International UN Volunteers Day in Rwanda

Under the theme Young.Global.Active, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme in Rwanda was involved in the organisation of three special events together with local authorities as well as national and international volunteer-involving organisations.

Activities started with the inauguration on 5 December of a photo exhibition on “Volunteer Engagement” and a cocktail, gathering volunteers and personalities in a friendly atmosphere. On the following day, a knowledge fair on volunteerism took place at the instigation of France Volontaires. A variety of volunteer-involving organisations, including UNV, showcased their activities to youth participants and took part in a round-table on the state of volunteerism in Rwanda.

As the principal activity for IVD 2013 at country level, a special national volunteer day was celebrated on 12 December guided by the national theme of “Volunteerism as a means to self-reliance”.  The day was launched with a peace walk by national and international volunteers of various organisations together with more than 1500 Rwandan youth. The walk proceeded to Petit Stade in Kigali where participants were greeted by Mr. Boniface RUCAGU, Chairperson of the National Itorero Commission, in charge of volunteer promotion in the country.

Mr. RUCAGU, in his speech, emphasized the importance of volunteerism for the development of society and declared the National Policy on Volunteerism officially launched. After his remarks, UNV, JICA, KOICA and VSO among others were awarded for their commitment and contribution for a better world as well as raising awareness and campaigning for popular support to volunteerism.

These different activities contributed to raise the profile and recognition of volunteerism, especially among young Rwandans, with the aim of further engaging youth
through volunteerism and thereby reinforce their contribution to socio-economic development in Rwanda. More information and pictures on: www.facebook.com/UNVRwanda