05 December 2002
Marking International Volunteer Day (IVD) on Tuesday, 5 December 2002, the United Nations Volunteers programme (UNV) and partners in Ghana organized a day devoted to community work at Osu Children's Home in the capital Accra. Other participating volunteers included members of the UN Volunteer Association of Ghana (UNVA), Canadian University Service Organisation (CUSO), the National Service Scheme, Voluntary Work Camp, CIF and other local volunteers.
The volunteers painted the Home, cleared the surroundings, cleaned the children's hostel and their playground and paved the landscape with painted stones.
Shortly after the work was completed arund mid-day, the Honorable Minister for Women and Children Affairs, Gladys Asmah, arrived at the Home and thanked UNV for organizing the event. In her speech, she also praised the volunteers for a job well done and called on all Ghanaians to volunteer their time and resources for national development.
Responding, UNV Programme Officer Joseph Oji of Nigeria thanked the Honorable Minister for taking time off her busy schedule and encouraging volunteerism in the country.
For CUSO Country Director Kwame Oduro, the exercise was proof that people can come together irrespective of their profession, rank, nationality, age, sex and creed to work and make life worth living for the less privileged.
In addition to these activities, UN Volunteers used the occasion to highlight new international development targets under the theme, "Volunteers for Millennium Develpment Goals".
Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama's keynote address was read by Cecilia Bannerman, Honorable Minister for Manpower Development and Employment. In his speech entitled "Volunteerism, a proven adjunct to national socio-economic development efforts", the Vice President lauded UN Volunteers and volunteers in Ghana for making sacrifices to improve on the plight of their fellow men and women. He listed numerous contributions of volunteers to national development.
Other speakers included Mrs. Agnes Guimba-Ouedraogo, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative and representatives of the volunteer organizations.
After the speeches, an exhibition of volunteer organizations was declared opened. Participants freely visited stands set up by UNV, the Peace Corps, VSO, CUSO, National Service Scheme and Action Aid.
Participants at the IVD events included country directors of the major volunteer sending organizations in the country -- the US Peace Corps, British Volunteer Service Oversees (VSO), Canadian CUSO, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Ghanaian National Service Scheme. Others included Honorable Ministers, Representatives from UN Agencies, NGOs, both local and international, community-based organizations, the media, the private sector, students, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) staff and private citizens.
According to the IVD event chairman, Local Government and Rural Development Minister Baah Wiredu, it was an "IVD with a difference".
Read the speech of Minister Gladys Asmah (PDF 10.4KB)