The week long IVD 2012 celebrations in Uganda kicked off with Radio Talk Shows which were conducted in the capital City - Kampala and Gulu district in northern Uganda – highlighting the importance of volunteers and volunteerism.
* On 28th November a community engagement was held at the Mulago School for the deaf located in Kampala: The school was refurbished, painted and cleaned. Volunteer involving organisations handed over donations which included a play area complete with sand, swings, slides and merry-go-rounds. Also donated were scholastic materials, toys, and cleaning items.
* On 30th November a public dialogue was held in Gulu with the main aim of raising awareness on volunteerism in the national development process. Speakers included the Vice Chancellor of Gulu University and several volunteers who gave their personal testimonies on volunteerism.
* On 3rd December a Health Camp was conducted at the Kaunda Grounds in Gulu. Services offered included Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) for HIV. Over 60 people were tested for HIV that day. Also provided to the public was information on Safe Male Circumcision (SMC).
* On 4th December Volunteers participated in a clean-up campaign at the Gulu Remand Home. Work at the Remand home included painting of a block of classrooms, scrubbing, sweeping and slashing the entire area. The remand home houses about 30 juveniles that have been in conflict with the law.
* On 5th December the main day celebrations started with a match through Gulu town to the Remand Home. At the Remand home volunteer involving organisations donated items which included mosquito nets, food items and cleaning materials.
* Later that evening guests were treated to a gala dinner. During this event, the Volunteer of the Year Award (VOYA) 2012 winners were announced and awarded. Award categories included;
ü Community Service Award
ü Exceptional Achievement Award
ü Peace Building Volunteer Award
* The National Alliance for Volunteer Efforts (NAVE) also handed a policy memorandum to the government representative, calling upon government to;
I. Acknowledge the importance of volunteerism and commit its support by adopting the National Volunteerism Policy, and,
II. Gazette the IVD as a recognized International Day under a particular Ministry
* The evening was crowned with a dinner and dance ceremony.
By: Sanyu Nkiinzi Kagwa
Communications and Advocacy Assistant