International Volunteer Day marked in Accra

Accra, December 4, 2014 – International Volunteer Day (IVD) is being marked in Ghana with a three-day event that began on the 3rd of December. The first event was held at the fore-court of the UNDP office and was chaired by Nii Dodoo Dodoo the country manager of youth challenge international. Present at the event were, the UN Resident Coordinator and Heads UNHCR and UNDP, the Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, the La Mantse (Chief of La), representatives of UN agencies, volunteer groups and UN volunteers.

cultural dance v3

YMCA Cultural troupe performing at the event

The Program Officer of UN Volunteer, Ms. Betty Simate, in her opening remarks stressed that the UN considers volunteers as an integral part of development as they give development efforts a greater impact, adding that she learnt respect, value for people and the art of listening from being a volunteer. Three volunteers, Ms. Abba Crentsil of UNHCR, Mr. Eyram Dzitire of UNICEF and Ms. Kalevor of St. John’s Ambulance shared their volunteer experiences with the audience. Ms. Abba Crentsil who served as a volunteer in war-torn Ivory Coast attributes her empathy for the refugees she works with to her volunteer work and urged volunteers to appreciate and value every little effort they put in their work as volunteers.

Mrs. Dela Sowah

Mrs. Dela Sowah

According to Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Mrs. Dela Sowah, “the spirit of the volunteer embodies true nobility. Volunteers give their time without expecting a material reward” and she commended their efforts while calling on more people to volunteer for national development.

The UN Resident Coordinator, a.i. Ms. Susan Ngongi read the UN Secretary General’s statement commending the work of volunteers in war and disease torn countries especially those fighting the Ebola Virus Disease, encouraging them in their noble cause and enjoining the rest of the world to contribute to the effort.

The activities to mark the IVD in Accra include a clean-up and tree planting exercise involving over 100 international and national volunteers and free eye screening for the people of La community by volunteering medical personnel.

IVD was established by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly through Resolution 40/212 on 17 December 1985. Celebrating the day gives a chance for organizations and individual volunteers to celebrate their efforts and share their values to national and international development.

The sights and sound bites of the events were captured by UNIC Accra. Read more.