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International Volunteer Day in Latin America
05 December 2006

In Perú, in Villa María del Triunfo, volunteers and professionals from the health and educational sectors provided health services to almost 10,000 persons.  Government, private agencies, United Nations Volunteers and pharmacies joined together to collaborate in this event. On December 3 a Mass was celebrated in the cathedral followed by a parade in which 1,000 volunteers participated. A group of volunteers worked on a proposal for a law of volunteers. Pochi Costa, President of Cenavol, participated in many radio interviews. The celebration finished with a forum on volunteer work with ex-patients of hospitals and a lunch offered to volunteers.

Gladys de Franco and María de Badillo wrote us informing about the celebration in Ecuador.  A major emphasis was put on articles on volunteer work.  Four major documents were published in the Sunday supplements of Diario Hoy from Quito and Expreso from Guayaquil.  Among the different activities carried on we can mention a walk drive, a music festival, an academic event and a Eucharistic celebration as a thanksgiving event.

Colombia celebrated the International Volunteer Day in several cities. In Bogotá, in coordination with the National Volunteer Network, a Volunteer Center, an Academic Forum on Corporate Volunteers was organized with the participation of over 200 volunteers from different cities of Colombia and a music concert with a recognized choir.

In Venezuela, the celebrations included recognition to volunteers.  FIPAN, the National Federation of Private Institutions for the Attention to Children, Youth and families, organized the event in which children, youths, members of the board of private institutions, artists, journalists and other volunteers received recognition for their volunteer work. For more information consult www.colegiosanignacio.com.ve.  OSCASI participated very actively in the celebration and sent 3,047 e-mails to congratulate volunteers. Other institutions that organized events to celebrate the IDV were Telefónica, Volunteer Network and Solidarity Week.

Alexandra Touguinha and Heloisa Coelho sent us information of the celebration in Brazil. Through the NGO Parceiros Voluntarios different activities were organized in Rio Grande do Sul in collaboration with Parceiros Voluntarios Network in 73 cities with 193,000 volunteers. Walking activities, seminars and workshops, pamphlets distribution, interviews with mass media to emphasize the importance of volunteer work and the gratification obtained, recreational activities, visits to social organizations, and social events for personal interchange such as dinners and gatherings.

Important recognitions were made to volunteers for their important contributions to the social development in the country. Several interviews in radio, newspapers and televisión networks were presented to greet volunteers and recognized their work.

Rio Voluntario gave special recognition to 10 outstanding volunteers. Among them were Xuxa Meneguel, who conducts TV children programs, and Mr. Olavo Monteiro de Carvalho, one of the leading bussinessmen committed with corporate social responsability. The Deputy Assembly gave recognition to 100 volunteers as a way to thank them for their vounteer work.