IVD2013 in Tajikistan!!! On 5th December 2013, UN Volunteers in Tajikistan celebrated the International Volunteer Day (IVD) at the Central Park in Qurgonteppa, together with local and international NGOs and Tajik volunteers such as students and persons with disabilities in order to raise awareness of the importance of volunteering.
In Tajikistan, UN Volunteers carried out a Fundraising Fair on IVD together with the local NGOs Society of Persons with Disabilities in Qurganteppa and SWORDE-Teppa and the International NGOs AAR Japan, Handicap International and VSO.
We left Dushanbe at 7 am, and at that time it was already pouring down. The weather didn’t improve much during our two hours trip to Qurgonteppa, south of Dushanbe. Once in the town we were greeted by our fellow UN Volunteers Margje and Keiichi, who had spent the previous night already in Qurgonteppa for last-minute preparations, and a bunch of enthusiastic young volunteers.
Together we made our way to the public park in the centre of town and quickly set up everything. To every stand, there was one of us UN Volunteers, a student and a person with disability volunteer assigned. I was very impressed by the professionalism and energy of the volunteers. I had a lovely young lady and a motherly woman in her 50ies assigned to the Artist Corner, that I was in charge of. They were great!
Many children and young people enjoyed the fun games set up for them at the Central Park of Kurgan Teppa, especially the Sumo Wrestling. Some put a wish down at one of the wish trees, many expressed their drawing talent in the ‘Artist’s Corner’ or by creating beautiful Origami. The beauty parlor was a big hit among the young girls, who got a haircut, make-up or a manicure with volunteers trained by AAR. At the garage sale, many of the older visitors were able to find hidden treasures, and the food stand was sold out within an hour.
Mohnisso, a mother of 2 children just visited the garage sale by chance. She said, “I am feeling as if God overheard my prayers because my children needed clothes!” While she was looking through the goods and clothes at the garage sale, her children were having a really good time by jumping on the bouncing castle and making animals from origami.
A girl called Zarina with disabilites said, "Now I understand I am not mcuh different from my friend. I want to study English so that I can work together for volunteering and volunteering is really fun!“.
All in all, apart from the rainy and cold weather, it was a great success. Young students experienced firsthand how to contribute to their community by volunteering and had the unique opportunity to work alongside persons with disabilities. A good example for what should be the norm: social inclusion of persons with disabilities – the most important message of the event. Norimasa Shimomura, UNDP Country Director in Tajikistan, stressed in his message for IVD, the importance of volunteering for young people in Tajikistan and added: “I hope that today’s event will inspire other young people to become a volunteer in their community.” It was the first time for UN Volunteers in Tajikistan to conduct an event in Khatlon province. Passions of volunteers made it possible to gather second-hand donations from colleagues in organizations and to work together to send the message to buid a society with persons with disabilities. Thanks to financial contribution and stable electricity from Qurganteppa City Khukumat, and thanks to supports from Khatlon Provicial Khukumat and Committee of Youth, Sports and Tourism, Civil organizations, young students and persons with disabilities united themselves to conduct the modestly tiny event but greate stride for promoting volunteerism in Qurganteppa. The raised amount was more than 2000 TJS, which was donated to the Society of Persons with Disabilities in Qurganteppa city. The Society is going to use the donation for clothes, walking sticks, thermoses, medicines, heater etc. Now, the Society and young students understood how to raise fund and how to work together voluntarily.
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