Armenian youth volunteerism

posted in Youth - November 2011

Two youth organizations for the development of Armenia

Separate organizations but united in their goals, the Republican Headquarters of Student Brigades (HUJ) and the Youth Corps (sponsored by the Armenian Youth Federation) have been contributing to the betterment of Armenia. Their main source of help and inspiration comes from countless young volunteers.

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Volunteering from youth to adulthood

posted in Youth - September 2011

The 22nd World Scout Jamboree

Visitors to Sweden might have noticed a lot of unusual activity around the town of Rinkaby this year, as Scouts from around the world got together to celebrate the 22nd World Scout Jamboree.

The largest event organized by the Scout Movement occurs every four years in a new location, gathering nearly 38,000 members this year to address peace and volunteering practices in participants’ lives and communities.

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UNV China launches microblog talks

posted in Information and Communication Technology - September 2011

The launch of the microblog talk, marking the Tenth Anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers, was held on 26 August 2011 at UNDP China’s Resource Center. The discussion was dedicated to volunteer contributions to the Beijing and London Olympics in the framework of the IYV+10 celebrations.

The United Nations Volunteer (UNV) Progamme China Office, the UK Embassy in China, the Chinese singer, Ms Tan Jing, and an international UN Volunteer, Ms Fiammetta Mancini, participated as guest speakers. The IYV+10 Weibo (the Chinese word for microblogging) account, with the support of the Tencent (China’s largest and most-used Internet service portal), reached 10,000 followers in four days and a total of 532 questions were asked by the audience during the one-hour long session including volunteer opportunities, profile of volunteers and volunteer work in general.

During the interaction, Ms Carla del Castillo, Programme Manager of UNV in China, highlighted the contribution of volunteers to peace and development in the world and spoke highly of the role of volunteers in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.  Mr Sean Winnett, Second Secretary of the Political Section from the UK Embassy in China, spoke of volunteers as a dynamic power to shape civil society. Ms Jing, as a singer, expressed her wish to continue voicing China’s volunteerism spirit to the world with her songs and promoting volunteers’ protection as a national representative of the National People’s Congress. Ms Mancini talked about her personal experience as a volunteer in China for the last year and a half.

The session was the first one of a series of six. The next sessions will include guests from different UN agencies, celebrities and volunteers.  


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Promoting volunteerism through arts and culture in Egypt

posted in Peace - September 2011

On the occasion of the Tenth Anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers (IYV+10), the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Programme Egypt organized a poetry evening on 13 August 2011 in the ancient quarter of Cairo, Beit El Sehimy, which is 350 years old. It dates back to the Fatimid era and is a beautiful landmark of historical Cairo.

Because art is a universal language, this event aimed at encouraging people to play an active developmental role in their societies. Additionally, volunteers tried to raise awareness of the year 2011 as the Tenth Anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers. Volunteers also made efforts to show that volunteerism is not limited to a specific sector of life, however it can be found in any sector like art and poetry art; and volunteering is more influential when based on the skills and specialization of the volunteer.

Volunteers organized and prepared the whole event. The poet, designer, photographer and organizers were all volunteers. Additionally, four of the most active NGOs in Egypt showcased their contributions to community development during the event.

UNV in cooperation with the Egyptian Youth Federation created a booth–a sideline event for active NGOs that contributed substantially in community development. Alshanekya Balady (Arabic for “for you my country"), Development No Borders, AFCA Foundation for Arts and Culture all showcased their activities and projects in an attempt to mobilize volunteers.

The poet, Tarek Kotb, recited his poems in support of the IYV+10 campaign. Tarek recently released the third edition of his divan “لو راجل زي ما بتقول”.


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Local volunteers respond to BP disaster

posted in Environment - September 2011

"Amazing volunteers"

To highlight various examples of volunteerism and how quickly volunteers can spring into action, we present one inspirational story from last year: in the face of the BP oil disaster, volunteers showed flexibility and mobilized immediately.

New Orleans resident, Rusti Liner, was one of the tens of thousands of volunteers that signed up to aid in picking up the worst oil spill in US history last year. Rusti was part of a team organized by The National Audubon Society, which assisted in the cleanup of the Deep Horizon oil disaster that devastated the Gulf Coast.

She was tasked with assisting in the transport of non-oiled and injured birds from the coast to a rehabilitation center.  As a result of Rusti and the other volunteers, hundreds of birds and other wildlife were given a second chance at life.

The National Audubon Society was massively important to the preservation and rehabilitation of thousands of birds and other wildlife after the BP oil spill.  Sean Saville, the National Field Director for Audubon, attributed his team’s success to his volunteers, saying, “We have been so fortunate to have so many passionate and dedicated volunteers working with us in the Gulf and across the country, it has truly been an inspiring experience.”

Saville said Rusti “jumped at the opportunity (to volunteer), not even considering for a minute the time commitment required and her own personal expense. She assisted in this capacity for weeks, responding to every request that we made of her on behalf of the official wildlife response, and often this task required hours, up to nine per round-trip, of her time and not to mention the gas money. She gave of herself so selflessly and without asking questions that it was almost unbelievable.”

The BP oil spill was a huge disaster that will take decades to recover from, but Saville believes “it really inspired amazing volunteers to do anything they could to help, and that was a truly inspirational experience to be a part of and witness first hand.”



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Press Conference on DPI/NGO Conference in Bonn

posted in Sustainability - August 2011

Recognizing the value of volunteering

Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, told correspondents on 26 August 2011 that the upcoming annual Department of Public Information/Non-Governmental Organizations Conference in Germany — on the theme “Sustainable Societies; Responsive Citizens” — is an important opportunity for NGOs and civil society to meet and begin preparing for next year’s United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development — Rio+20 — which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June.

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Sustainable development and volunteerism take centre stage

posted in Sustainability - August 2011

Sustainable development and volunteerism take centre stage

Sustainable development and volunteerism are under the microscope at the upcoming topics 64th annual UN DPI-NGO meeting in Bonn, Germany.

The meeting, taking place from 3-5 September, has as its theme, 'Sustainable Societies:  Responsive Citizens'. NGOs will use these themes to show the impact that volunteers and engaged citizens have on sustainable livelihoods and communities.

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