07 December 2007
Dolo Town, Liberia:
The Minister of Youth and Sports Ms. Etmonia Tarpeh has challenged students throughout Liberia to cultivate the spirit of voluntarism and get involve in the crusade for the reconstruction and development of Liberia.
She said Liberians must emulate the example of volunteers around the world who are making sacrifices to better the condition of mankind and bringing smiles on the faces of people in desperate conditions.
Minister Tarpeh was speaking in Dolo’s Town in Margibi County at programs marking the observance of International Volunteers Day. The day was observed under the theme: “Helping Liberians to help themselves”.
Minister Tarpeh said the National Youth Volunteers Programme which was launched jointly by UNDP and the Government of Liberia is initially targeting university students but the programmes will be expanded when funding is available to include more Liberia students. “We are looking at it in a way that it is almost going to be your passport to your own progress”. She said students will learn basic skills while participating in the National Youth Volunteers Programme and will be awarded certificates which will enable them to access other opportunities through the support of the government. Minister Tarpeh said voluntarism will be the way of life and encouraged the students to get involve in this great movement.In a special statement read on behalf of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, the Economic Advisor at UNDP Mr. Kamil Kamaluddeen said volunteerism is a feature of all cultures and societies and it is a fundamental source of community strength, resilience, solidarity and social cohesion. He said, volunteerism can help effect positive social change by fostering inclusive societies that respect diversity, equality and the participation of everyone. “Such contributions are vital to the three pillars of the United Nations’ work – promoting peace and security, advancing development and protecting human rights and human dignity”.The statement called for the recognition of the power of volunteerism to promote peace and development around the world. It said “let us also pay tribute to the millions of citizens all over the world who, every day – in ways small and large – volunteer their time, ingenuity, solidarity and creativity to help build more sustainable future”.A new dimension has been added to the observance of International Volunteers Day in Liberia by the United Nations Volunteers Programme. In 2006 the day was observed under the theme: Volunteering for reconstruction and development and a massive clean-up campaign was carried out in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County with the full participation of the community and on the campuses of the University of Liberia and the AME University. Similar clean-up activity was held at the Mother of Jesus Christ Catholic School in Dolo’s Town this year.