FG to adopt a National Policy on Inclusive Volunteerism – Mustapha

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In the wake of current economic challenges, the Federal government on Friday said it would soon adopt a National Policy on Inclusive Volunteerism which clearly sets out a framework by coordination and implementation, across the country, urging Nigerians to dust up their inherent spirit of volunteerism, which has always been the way of life of the people known for being their brother’s keepers.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, Boss Mustapha while speaking on the International Volunteer Day (IVD), celebrated every 5th of December, said the Buhari administration is working “to encourage the re-birth of a culture of volunteerism in our great country as it has the potential of supporting government development efforts”

“As a further demonstration of government resolve in engendering volunteerism, the National Policy on Inclusive Volunteerism which clearly sets out a framework by coordination and implementation, across all sectors and three tiers of government as well as clearly defined roles and responsibilities, would soon be adopted.

To mark the day in Nigeria, the government will be celebrating the 2020 IVD in a local community named Angwasanyawa village, Lugbe, FCT, Abuja on Saturday, 5th December 2020

The program will involve volunteer interaction and Food Drive/Donation to the Villagers and a medical mission for rural dwellers in Angwasanyawa village, Lugbe, FCT.

Other activities will include an award of Certificates to deserving members who have distinguished themselves in the growth of volunteerism in the country and the setting up of a volunteer marketplace for all volunteer-involving organizations.

The celebration is also a testament to expanding the frontiers of volunteerism in Nigeria, seen to have strengthened the social bonds in rural Nigeria

Mustapha said the program was moved to the weekend so that stakeholders will be celebrating this day on a Saturday as a sign of volunteering part of their weekend for service to humanity, adding that “Ordinarily, it would have been shifted to a working day,”

He, therefore, urged relevant stakeholders, the general public, volunteer organizations, and private sectors to join us to grace the occasion on Saturday 5th, December 2020, at Angwasanyawa, Village Lugbe, FCT, Abuja.

The 5th December of every year was designated by the United Nations General Assembly since 1985 through Resolution (A/RES/40/212), as an International observance day to celebrate the power and potentials of volunteerism by member nations.

The International Volunteer Day (IVD) offers an opportunity for UN member nations to raise awareness and gain an understanding of the contributions volunteers make to their communities.

It is also viewed as a unique chance for volunteers and organizations to celebrate their efforts, share values and promote work among the communities, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), United Nation agencies, government authorities, and the private sector

In each year’s celebration, activities are drawn in line with the central theme declared by the United Nations. The 2020 IVD theme is “Together We Can Through Volunteering”. The theme of this year brings to the front burner the important role played by volunteers by being at the forefront of medical, community, and societal responses as the COVID-19 pandemic ravages the world.

In view of this, the 2020 celebration shall focus on appreciating volunteers worldwide and also shedding light on the difficulties faced by volunteers during the pandemic.

The role played by volunteers during the crisis was aptly captured in a statement by the UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, thus “The efforts of I billion volunteers is an important foundation at a pivotal moment for development to enable us to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic”. Therefore, the celebration would be used to spread the message of “Together We Can Through Volunteering” to all corners of the world.

The IVD is marked simultaneously in various countries of the world with fanfares, paper presentations, symposia, accolades, etc for both Local and International Volunteer’s efforts in contributing to the advancement of society.

In Nigeria, the Nigerian National Volunteer Service (NNVS) Department in the Political and Economic Affairs Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), leads in the preparation for a successful commemoration of the IVD with the formation of a Local Organizing Committee in collaboration with relevant stakeholders such as the United Nations Volunteer (UNV), Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), other volunteer groups and individuals.