12 December 2005, 20:05
by Alice Michelazzi
Volunteers spreading gravel and levelling a school ground in Asmara, Eritrea on the occasion of International Volunteer Day in 2005. (Photo: UN Volunteers Eritrea)
On 3 December 2005, United Nations Volunteers with UNMEE and UN specialized agencies in Eritrea commemorated International Volunteer Day (IVD) with a wide range of community-based activities in Asmara.
In the morning, UN Volunteers along with Eritrean Red Cross Society volunteers as well as a representation of UNMEE military and international staff took part in some renovation activities in two Asmara secondary schools. The volunteers gathered in the morning to work in Barka Secondary School and Keih Bahri (Red Sea) Comprehensive Secondary School.
They spread and levelled gravel in the garden area of Barka Secondary School to ensure for the students a safer and more comfortable recreation area. They also painted three classes of Keih Bahri Comprehensive Secondary School to create a better study environment for the students.
The two schools, among the biggest and most populated in Asmara, teach over 3,000 students each during morning and afternoon shifts. They also host adult literacy courses in the evening for working students.
At the end of the activities, the Eritrean Red Cross Society had 25 students who graduated after taking part in a first aid training course in one of the schools.
UNMEE UNV programme manager, Marianthi Eliodorou, was called to give a speech on the importance of volunteerism to the audience gathered.
The night event went well too. More than 200 guests attended a dinner/dance party at the Intercontinental Hotel in Asmara. Joel Adechi, DSRSG from UNMEE, Macleod Nyirongo, UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator, and Major- General Rajender Singh, UNMEE Force Commander, were present, along with many section chiefs and heads of agencies.
At the beginning of the function Habteab Gebrehemichael, volunteer coordinator with the Eritrean Red Cross Society, Nyirongo and Adechi addressed the audience on the occasion. Message from Ad de Raad, UNV executive coordinator, was read out.
A DJ provided music for the dancing participants who continued celebrating the Day on the dance floor.