12 December 2002
The United Nations Volunteers programme (UNV) in Viet Nam today held training workshops on volunteering to members of the Youth Volunteer Club and Ha Noi Red Cross in celebration of International Volunteer Day (IVD).
Three social work specialists, who are also former UN Volunteers, taught 80 young people, mostly university students, how to become effective volunteers specifically in assisting children with special needs, disabled and the elderly. Aside from doing social work, the young volunteers will be involved in environmental protection, primary health care, humanitarian relief and prevention of drug abuse and HIV/AIDS. The training also provided insights on values behind volunteerism and taught problem-solving, effective planning and communication skills.
Strengthening volunteerism locally has a priority for the UNV. "Local voluntary involvement has been a valuable and indispensable contribution to social and economic development," said Helen Booth, UNV Programme Officer based in Ha Noi.
In addition, 10 students from the Hoa Sua School, a school for children from poor families, were given awards in recognition of their exemplary academic marks. This annual award was personally initiated by UNV Honorary Ambassador Takehito Nakata from Japan to encourage student to strive for academic excellence. "My humble contribution to these awards is one way to encourage these young people to study and to work for a better life, and push poverty a step behind," Ambassador Nakata said during his visit to the country last August.
A concert on 3 December was also held to recognize the contribution of international and national volunteers towards achieving development in the country. Three pop/rock bands performed during a free concert attended by 700 people.
The concert was organized by international volunteer-sending agencies, namely UNV, the Canadian Centre for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI), Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO), Korean Overseas Volunteers/International Cooperation Agency (KOIKA), LCMS World Mission, Volunteer Service Overseas (VSO), World University
Service of Canada (WUSC), and the Australian Volunteer International (AVI).
Read more about IVD celebrations in Viet Nam