12 March 2011
by Sonia Josserand Mercier, UNV Programme Officer, Sri Lanka
Colombo, Sri Lanka: The first of a series looking at how plans are getting gaining momentum in various countries.
In Sri Lanka, efforts are underway to ensure the International Year of Volunteers +10 gets all the visibility needed.
Volunteering in Sri Lanka is getting visibility in the printed media with an article in the national Daily News on 5 March 2011, another article in the February issue of the Sri Lanka UN Staff Bulletin, and more coverage to be expected soon.
On 22 March there will be a press briefing with - potentially - an incentive for the media in the shape of a revered international cricket star! (We are awaiting confirmation of this). As we are in the midst of the Cricket World Cup, no doubt this will add extra visibility to the volunteering cause.
The press briefing will announce the upcoming ‘V Forum’, the first significant event launched by the International Year of Volunteers +10 Sri Lanka Steering Committee. The ‘V Forum’ was among the ideas put forward at the inaugural meeting of the Steering Committee, led by the UN Resident Coordinator Neil Buhne on 28 November 2010. It will feature renowned keynote speakers and bring together a broad spectrum of stakeholders, ranging from private sector to academia, government, civil society, plus the media and youth organizations.
Sri Lanka is also online with a wealth of recently-launched promotional tools starting with the International Year of Volunteers +10 Sri Lanka website at: www.IYV10SRILANKA.com.The website is still in its infancy and we will be posting volunteer stories from Sri Lanka soon as well as photos, videos and a lot more.
We are also launching a call for volunteers through our website and mailing lists to join the Sri Lankan ‘V Force’ and some great people are already on board. This is triggering other opportunities such as invitations to spread the word through other organizations’ events, as well as in the TEDx Colombo speakers' event! We are thrilled!
International Year of Volunteers +10 fans can also check out our Facebook page, leave messages, post on the International Year of Volunteers +10 Sri Lanka wall and share with their friends!.
We are currently shooting some videos that will appear on the YouTube Channel at: www.youtube.com/iyv10srilanka. Photos will be stored on our newly opened Flickr page at: www.flickr.com/iyv10srilanka/.
Volunteering is definitely getting more and more visible in Sri Lanka; and we are eager to maximize the benefits and reach out to all people of the country ! We will keep you posted…