05 December 2003
For this year's International Volunteers Day (IVD), the Club OUA - Burkina Faso organized a national workshop to promote volunteerism in Burkina Faso, by mobilizing human resources and local development experts, with assistance from the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme and the national International Year of Volunteers (IYV) committee .
More than 150 participants, including volunteers, representatives government agencies and donor organizations, participated in the event, " Volunteerism, human resources and local expertise mobilization for fighting against poverty, within the frame of the African Union and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD)".
After the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Deputy Resident Representative Anna S. Coulibaly read the UN Secreatry General’s message on the occasion of the IVD 2003, the Burkina Faso Minister of the Regional Cooperation Jean de Dieu Somda opened the workshop, highlighting how "volunteerism represents the right formula for promoting an aware mobilization and commitment of people, particularly youth, in order to take an active role in the development initiatives and actions".
During the plenary session, participants listened to four lectures on:
- UNV mission and initiatives for Burkina Faso;
- Volunteers’ contribution to the implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategic Plan for Burkina Faso;
- Role of volunteerism in supporting the African Union and the NEPAD;
- Community spirit, solidarity, sense of sharing and mutual aidamong African people as a cultural expression of volunteerism in traditional societies.
Following the plenary session, participants discussed 2 working papers, focusing on the results of a national survey about traditional forms of volunteerism in the country and the legal framework for volunteering activities in the country.
The two thematic groups drafted recommendations about the need to enhance coordination amongst stakeholders involved in volunteering activities and the need to urge the government to approve a legal framework acknowledging volunteers’ contribution to development.
The Minister of Regional Cooperation assured that "the recommendations of the workshop will be carefully read by his Government, which will do its best to support their implementation".