05 December 2008
by Ngozi Otti
IVD in Bangladesh meant a sticker campaign on the theme 'Volunteer Against Poverty'. (UNV)UNV Programme Officer in Bangladesh, Ngozi Otti, puts the final touches to a volunteer-themed auto rickshaw. (UNV)Dhaka, Bangladesh:
The time has come to celebrate the huge contributions of volunteers across the world. It is a day for groups, organizations, communities and countries to recognize individuals that volunteer their time and the contributions that volunteers make in the society. It is a day dedicated to generating awareness and interest in volunteers who work towards making life better for others and to inspire others to get involved to do their parts to make the world a safer and healthier place.
In Bangladesh this year our theme is 'Volunteers Against Poverty' (VAP). The choice of this theme is as a result of the hydra-headed impacts of poverty in every aspect of lives both in Bangladesh and beyond. The eradication of poverty is central to the elimination of diseases, gender equality, universal education, reduction of infants and maternal mortality due to increased affordability, fight against HIV/AIDS, malaria etc.
Along the same lines, millions of volunteers are involved in different poverty related programmes and projects and have made numerous contributions in this area.
Hence, IVD 2008 is aimed at mobilizing and engaging in activities towards the eradication of poverty. Organizations are encouraged to carry out activities towards the eradication of poverty. Volunteers must stand up and voice their commitment to the fight against poverty.
On the other hand, volunteers need to voice and commit to this fight in an enabling environment; an environment that has the political will and the policy tools for effective volunteer service delivery and impact.
So as we as volunteers fight against poverty, we also need to register the need for adequate policies to promote volunteerism. We also intend to use the event to launch the 2009 advocacy campaign for the recognition of volunteerism.
In the light of the above, the activities for this year include:
- Press Release on various activities by organizations to mark IVD 2008.
- Signature Campaign: The aim of the signature campaign is to highlight the number of organizations both national and international who are involved in sending, receiving and using volunteers in their programs and projects. This is to bring the attention of the public and the government to the issues that affect volunteerism in Bangladesh. It will provide an opportunity for all the organizations to speak with one voice. The campaign is also to show support and solidarity for the recognition of volunteerism. The title of the signature campaign is Gathering the Momentum; Building the Consensus; Making the Case: Advocating for Volunteer Recognition in Bangladesh.
In the next few weeks, several meetings will be held and committees have been formed. It is our duty as heads of organization to rally support and take advantage of this day.
It is our duty to come together and speak with one voice towards recognizing volunteerism in Bangladesh and promoting the huge contribution that volunteers could make in the fight against poverty.
Download the signatures (PDF file).