Voluntariness is a renewing power that unites people and strengthens the bonds of brotherhood. Because we have so many reasons to believe in and act according to what unites us rather than what divides us.

Voluntariness is the practical form of doing something for others and benefits not only for the ones who practice it but also to the whole society because it develops trust and unity.

What makes the volunteers work at dangerous situations which threaten their physical security is a silent and honest heroism.

Working and volunteering actions are numberless because they are where help and cooperation are needed, then we can say that voluntariness encourages the development of human and the planet.  

Therefore we see volunteering actions in different situations related to human. Some examples are: cleaning works in places where epidemic and endemic disease risks are high to develop personal and social hygiene consiousness, educating about agriculture and developing cooperative models, teaching reading and writing in places where these educations don’t exist, protecting ethnic groups and minorities, protecting women and children in places where they don’t have homes or families due to civil wars, sports activities, blood donation campaigns, protecting forests against fires…

In order to accomplish these, volunteers get organized through NGOs. Therefore, social work gets enormous sizes. They don’t do the mistakes that are made by political models in our century and they work in places where the leaders can’t do anything else.

Voluntariness has the duty to humanize the society and it does this very successfully. It can be thought as a social and psychological transformation motor for new generations, they will form with these ideas and they can react to social injustice. During human history, there have been people who devoted themselves with great effort to serve others. The difference today is that volunteering work which develops social loyalty and diminishes generation laps, is legalised and institutionalised.

Therefore, they formed real organisational systems in the frame of international organization with NGOs. They formed constitutions for the ones who work in places where great effort is needed, I don’t even mention the high risks in conflict zones.

The new paradigm of voluntariness led international organizations like United Nations to create a program named “Online Volunteering Service” in the cyber space. This program provides the volunteers to connect with organizations that try to develop peace worlwide, to find new opportunities for the cooperation and for NGOs it provides to find new volunteers that can cooperate with them.

These new social network systems draw the attention to this subject and provides the spread of it. It finds volunteers in different parts of the world, it gathers them, it makes them work together and therefore, what they do becomes more effective and more successful.

United Nations General Assembly declared 5 December as International Volunteers Day for Economical and Social Development to draw attention of the international public.

General Secretary of the Organization Mr. Ban Ki-moon said: “Voluntariness creates power, strength, social union. It provides respect for differences, equality and positive social change by encouraging participance. Because of these, voluntariness is one of the most important qualities in a society.

This is a historical moment and mankind can use this situation to build a better and more humanist world, to strengthen the bonds of understanding, to see the other as a brother and to develop the conception of unity.

Therefore, this cartoon festival with the theme voluntariness will educate about the importance of developing relations and deep thoughts in these cartoons will make us smile to be better.

To conclude, I would like to congradulate the organizators of the 8th International Eskişehir Cartoon Festival for being patient and effective. Congradulations! I’m looking forward to the 9th Festival.

Juan Manuel de Faramiñán Gilbert