Volunteering for the Future We Want: National UNV Steering Committee Meeting Holds Discussions on Sustainable Volunteerism in China
Beijing, China: In the context of Rio+20, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme has launched a public participation campaign entitled "Volunteering for the Future We Want" on UNV China’s Sina and Tecent Weibos on 25 June 2012. Weibo is technically the Chinese translation for microblog. Sina Weibo is similar to a hybrid of Twitter and Facebook, and it is one of the most popular sites in China. Tencent Weibo is also a microblogging site where users may broadcast a message of up to 140 Chinese characters through the web, SMS or smartphone.
Held in conjunction with the National UNV Steering Committee Meeting, the launch of this new initiative was accompanied by a series of discussions on how to maximize the potential of volunteerism for development.
The meeting was chaired by Ms. Zhang Xiaodan, Officer in Charge of the UNV Field Unit in China. Ms. Gao Ling, UNV National Coordinator for Marking the 10th Anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers (IYV+10), reviewed the activities coordinated and guided by UNV China during IYV+10. The launch of UNV’s social media campaign follows similar initiatives launched by the United Nations Department of Public Information and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to promote greater awareness of the role that individuals can play in promoting sustainability. The meeting also provided an opportunity for the Government, the private sector, NGOs (non-governmental organizations), and academia to review the achievements made through the activities undertaken during IYV+10. As such, ideas and experiences were shared regarding how volunteering can contribute to social, economic and environmental sustainability.
During the discussion, representatives from China Youth University of Political Sciences, China Red Cross and China Association of Social Workers discussed how to improve incorporating volunteers into social work projects. Representatives from Beijing Normal University and from companies that included Lenovo and Mary Kay discussed how volunteerism can help companies to fulfill their corporate social responsibilities by encouraging staff to participate in volunteering initiatives. In addition to these engagements, representatives from the Beijing Volunteer Federation and Voluntary Service Overseas joined other participants in exchanging ideas about how to interact better with local communities through volunteering programmes. At the end of the discussion, Ms. Zhang Xiaodan introduced the official Weibos of UNV China to all representatives and the two Weibos at Sina and Tencent platforms have attracted remarkable attention and participation from the public.
With 30 years of fruitful and successful cooperation in China, UNV China strives to keep promoting volunteerism in the country through social media and maintaining the spirit and achievements of IYV+10 through to the next decade.
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