02 February 2010
Freetown, Sierra Leone:
With support from the Government and private sector, in Sierra Leone volunteers got into the swing of International Volunteer Day with drama, debates and a clean-up of Lumley Beach.
Activities started a week early on 30 November with drama performances and college debates in Freetown, Bo and Makeni. The topic was: 'Climate Change is a fact, and we as individuals can help mitigate it'.
On the Friday before IVD itself, volunteers headed for Lumley Beach in Freetown to clear it of rubbish and to unveil 20 new dustbins.
In collaboration with UNV and several volunteer organizations, mobile phone company Africell, Freetown City Council and the Tourism Board got together about 200 volunteers. They gathered at Family Kingdom at about 10am, with Africell providing a truck to move the garbage, trash plastic bags, and gloves to be used by those cleaning.
An hour later came a short ceremony to unveil the installed dustbins. Africell offered to collaborate with the volunteers through providing and installing the 20 dustbins in addition to providing 200 T-Shirts and personnel.
The Mayor of Freetown, Councillors and other Government officials, plus UN staff made some short speeches during the unveiling session. Just as importantly, local fishermen thanked the volunteers for their help in tidying up the area and asked how they could continue keeping the beach clean now the dustbins were installed.
Saturday 5 December saw a float parade and the official launch of IVD. Starting from Victoria Park, the parade stopped at the British Council Hall for a ceremony attended by officials from UNDP, the Government of Sierra Leone and various heads of local volunteer organizations.