Cuso International NigeriaWritten by Kwame Anane Frempong
Cuso International Nigeria Program Office in Calabar in Collaboration with Lead Inspire & Transform (LIT) and Project 2031 Nigeria successfully held its maiden 2015 UN International Volunteers Day by holding a seminar on the theme “Your world is changing. Are you? Volunteer!”,
The event, which was attended by over 200 participants comprising of young people from Cross River State, community based organizations, local and international organizations, the media and other civil society organizations witnessed a series of interactive and fun-filled activities, including drama performance by young girls from “Girls Power Initiative”, on the relevance and outcome of volunteerism
The event started with a welcome address by Mr. Ferdinand Dapaah, Project Director of Cuso International, Calabar Nigeria. He used to occasion to commend the planning committee of IVD and how volunteerism forms part of Cuso’s ultimate goal. Mr. Dapaah emphasized on the important contribution that volunteers and volunteer based organization contribute to economic growth and national development. The UN Sustainable Development Goals according to Mr. Dapaah could best be attained when government all over the world actively engages the efforts of both skilled and unskilled volunteers. Cuso International, he mentioned have over the years utilized the services of highly skilled volunteers to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges facing humanity, such as poverty and hunger.
Mr. Iso Bassey, Executive Director of Lead Inspire & Transform (LIT) delivered the Keynote Address, which was on the theme; “Volunteering for Social Change: What is your Role”? Mr. Bassey explained what volunteering is within a social context; as the culture of participating in project, programmes or activities that provides common good and for which an individual is not necessarily the object direct benefit.
To climax the day’s event, a panel discussion from resources persons who have over the years been volunteering and offering their expertise to advance the cause of humanity was held. The panel included: Ms. Basse Sam (VSO), Mr. Kwame Anane Frempong (Cuso International Volunteer), Mr. Samuel Segun (Project 2031 Nigeria) and Ms. Ukeme Ekon (Girls Power Initiative). The discussion inspired and thrilled the participants with forty minutes of life changing experiences and also took time to answer series of thought provoking questions from the moderator and participants at large. Some of the questions that came up were:
• What does volunteerism mean to you?
• Why do you volunteer?
• What has volunteering done for you in terms of personal development or career building?
• What role does volunteerism play in achieving things like the newly UN SDGs?
• What is the social impact of volunteerism?