Exploring volunteers' role in Kyrgyzstan's development
03 December 2007
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan: The UN Volunteers programme, in partnership with a wide range of national and international volunteer involving organizations, is organizing in Bishkek, at the Dostuk Hotel, a V-Forum to discuss and develop recommendations on: "the current and future role of volunteers in the development of the Kyrgyz Republic".
The V-Forum will explore the important role that volunteers could play in supporting implementation of the Country Development Strategy, which was launched this year. Discussion will also focus on the current obstacles facing volunteers and the organizations they work for, with a view to agreeing what kind of national support structures should be developed to facilitate volunteer recruitment and enable the development of a sustainable national volunteer network. In order to develop more detailed recommendations there will also be discussion in working groups about specific problems and possible solutions in each of the main sectors where volunteers work.
The more informal part of the day will start at 15.30 in the Seitek National Centre for Children and Youth with a V-EXPO, where the full range of participating volunteer involving organizations will display information about their work to the general public and potential new volunteers. At 16.00 volunteers will stage a Fundraising V-Concert, which will be both a celebration of the creativity of volunteers and a chance to raise funds for a worthy cause, ‘Dom Pokolenya’, an innovative community project for vulnerable children and older people in Semenovka, Issyk-Kul.
In describing the aims of International Volunteer Day 2007, Hugh Salmon, UN Volunteers Programme Officer commented: ‘This will be a great opportunity both to discuss the challenges and opportunities of our work as volunteers, and to have a chance to show to the wider public how creative and enterprising volunteers can be. We hope it will be clear to all who take part in these events that volunteers have enormous potential in this country to contribute to both local and national development’. Jyldyz Umetalieva, a trainer- volunteer from the NGO Youth Integration Service, added, ‘for me, volunteerism is about working for the benefit of the country, gaining experience which will be useful for the future and helping people to make the world a better place.’
At the same time as events in the capital, other activities to mark International Volunteer Day will be taking place in provincial centres all over the country, including round table discussions, TV talk shows and information campaigns, as well as joint volunteer events in support of World Aids Day and the 16 Days Campaign Against Gender Violence.
This year International Volunteers Day events are jointly planned and implemented by the following organizations: UNV, Japanese Overseas Cooperation Volunteers, Peace Corps, National Red Crescent Society, the Government Youth Department and Youth Labour Exchange, Habitat for Humanity, Flex Alumni, HelpAge, Ymyt Resource Centre for the Elderly, Youth Integration Service, the Community Development Alliance, and the International Student Organization AIESEC.