REPORT ON THE INAUGURATION OF THE NATIONAL
COMMITTEE ON IYV 2001.
Date: 4th May 2000
Time: 10.00 A.m
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS AT THE INAUGURAL CEREMONY OF THE NATIONAL COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF VOLUNTEER
UNITED NATIONS AGENCIES
NON - GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATION AND OTHER
REPRESENTATIVES OF MINISTRIES AND INSTITUTIONS IN RWANDA
UNITED NATIONS VOLUNTEERS
As part of the effort towards the celebration of the International year of Volunteer (IYV 2001) and in line with the resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations, dignitaries and personalities were invited to deliberate and consider what special activity their agency may undertake in 2001 to mark the year in ways designed to enhance the involvement of volunteers in its activities.
The day was flagged off with an opening and a welcome address from Mr. Bacar Addouroihamane, (the Resident representative of the United Nations Development Programme in Rwanda). In his speech, Mr Bacar trace the history of volunteerism and the several achievements that these landable programmes had contributed to sustainable development. He acknowledged the tremendous and valuable impacts of the Volunteers, more particularly in peace resolution promoting traditional solidarity, reconciliation and reconstruction of Rwanda following the unfortunate incidence of 1994. Against this background therefore, the Resident Representative used the occasion to solicit more support from individual and movements alike, Governments and the governed, the International communities and UN agencies for appropriate recognition on what volunteers so, and offer to mankind.
He used the occasion to renew the support of UNDPs governing body regarding its roles in promoting volunteers concepts and service and promised to continually work closely with the Volunteers in Rwanda and also encourage the sharing of ideas on IYV 2001. He concluded that, the year 2001 is not only for volunteers but truly a year for everyone where individuals can find a renewed sense of purpose, volunteer groups can be re invigorated, Governments and non-governmental organization and private sectors alike can enter into fresh partnerships to make for greater participation, alleviate problems and poverty the world - over promote good governance for sustainable development.
A presentation on the concept of volunteerism, principles its objectives and their activities/roles in the society at large and more particularly in Rwanda was delivered by Messers Guy Saizonon and Don Mensah both of which are the programme officer (UNV) and Domestic Development Services (DDS) respectively.
In his presentation, Programme officer for UNV in Rwanda (Mr. Guy Saizonou) used the occasion to thank the Government of Rwanda for the much needed support to Volunteer programmes and activities most especially during the past IV day organized in December 1999. In the same vain, he extended his appreciation to the country representative of NGOs who were partners in progress and had contributed by no smalls means through their voluntary activities for the development of Rwanda.
Mr. Saizonou, went further to expatiate on the principles and concepts of volunteerism, the benefits derivable from volunteers work. He stressed that volunteers are like corner stone in building a virile and sustainable development.
On a final note, he used the occasion to solicit for more Bi-lateral cooperation and support from those international agencies that are yet take advantage of the volunteers.
On the international year of Volunteers, the programme officer highlighted that the year 2001 is unique in the history of voluntaries as it will afford the much needed recognition, facilitation, networking and promotion of volunteer services all over the world. He maintained that IYV 2001 is for and about all kinds of volunteers everywhere, in this world, it is not limited to any one category of volunteer, whether formal or informal; on-going or occasional; agency- based or all volunteer domestic or international; unremunerated or modestly remunerated; and whether in direct service, advocacy or administrative and governance positions.
He then concluded that todays meeting was a climax of a long consultation among volunteer organization, National NGOs and community groups, Ministers and Ministries as well as Government and International agencies among other, on the aims of IYV 2001; what approaches the Government of Rwanda might wish to initiate; on the membership and formation of the National Committee and the support which might be required from UN agencies in marking the IYV 2001.
Mr. Don Mensal (the programme officer in charge of domestic development service) presented the various activities of DDS volunteers. He emphasized that the philosophy of DDS is to motivate and tap the local resources already in existence within the local populace and to help to contribute to the development at the grassroot.
He outlined further that the DDS activities are currently spread across five (5) prefectures in Rwanda of which no less than 17.000 individuals are direct beneficiaries. The assistance rendered by these volunteers are mainly in the field of Administration and management finance and micro-credit. Mr. Mensah stressed that the long-term objective of DDS programme is to allow autonomous and self-development of the local populace
Mr. Aibinu Aderemi (an Urban Mapping / GIS UNV specialist and Miss. Beatina Goislard an UNV protection officer with UNHCR gave PowerPoint slide presentation on the international volunteers year 2001. The presentation saw the genesis of the IYV, background and the eventually UN resolution of NOV. 2001 which is
NON - GOVERMENTAL ORGANISATIONS AND OTHER VOLUNTEER
The country representatives of the NGOs that are based in Rwanda namely; The voluntary services overseas (VSO); the Association Voluntaries services international (AVSI); the association des voluntaries de la Paix (AVP) and the Red Cross International used the occasion to present their mission activities report in Rwanda.
The voluntary services Overseas (VSO). This is an organization that has his activities dated back as far as 1948. The mission has 41 volunteers currently working in the partnership with the Ministry of Education especially in the area of capacity building and training. The country representative of VSO however said their activities in the coming year are to be extended to the fields of Health and Technology.
The Association Voluntaires Service International (AVSI) this is an Italian funded NGO and has been in operation since the past 30 years. The association has not less than 25 volunteers across different communes engaging in sanitary and social welfare activities in Rwanda.
The country representative of AVSI assured the audience that their mission has concluded plans and arrangement to extend their activities to Burundi and Kivu area of the Democratic Republic of Congo before the end of the year.
The Association Des Voluntaires de la Paix (AVP). Its country representative in his submission highlighted that AVP was set up to promote and defend human right. The association was funded in 1991 and is aimed at sensitising the general public on their rights and to monitor human right abuses and violation.
AVP currently has over 200 volunteers working in Rwanda.
REPRESENTATIVES OF MINISTRIES AND INSTITUTIONS
Honourable Mrs. Rwaka Constance, a member of parliament used the occasion to renew her Governments readiness to support the Volunteer's at all time.
The representative of the Ministry of Youth, Sport and culture, Ministry of Land, Ministry of Foreign Affairs all expressed their willingness to associate themselves with the land able objectives and goals of the IYV. They also pledged their respective Ministries UN support to the spirit of Volunteerism.
The country representative of FAO in his own contribution recognizes the indomitable roles that volunteers played towards the development of sustainable agriculture. He stressed that the volunteers have over time proved their professional skills in their respective fields. At the end of the morning plenary session, the UNDP Resident Representative thanked participants and encourage them to keep up with the good work.
INAUGURATION OF THE NATIONAL COMMITTEE
The second session of the day was devoted primarily to the inauguration of the National Committee for IYV 2001.
In his inaugural speech, the Resident Representative of UNDP stressed that the National Committee was set up primarily to
In all Nineteen (19) members committee was unanimously selected. N.B It is however hope that a representative of Religious Association will join the committee subsequent meeting.
MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL COMMITTEE ON IYV 2001
William NTIDENDEREZA - Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture
Afterwards, the house went into working sessions. There were 2 groups in all:
The working groups were saddled with the responsibility of reflecting on the spirit of volunteerism as well as coming up with proposals for plan of activities towards the celebration of IYV in 2001 in Rwanda respectively.
At the end of working session, the following submission were made for further consideration:
In this regard, the group stressed the need to achieve a real transfer of competency by way of Capacity building and strengthening of the National Staff. There was a general appreciation among members present that more and more Rwandas are now been involved in volunteers activities both within and outside Rwanda.
A new meeting date for the groups was scheduled for 18th May 2000 while members were enjoyed to come up with proposals and plans for the celebration of IYV.
These proposals is expected among others, to cover period starting from May - December 2000 when the IYV celebration is supposed to flag off as well as the various activities that will be carried out during the year 2001. The Resident Representative (Mr. Bacar Abdouroihamane) thanked members for their patience and for sparing their precious time to participate in the meeting.