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'Stand up to develop Sierra Leone' to mark IVD
01 December 2007

Freetown, Sierra Leone: For the first time, volunteers across Sierra Leone will celebrate the International Volunteer Day in the provinces as well as in the capital of Freetown, where the event is usually commemorated.

Volunteers around the world usually celebrate International Volunteer Day on 5 December each year.
 
The move for a full national celebration can be credited to a network called ‘Volunteering Involving Organisations’ (VIO) which has been recently established by active volunteer organizations in Sierra Leone. VIO is a coalition of like-minded organizations which all believe that volunteerism, if harnessed properly, can be a force for development in the country. The forum has been created to act as a coordinating body for all volunteer organisations, to mainstream volunteerism and to lobby for a national volunteering framework.
 
The VIO network will be at the forefront of plans pertaining to this year’s International Volunteer Day. In the week leading up to 5 December, volunteers in Freetown will engage in a host of activities including hospital visitations, the installation of dustbins around university campuses, as well as a community jog.
 
On IVD itself volunteers in Makeni, Bo, Kenema and Freetown will come together and march in a colourful float parades followed by celebratory ceremonies. In Freetown volunteers will meet at Victoria Park at 9:00am and march to Miatta Conference Hall. The commemoration ceremony will include performances by popular artists such as the Ballanta Dance Academy Troop and Artists United 4 Children and Youth Development (AUCAYD).
 
The theme for this year’s International Volunteer Day is ‘Tinap Fë Måk Salone!’ (Stand up to develop Sierra Leone). Through this theme, IVD aims to highlight the positive impact of volunteerism on development in Sierra Leone, and encourage more people to volunteer.

IVD was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1985. Since then, governments, the UN system and civil society organizations have successfully joined volunteers around the globe to celebrate this date. IVD offers an opportunity for volunteer organizations and individual volunteers to make visible their contributions - at local, national and international levels - to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals