UNV Caravan of Volunteerism crosses Tunisia to raise youth awareness of their role in development
Tunis, Tunisia: The Caravan of Volunteerism, organized by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme in Tunisia, kicks off its activities today as part of UN Day events in the city. Organized as part of the Arab Youth Volunteering for a Better Future project, the caravan will depart from Tunis and travel across the North African country for 14 days, reaching communities and youth in eight governorates, including the most remote areas of Tunisia.
“To participate in an act of voluntarism for a noble cause is the best moment of my life. Volunteer one day, volunteer always,” said Saber Draouil, Director of the Youth and Sports Complex in Sidi Hassine and focal point for the Caravan of Volunteerism in Tunisia.
In each locality, youth centers and other associations will work together to coordinate a series of youth volunteer activities and awareness-raising actions, such as rehabilitating public spaces, cleaning up green areas in the community or organizing training workshops. These will be carried out in collaboration with youth associations, schools and community leaders.
“For me, doing volunteerism is a daily exercise which gives me the opportunity to be active, play a social role, have an open mind working as a team and make contact with others, which allow me to strengthen my skills and qualities,” said Radhia Dhiab, 29 years old, with the Youth and Development Association in Remada, who will participate as a volunteer in the caravan in Tataouine.
With the support of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and the insatiable energy of the local youth centers, who will be coordinating and facilitating the activities in their communities, the caravan aims to create a lasting impact in the minds of young girls and boys in Tunisia.
The caravan provides an opportunity to gather different segments of society and foster debate and dialogue, through exchange of experiences, networking and community-led actions. The two-week initiative creates a space for the development of volunteer activities that benefit the local communities and will inspire young women and men to participate in the progress of their country, enhancing their crucial role in the response to local needs.
The caravan is being launched in Tunis today to mark UN Day. Tomorrow caravan participants will rehabilitate a public space in the city’s Sidi Hassine area. On 26 October, the caravan travels to Nabeul where its members will clean up Soliman beach and perform volunteering activities in Niennou Hospital. Going on to Siliana on 28 October, the caravan will clean up a public garden in the rural area of Errouhia then travel to Kasserine where participants will rehabilitate the “Place des Martyrs” in memory of the revolution on 30 October.
The caravan travels to Sidi Bou Zid next, to clean up the city center on 1 November. Then it will travel to Kebili, where participants will carry out a clean up in Douz, entry point of the Tunisian desert, on 3 November. Medenine is the next stop, where tree planting and street painting will take place in the rural area of Beni Khdeche on 5 November. Tatatouine, the final stop, will be the site of a “clean up marathon” and the caravan’s closing ceremonies on 6 November.
The Arab Youth Volunteering for a Better Future is a UNV-led regional project that seeks to support youth to effectively engage in the development processes of their countries through volunteerism. This regional initiative is implemented in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and Yemen. The caravan is part of the project’s efforts to increase awareness on the role of youth volunteerism in Tunisia. The Arab Youth Volunteering for a Better Future initiative is part of UNV’s growing efforts to engage young people, and falls within its UN Youth Volunteers Programme.
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. Volunteerism is a powerful means of engaging people in tackling development challenges, and it can transform the pace and nature of development. Volunteerism benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer by strengthening trust, solidarity and reciprocity among citizens, and by purposefully creating opportunities for participation.
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