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UN Under-Secretary-General Melkert awards UNV volunteers in Trinidad and Tobago
20 December 2006

A view of the Walk Against Child Hunger moving through the streets of Rio Claro in Trinidad and Tobago on 21 May 2006. (Photo: UNV Trinidad & Tobago)A view of the Walk Against Child Hunger moving through the streets of Rio Claro in Trinidad and Tobago on 21 May 2006. (Photo: UNV Trinidad & Tobago)
Port of Spain: Mr. Ad Melkert, UN Under-Secretary-General and Associate Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), today awards Excellence Awards to outstanding UNV volunteers in Trinidad and Tobago for their commitment as ambassadors of volunteerism for development.

The six prizes go to Dr. Patthabi Rama Rao Valluri and Dr. Bikshit Kamal Guria, for their support of the International Volunteer Day 2006 Medical Camps; Dr. Floriza Mendoza, for her continuous support of and involvement in voluntary activities; Dr. Clement Onuoha and Dr. Veena Murlidhar, for the promotion of the Walk Against Child Hunger campaign in Trinidad and Tobago; and lastly Mr. Mohamed Nourain, who on behalf of UNV engineers and architects serving in Tobago, is honoured for their contribution to the promotion of volunteerism.

88 UNV volunteers from 27 countries are currently serving in Trinidad and Tobago, constituting one of the largest programmes worldwide. They have made substantial contributions in their various fields of expertise, including medicine, engineering, architecture, education and planning. UNV volunteers come from various backgrounds and bring to their individual projects a wealth of experience. Working with UNDP and the government, they support the Ministries of Health,  Education and Local Government, promote good governance in Tobago and support HIV/AIDS programmes.

Furthermore, UNV volunteers together with other volunteer organizations frequently involve in volunteer events such as Walk the World, a campaign initiated by the World Food Programme (WFP). This year on IVD, Free Medical Camps were held in four different locations in the country. Thousands of underprivileged citizens were offered free consultations, free basic services, as well as information on HIV/AIDS and other major diseases.

Since its establishment in 1988, well over 166 UNV volunteers have been assigned to the programme in Trinidad and Tobago. The work of the UNV volunteers is well recognized and commended by both government and UNDP and UNV’s programme is known for setting examples and piloting new initiatives with potential for replication in the Carribean.