The main focus of International Volunteer Day 2012 is awareness of and recognition for volunteers and volunteer organizations.
“I applaud all people who volunteer each year for the benefit of their communities. I am especially grateful to the 7,700 United Nations Volunteers who support efforts to prevent conflicts, help societies recover from fighting, promote sustainable development, assist in crisis situations and carry out numerous other projects for the greater good,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message on IVD 2012.
On 5 December, United Nations Volunteers in Kosovo visited the municipality of Fushë Kosovë/Kosovo Polje to celebrate International Volunteer Day 2012 with a ceremony featuring dance performances by local children and showcasing other ongoing grassroots projects by a local NGO. The event was also an occasion to promote a new clothing drive initiative.
Minorities who live in the municipality of Fushë Kosovë/Kosovo Polje have increasingly begun to realize the importance of educating their children. As no transport is available, many youth must walk several kilometers every day to attend school. However, these children do not have proper clothing and shoes to make the trek during the winter season.
In partnership with UNDP and The Ideas Partnership (TIP) NGO, UNV responded to this dilemma by fundraising and organizing donations that focus on winter clothing and shoes for children. The clothing drive is a continuous initiative and so far has accrued close to a hundred donated winter clothing items and shoes to dozens of children and families in the community.
Volunteerism transcends all cultural boundaries and offers hope for a better world. Through dedication, we can all give a little to help those in need and promote peace and sustainable development.
Andrea Young - Photo: DPI / Shpend Bërbatovci