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Youth volunteers, agents of change

Youth participating in the workshop “Be a volunteer, be an agent of change” at the Global Youth Summit in Costa Rica. (UNV, 2013)Youth participating in the workshop “Be a volunteer, be an agent of change” at the Global Youth Summit in Costa Rica. (UNV, 2013)
19 September 2013

San José, Costa Rica: Young people from around the world gathered for the BYND2015 Global Youth Summit in San José, Costa Rica on 9-11 September to discuss the post-2015 development agenda. UN Volunteers from Peru participated in the summit to highlight the importance of volunteering and the need to integrate it in all United Nations programmes.

Organized by the International Telecommunication Union and launched in the presence of the President of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla and the UN Secretary General Special Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, the Summit brought together 700 young experts in Information and Communications Technologies, and over 3,000 young people from around the world who logged in virtually to contribute their ideas and influence decisions at the United Nations on the Future We Want.

The Summit focused the discussions around the themes of ‘Get ahead’, ‘Be healthy’, ‘Be smart’ and ‘Respect your environment’. In the context of ‘Get ahead’, two UN Volunteers from Peru facilitated a workshop entitled “Be a volunteer, be an agent of change”.

Introducing the basic concepts of volunteering and human development, the UN Volunteers then gave young participants the opportunity to create their own social campaign using ICTs and volunteering.

One of the young participants, Montserrat Núñez, from Costa Rica, shared her thoughts after the workshop: “I discovered that it is possible to generate substantial social impact in our country without needing lots of resources. The main resources are the volunteers and our inspiration to make change happen. By using social networks, we can easily mobilize many people and get our message to a larger audience.”

During the live-streamed wrap-up session at the end of the first day, empowered youth talked about the need to integrate volunteering in all development programmes, to consider youth volunteering organizations as strategic allies, to listen to the voice of young people when deciding on the post-2015 development agenda, and to promote the use of ICTs.

Watch the wrap-up session (in Spanish)

More information on the Global Youth Summit 2013

 

UNV is administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)