12 December 2005
by Gertrude Majyambere
The national celebrations to mark International Volunteer Day 2005 were last week held in Kibuye province, with participants holding a procession to raise awareness on the role of volunteers in the world.
The celebrations that were held under the framework of ensuring environmental sustainability were graced by people from all walks of life, who also carried out communal work (umuganda), by planting about 10,000 trees on Ruhira Mountain in Nyagahinga Cell.
"The International Volunteers' Day is a good opportunity for people in all regions to consider the great work done by UN volunteers and their contribution to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals", Jean de Dieu Kayiranga, who represented the UN Resident Coordinator, said.
Another local UN source said that the trees were planted in a bid to protect the soil against erosion and to act as food for domestic animals. The source also revealed that equipment including hoes, machetes, shovels and wheelbarrows, used during the planting, and Frw 1.5 million was donated to the Municipality of Kibuye.
"This equipment is very important to our town and to our efforts in ensuring environment sustainability" said Vianney Nkurunziza, the vice-mayor in charge of Economic Affairs in Kibuye town.
The UN Volunteers also visited Kibuye Hospital and donated foodstuffs to be distributed to the in-patients in need of assistance. The items included sugar, rice, maize and wheat flour, cooking oil, beans and soap, all worth two million Francs.
On the same day a "League of Volunteers Associations in Rwanda" that will lead local volunteers and organizations in their efforts towards the Millennium Development Goals was launched. The organization is to be supported by the UN volunteers.
According to a release by the UN, volunteers of all nationalities, ethnicity and beliefs are taking on various challenges in their communities, volunteering to make a difference.
"They remain the true champions of our work towards the Millennium Development Goals", said UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in a message.