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IVD inspires youth to volunteer in Kyrgyzstan
06 December 2004

Bishkek: A series of seminars, lectures and exhibits were conducted to mark International Volunteer Day (IVD) throughout Kyrgyzstan from 30 November to 6 December.

The events, led by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, Peace Corps, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), were aimed at promoting volunteerism among young people and increase private sector’s involvement.

On 30 November, UNV Programme Officer Magnus Bjork made a presentation about UNV’s private sector volunteer programme at the International Business Council Meeting in Hyatt Hotel, Bishkek. Seventy participants, from international financial institutions, government and international development agencies, civil society organizations and the media, attended the event.

On 1 December a lecture at the Bishkek Arabaev University, attended by 100 students, on UNV, volunteerism and HIV/AIDS was conducted by the UN volunteers Team. UNV also held lectures on media training, career advice, online volunteering and gave briefings about their current youth programme and their work with other UN agencies in the country.

Another highlight of the IVD week was an exhibit on volunteer activities at the UNV Volunteer Information Centre, which was participated by high school and university students.

The exhibit, coordinated by the local NGO Kok-Jar’s and Youth Committee, depicted the diverse volunteer work in the country implemented by young local and international volunteers.

Kok-Jar has been working with the local schools to support children by organizing anti-smoking campaign, concerts, and study sessions on gender, healthy life and child rights.

Bermet Keneshova, Coordinator of Kok-Jar’s, said “We have several very active volunteers in our organization. I believe that today’s event has given our children incentives to get more involved in volunteer work.”

Volunteer exhibits were also held at International University of Kyrgyzstan, Kyrgyz State Pedagogical University, Kyrgyz State University of Transportation and Architecture and American University of Central Asia coordinated by student or teacher volunteers. Approximately 500 students visited the exhibit and some got inspired from what they witnessed.

One student said, “I was also very interested in volunteering, but did not know what I could do. Now I know. I want to organize an English Club at my university. Students always talk about lack of opportunities to practice English. I can volunteer to make such opportunities for ourselves.”