Volunteering for Africa: Final round of continental-level discussions
29 May 2011
It is essential for all people of all backgrounds to get involved in the solutions to poverty, disease, conflict and climate change. Civil society and voluntary organizations are key players in making this a reality, and tapping into their power for good could be a major step towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
The year 2011 marks the tenth anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers, and related activities are happening around the world. In Dakar, governments, civil society and volunteering organizations from both Francophone and non-Francophone Africa are assembling for two interlinked events.
The Senegal meetings aims to focus the African development debate, and several national, regional and global players are taking part. Representatives from the African Union and ECOWAS will be there, alongside national delegations from around 40 countries.
The Africa conferences are the culmination of a series of similar regional consultations held around the world, from Ecuador to Turkey and the Philippines. Delegates at each get-together are asked to come up with recommendations on volunteering for peace and development, and the events also provide opportunities to exchange ideas and experiences among a diverse range of delegates.
A global volunteering conference organized by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies will follow in Budapest, Hungary, during September 2011, taking further steps towards building a world coalition of volunteering organizations. A United Nations General Assembly session during December 2011 will also be dedicated to volunteering.
UNV Executive Coordinator, Ms. Flavia Pansieri, will be available in Dakar for media interviews at designated times during the week beginning 30 May while the Chief of the UNV Peace Division, Mr. Kevin Gilroy, will be available from 6 June.
Volunteering empowers people to take an active part in the development of their own communities, to take responsibility for the needs of others, and to make an impact on their own lives. Volunteering often starts at home: but together, volunteers can change the world.