17 February 2010
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo: International Volunteer Day was celebrated in Kinshasa and other parts of the country on Saturday 5 December. UNV volunteers assigned to the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) and to UN agencies were the initiators of a series of activities around the theme 'Volunteering for our Planet'.
In Kinshasa, an ambitious anti malaria initiative was launched by UNV Programme Officer Richard Grieco who mentioned donations by UNV to promote the initiative. As an initial contribution, 200 mosquito nets were distributed, and further activities will be initiated in the future.
A group of UNV volunteers based in Kinshasa visited the 'Eve et Eden' orphanage to deliver food to children there. On Saturday 12 December, a Christmas party was organized for the orphans.
In Goma, a tree planting ceremony was held with UNV volunteers and civil staff supporting the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, while in Mbandaka there was a clean up around water points in the town.
In Bukavu, a tree planting activity aimed at raising awareness of the use of wood burning stoves. This was led by UNV volunteers assigned to UNDP; in Bunia, reforestation activities were initiated, while in Matadi, a group of UNV volunteers organized activities to raise awareness of environmental issues, tree planting, clean-up activities in the urban centre. A football game was organized by UNV volunteers supporting MONUC.
In total 637 UNV volunteers from over 100 different countries currently work for MONUC, in areas as diverse as logistics, communications, mission support, human rights and electoral support. They are a vital part of the biggest UN peacekeeping mission in the world and work for peace and development for the Democratic Republic of the Congo.