Volunteering for peace and development in Namibia
The International Volunteer Day (IVD) celebrations took place in Otjiwarongo, situated in the Otjozondjupa Region. More than 600 people attended and these were drawn from Volunteer Involving Organisations (VIOs), government institutions, private sector and development agencies such as UN and USAID to name but a few. The focus of the 2012 IVD was to raise awareness of and recognition for volunteers and VIOs. Furthermore, it served to recognize the commitment of volunteers, inform people about the impact of volunteering on sustainable development and to applaud volunteers for their dedication and impact. The day was celebrated through motivational speeches, drama son volunteerism, handing over awards to volunteers, and screening a film on the importance of volunteers to national development.
The following activities were undertaken as part and parcel of thecelebrations:
1. Mass Media
On the 4th of December 2012, UNV organized a discussion on the importance of volunteerism to national development.
The discussion was made on national television, through the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation’s Good Morning Namibia Programme (GMN). Discussants included members of the National Volunteerism for Development Coordinating Committee (V4D-CC). The discussion was centered on why it is important for people and institutions to participate in volunteerism. A representative of the government assured the people that the government is supportive of volunteer efforts and that it has set up a desk under the National Planning Commission that is responsible for coordinating volunteer efforts. Furthermore, the event on 5 December 2012 was covered by the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation and it featured as a news item on 7th December 2012.
2. Film on Volunteerism
UNV and Nawa Zone produced a 20 minute film capturing voices of leaders and volunteers on the importance of volunteers to national development. The film captured voices of parliamentarians, heads of UN agencies, professionals, government officials and volunteers among others. The film was screened to more than 600 people who attended the celebrations in Otjiwarongo. Plans are underway to discuss with NBC and One Africa to play it on television.
3. Motivational Speeches
Motivational speeches were delivered by the Regional Governor (Otjozondjupa Region); Permanent Secretary of the National Planning Commission; the UN Resident Coordinator; and the Regional Director of the Ministry of Health and Social Services. All speakers pledged their support towards strengthening the use of the volunteer modality.
The Namibia Red Cross Society (NRCS) staged a drama showcasing the importance of volunteers in the local response against HIV and AIDS. The
drama was appreciated by the celebrants who rated it as portraying the true picture of the role of volunteers in society.
5. Volunteer Awards
Forty five (45) volunteers were given Certificates of Appreciation by the Office of the President (National Planning Commission). The awards were handed over by the Regional Governor and the UNV programme, representing the UN Resident Coordinator.
The IVD was celebrated for the first time in the Otjozondjupa Region and celebrants pledged that they will make sure that they will celebrate the day annually.
December 5th 2012
International Volunteer Day celebrations in Namibia