Promoting volunteering for MDGs, Vietnamese style
26 August 2004

Ha Noi: Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai, a young law graduate will be visiting the poorest region in Viet Nam to promote volunteering for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to mark International Volunteer Day (IVD), 5 December, this year.

The 23-year-old was the winner of a United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contest to educating young on volunteering for MDGs launched last June.

Mai’s winning proposal was based on the voluntary efforts of 24-year-old Nguyen Van Dung, who during last year’s IVD spent one month traveling by bicycle from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City to raise awareness on the MDGs. Throughout Dung’s 2,100 km journey, he met with groups of young people, sharing information on the MDGs and distributing booklets highlighting initiatives to realize Viet Nam’s commitment to the goals.

"My initiative differs from Dung’s, as I will visit 13 provinces with the lowest MDG index ranking according to the latest MDG reports published by the United Nations," Mai says. "I will mainly use public transport instead of cycling. You could see it as a follow-up to Dung’s initiative, as I would like to visit all those places where he delivered the MDG message and talk to people he had met to see the impact".

Mai says the trip will enable her to accomplish what she had desired for some time -- visit other parts of the country, meet people and deliver the MDG message. At the end of her journey, she hopes to share her stories with the media and university students.

The United Nations in Viet Nam actively seeks to enhance participation of youth in the economic, social, political and cultural life as "youth is the major force of Viet Nam's future," said Jordan Ryan, the UN Resident Coordinator.

Mai plans to start her MDG journey on Viet Nam’s National Day, 2 September and finish before IVD.

From: UN Volunteers, Germany

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