21 December 2004
International Volunteer Day (IVD) celebrations in Barbados began with a church service at The Cathedral Church of St. Michael and Angels, Bridgetown.
The church service marked the launch of the volunteer tags, a fundraising campaign to assist civil society organizations.
The money raised from the tags, which were sold for a small fee, will support the work of non-profit organizations, most of its staff undertake their work on a voluntary basis.
The campaign, which marked the start of a week-long celebration to recognize IVD, highlighted the valuable work that volunteers undertake.
Reverend Canon, Noel Burke, thanked those that have given their time and volunteered their skills to help others but also pointed out a trend -- so much being done by a few. Reiterating the words of Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations, he said the challenge was not to ask, “Why volunteer?” but rather “when, where and how”.
The church service was followed by an awards ceremony at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic. The ceremony celebrated the achievements of volunteers, in particular one distinguished volunteer, Ajay, who was honored with the UNV Barbados Award 2004.
A number of other activities were organized by the Barbados Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (BANGO), United Nations Development Programme and UNV not only to recognize the work done by volunteers, but also to bring to attention their contribution to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).