21 January 2009
To promote and highlight the contribution of volunteerism in Guyana’s development, in cooperation with Government agencies and NGOs today the Ministry of Foreign Trade and International Cooperation, organised a parade to mark International Volunteer Day (IVD).
The activity commenced at 6:30 at the corner of Quamina and Main Streets and continued along several streets in the city. It culminated at the starting point.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and International Cooperation, John Isaacs, said the activity was organised to showcase volunteerism and the contributions volunteers make to society. He said approximately 250 people took part in the parade.
The volunteers would be painting pedestrian crossings at the F.E. Pollard, Christ Church and the Diamond Special Schools in the coming week among other activities.
This year's IVD had the theme: 'Observing cooperation in action: Become a volunteer, let’s collaborate'. Coordinator and member of the National Coordinating Committee of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and International Cooperation, Vanessa Dickenson said International Volunteer Day is a significant activity and expressed the hope that more persons will get involved in volunteerism.
“Guyana sees the significant role volunteers play in the development of our country and has collaborated with national and international organisations in spreading the word and goodness of volunteering in Guyana,” Dickenson said.
Youth Challenge Guyana (YCG) volunteer Shameeza David said being a part of the activity is a privilege since some persons do not realize the volume of work done by volunteers. YCG depends heavily on volunteers to carry out its functions in the five regions in Guyana, she said.
David noted that being a volunteer for the past six years brought her joy. She said persons are under the impression that volunteers are paid for their services but activities today prove that this is not so and that volunteers actually makes a significant contribution to the success and development of projects.
UNV Programme Officer Amanda Taylor said she was pleased with the turnout from volunteers since this has shown an improvement compared to last year.
She said the organization is hoping to continue to build and raise awareness on volunteerism across the country.
“We are encouraging people to come out and volunteer themselves… they would learn from others and we can always learn from them… People can become involved with the United Nations, NGOs and civil society and within their communities… volunteerism makes a difference in the world and develops each country,” Taylor said.
Representatives of Government, the diplomatic corps, and national and international voluntary organizations also took part in the parade.
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