14 December 2005, 15:17
by Cristina Turci
Volunteers from the NGO School of Equal Opportunity performing at the International Volunteer Day celebrations on 5 December 2005, in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Photo: UN Volunteers Ukraine)
On December 5th, the United Nations Volunteers serving in Ukraine along with the local community celebrated the International Volunteer Day by organizing a press conference and a Volunteer Organizations Information Fair.
The speakers at the press conference on “Volunteerism and achievement of Millennium Development Goals: The importance of volunteers in the development process” were Francis M. O’Donnell, UN Resident Coordinator in Ukraine, and himself a former UN Volunteer; Ani Lorak, singer and previous UN Goodwill Ambassador; Karl Beck, US Peace Corp Director; Alla Khabarova, Director of Red Cross Ukraine; and Cristina Turci, UNV programme officer in Ukraine.
The participants talked about their experiences as supporters and representatives of the volunteer movement and underlined the importance of volunteers’ engagement in order to eradicate extreme poverty at a global level. As important actors in the Ukrainian development process, they also highlighted volunteers’ achievements so far in the country and the future prospective for a strengthened and fruitful cooperation among volunteer involving organizations (VIOs) in Ukraine.
The Volunteer Organizations Information Fair was opened to present activities of more then 20 local and international VIOs operating in Ukraine. They include US Peace Corps, Ukrainian Red Cross Society, International Foundation Caritas Ukraine, Ukrainian Association for Youth Co-operation, ALTERNATIVE-V, Dobra Volya Volunteers, Age Concern Ukraine, Network of PLWHA and the School of Equal Opportunity.
The representatives of these organizations informed the Kyiv community about the great potential of volunteers’ activities through different communication tools and visual arts, including performances.