities to their fellow countrymen.
The Libyan Red Crescent Society is one of the many organisations that has been concentrating its work on the health sector within the country in the past few years.
Due to the risk that some organisations take in order to save the lives of civilians and recover the bodies of civilians who have been killed, volunteers in many cases have been killed due to ongoing fighting and conflict.
Organisers. and volunteers commemorating the International Volunteers day, which is held on the 5th of December, said that on this occasion they also remember the work that their fallen friends had done.
According to observers, the spirit of volunteerism is deeply rooted in Libyan society, although they say that this spirit must be simultaneously harnessed, especially at this time in order to rebuild the country and improve the country’s situation.
Since the fall of the Gaddafi regime in 2011, the country has yet to see a period of stability. In 2014, several militias pledged allegiance to ISIS, forming the militant group’s Libya branch.
This has sparked the forces affiliated to both sides of Libya’s western- and eastern-based governments, to launch several operations to defeat the militant group. As a result of these battles, many young citizens volunteered to aid those caught in between.
After ISIS’ defeat in Sirte and Benghazi and the al-Qaeda affiliated-Mujahideen Shura Council in Derna, relative stability has returned to the country.
Since the security situation in Libya has relatively improved in the past few years, CSOs and NGOs throughout the country have placed much effort on rehabilitating the country and promoting national reconciliation.
These efforts should be praised and encouraged in order for the citizens to aid in the rehabilitation of the country