The United Nations Volunteers programme has called for the scaling up of volunteer effort to support regional integration in East Africa. Speaking at the Africa Conference on Volunteer Action for Peace and Development held at the UN offices in Nairobi, UNV Senior Manager for East Africa Tapiwa Kamuruko pointed out that volunteerism could contribute greatly to enhancing regional exchanges and meeting common development challenges.
Mr. Kamuruko observed that the high number of unemployed youth in the region should be encouraged to take up voluntary service and supported in exchange programmes to ensure they’re gainfully engaged and are exposed to relevant skills and culture.
Speaking at the opening of the same event, UN Resident Coordinator & UNDP Resident Representative Aeneas Chuma pointed out that the UN system, led by UNV, has continued to support volunteerism, and called for stakeholders to continue doing so. He also noted the UN Country Team’s continued support to the process of developing a national volunteer policy for Kenya through the Ministry of Gender, Children & Social Development.
The conference, held from 2nd to 4th July, brought together about 400 young people from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi as well as Nigeria, Korea, Canada and others. It also involved several volunteer involving organizations, both local and international as well as senior representatives from the private sector and government.
Over the two days, UNV encouraged discussion around the outcomes of IYV+10, the UN General Assembly Resolution 66/67 of 2011 and the call from the UN Secretary General to establish a Global Youth Volunteering modality. The conference ended with a resolution for the establishment of an East Africa Peace & Service Corps that will be a platform for galvanizing youth volunteer action in the region.
Photo ©UNV UNV’s Senior Portfolio Manager for East Africa Tapiwa Kamuruko (left) presents a copy of the State of the World’s Volunteering Report to Kenya’s Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga, EGH, MP, during the Africa Conference on Volunteer Action for Peace and Development.