UN Launches Volunteer Programme
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched its National Volunteer Programme on Thursday with 45 recruits from across Guyana, who will later return to their villages to work on community development projects.
Speaking at the launch at the Guyana Conference Centre, Project Manager Trevor Clark of the UNDP’s Enhanced Public Trust, Security and Inclusion (EPTSI) Project, said that it aims to empower 100 young people to serve as community youth facilitators within target communities.
The EPTSI Project, which partners the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) for the national United Nations Volunteer (UNV) Programme, is a Government of Guyana (GoG) and UNDP project, which was established in August 2008, to strengthen efforts towards deepening democratic practice and sustainable peace in Guyana and empowering young people.
They will complete a rigorous capacity development programme to increase the potential of their success when it comes to working in the community.
Training will be provided in democratic governance, community mobilisation, conflict transformation and facilitation thus empowering them to reach out to other youth community members. In addition, they will be trained in life-related skills such as personal financial management and goal management.
The volunteers will then empower youths as well as build public trust and inclusion in their communities.
Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, the keynote speaker at the event, commended the young people for responding to the call for volunteers, noting that it is a chance to pitch in their bit towards Guyana’s development.
Prime Minister Samuel Hinds delivering the keynote address at the launch of the
National United Nations Volunteers Programme. (Deoram Singh photo)
He acknowledged that this development has been slow with lengthy periods of stagnation, but urged volunteers and others to persevere. Hinds pointed out that the main challenges are advancing materially and socially as a country and uniting as one. He also cautioned the new volunteers not to be led astray by the progress in developed countries, but to try to be agents of change in Guyana with all its unique qualities.
Addressing the volunteers, UNDP’s Guyana Resident Coordinator Kairi Liman-Tinguiri said that the UNV programme signals the “UN’s belief that young people can be the agent of change and indefinitely young people are the leaders because they are our future and we have to empower them because they are part of the solution and not the problem”.
He noted the UN’s thrust seeks to promote democratic governance, peaceful resolution of conflicts and empowerment of young people and “that is what is expected of you as UN volunteers”.
Inspiring the young volunteers, former volunteer and now UNDP Project Coordinator, Monica Sharma urged them to “find yourself in your service to people”.
Drawing from the words of Mahatma Ghandi, she explained that given the exposure that a UNV receives, they can be a teacher of many experiences, particularly of how to make a difference. It offers many opportunities, adding that “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in service to others”.
The 45 new United Nations Volunteers pose for a photograph with Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, UNDP’s Resident Coordinator Kairi Liman-Tinguiri and other members of the UN team. (Deoram Singh photo)
According to the UNDP’s headquarters, the launch of the national UNV programme presents the UNDP and UNV with the opportunity to promote Guyana, as it has the largest amount of national UNVs in the Latin America and Caribbean region, in addition to recruiting the youngest volunteers in the history of the UNV programme.
UNV was established in Guyana in 1984 and since then approximately 400 international and national UNV volunteers have been serving in the country, working together with the government, UN organisations, civil society organisations, non-governmental organisations and private corporations in all areas of human development, with a focus on HIV and democratic governance.
UNV's theme for this year's International Volunteer Day (IVD), which takes place on December 5, is “Volunteering for our Planet”.
Source: Guyana Times