By Nelson Manneh & Aja Musu Bah Daffeh
The International Volunteer Network (Volnet-Gambia) in collaboration with the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP), yesterday celebrated the International Volunteer Day (IVD) at the Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute (GTHI) hall in Kanifing.
According to officials, the 2016 IVD celebrations focuses on recognizing and celebrating volunteerism service worldwide and all they do in making peace and sustainable development a reality. The theme for this year celebration is “Global Applause- give volunteers a hand”.
Speaking on the occasion the Minister for Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment Abdoulie Jobe said UNDP have always been a valuable and dependable partner to his ministry and the government of the Gambia at large. He noted that sustainable development cannot be achieved through institutional action only. “Volunteers provide technical support in all the thematic goal areas such as health, education, employment, environment and sustainable livelihood,” he said. According to Minister Jobe, volunteers are able to reach out to people who would otherwise be marginalized or hard to reach to ensure that no one is left behind.
Momodou Touray, a representative from the Gambia Red Cross society said every human being has something to offer to his fellow human being. “As far as Red Crosse is concerned, we give support to mankind and sensitization to individuals in order to improve their lives,” he noted. Touray used the opportunity to pay tribute to volunteers in The Gambia, Senegal and Syria who have lost their lives in voluntarily actions in Syria.
Bintou Mahfouge Hydara, operations specialist UNDP, also spoke at the ceremony.
Students from various schools who grace this occasion presented a play on the importance of helping people who are in need of help. Certificates were also issued to people who had in one way or the other contributed towards voluntary services.