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Uniquely celebrating volunteerism
22 December 2008

Born on 5 December 2008, baby Caira Volontario (Photo: Charles Nnoko Mbibi)Born on 5 December 2008, baby Caira Volontario (Photo: Charles Nnoko Mbibi)
Bouake, Côte d’Ivoire: On 5 December, International Volunteer Day (IVD), people around the world celebrate the spirit of volunteerism. It offers communities an opportunity to make visible the contributions made by volunteers. IVD was launched in 1985 by the United Nations General Assembly and over the years the day has been marked with rallies, parades and advocacy campaigns.

This year, one UNV volunteer found a truly unique way to celebrate volunteerism.  For UNV volunteer Charles Nnoko Mbibi and his wife there was no better way to welcome the birth of their baby daughter on 5 December 2008 than by naming their beautiful daughter, "Caira Volontario". Charles and his wife are from Cameroon and he explained the Cameroonian tradition of giving a unique name to a child born on a special day.  Baby naming traditions are a universal expression of joy that welcome newborn infants into a family and community.

Charles has served as a committed UNV volunteer since 2005 and is currently serving in the Côte d’Ivoire region of San Pedro and Bouake where he is an Electoral Advisor. When his second daughter was born on IVD this year, he and his wife agreed that the baby’s name should be linked to the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme and a life-long celebration of the joy of volunteerism.