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International Volunteer Day in West and Central Africa

The International Volunteer Day 2019 “Volunteer for an Inclusive Future” was celebrated in more than 15 countries all over the region. Find below a selection of articles and tweets from the region.
In Benin, volunteers visited and supported the Blind and Ambylopic Centre, Parakou. Celebrations for IVD in Burkina Faso took place in Ouagadougou and Tenkodogo focused on the implication of youth in the pursuit of SDG 10. On this occasion funds for internally displaced persons were collected. In Cameroon students discussed how volunteerism can be a driving force for inclusivity and volunteers working with UNHCR visited an orphanage in Bertoua. During this time, the activities in the Central African Republic supported amongst other hearing and visually impaired students at the Benz-Vie Training Centre in Bangui. Activities in Côte d’Ivoire included blood donations, demonstrations of the Red Cross and an official ceremony. While in the Democratic Republic of the Congo celebrations took place in Kinshasa, Goma, Kananga, Bukavu and Uvira. The activities in Gabon focused on how to achieve inclusion in the face of climate change. Besides the official celebration for IVD, an inclusive basketball match was organized in Guinea. To raise awareness on disability UNV in Guinea-Bissau produced the short film “Inclusion i un diritu” . In Mali IVD supported the NGO Gorey Bene and was celebrated in Bamako, Gao and Mopti. The activities in Niger took place in Tillabéri and included donations to people living with disabilities and the local prison. In Senegal, volunteers organized a sensitization training around gender-based violence with over 60 students from Guédiawaye in the context of 16 Days of Activism, while the official ceremony on 5 December united different stakeholders involved in volunteerism. In Togo, IVD was celebrated all over the country with activities taking place in Lomé, Kpalimé et Atakpamé.

In Senegal, volunteers organized a sensitization training around gender-based violence with over 60 students from Guédiawaye in the context of 16 Days of Activism, while the official ceremony on 5 December united different stakeholders involved in volunteerism.

BENIN: Picnic at the Parakou Blind and Amblyopic Centre
In the context of IVD activities, a picnic at the Parakou Blind and Amblyopic Centre was organized on 6 December 2019. It was followed by a donation of equipment and food to the residents of the centre.
IVD celebrations in Guinea
In the run-up to the IVD 2019, a basketball match with people living with disabilities and artists is organized in partnership on 1 December 2019 with the Abdou Mbaye Foundation and the Guinean Basketball Federation.


To celebrate this year’s IVD 2019 under the theme of “Volunteer for an Inclusive Future” COVOG and different volunteer organizations (UNV, ANVJ, FV, corps de la paix, CR) and UN Agencies teamed up. For the official celebration on 5 December 2019 there will be interventions from volunteers and people profiting from voluntary work and an exposition with articles produced by people living with disabilities to show how volunteerism can contribute to reducing inequalities. 

 About 100 participants, including UN Volunteers, athletes and members of local youth organizations came together to clean the stadium and its surroundings. 


IVD Celebrations in Bertoua, Cameroun
On the occasion of International Volunteer Day, UN Volunteers working with UNHCR in the Eastern Region, Cameroon spent the day with orphans and women prisoners in the city of Bertoua.
Guinea-Bissau: Raise Awareness on Disability Inclusion through Volunteerism
Observing the International Day for People with disabilities, UNV Guinea-Bissau and UNDP supported the production of a short video. The event aimed to promote the rights of persons with disabilities (PWD) and raise awareness on disability inclusion through volunteer participation.
On 5 December, volunteers supported the initiative of the National Volunteer Committee (CNV-GB) to strengthen employment opportunities of vulnerable youth (incl. those with disabilities). The initiative aims to inform 50 Teens about ways to enter the job market. Activities included how to write a good CV, where to look and how to apply to job opportunities, etc. It was launched by CNV-GB in partnership with the new Agência Nacional do Emprego Jovem (Secretary of State of Youth and Sports) and IOM.
GABON: Recycling and Waste Transformation Activity with Young Students of the CES Public d’Akébé school, Libreville.
In the context of IVD different volunteer organizations (UNV, VIF, VIE) organized a public clean-up followed by recycling and waste transformation activities with students from the CES Public d’Akébé school in Libreville.
BURKINA FASO: Conference on Inclusion and Volunteer Night
In Ouagadougou (capital city), International Volunteer Day was celebrated on December 5th with an official ceremony in the morning, followed by a conference on how volunteerism can be a force to increase social inclusion. A “Volunteer Night” took place in the afternoon.
IVD Celebrations in Côte d’Ivoire
IVD Celebrations in Côte d’Ivoire took place at the Lycée Professionel de Man, Côte d’Ivoire.
MALI: IVD in Bamako
This year’s celebrations in Mali took place on 5th December in Bamako at the Mémorial Modibo Keita. Among the activities: a blood donation for people affected by the crises in Mali, a conference-discussion about volunteerism and SDG 10 – How can volunteerism help reducing inequalities? - A theater performance (volunteerism and inclusion) + artist performances + Slam + Rap and traditional music
CONGO DRC: Poetry and Art for an Inclusive Future
The United Nations Volunteers Programme in the DRC celebrated IVD on December 5 in partnership with local volunteer associations and the MONUSCO Welfare Unit. 
This year, IVD celebrations in the country took place in Kinshasa, Goma, Kananga, Bukavu and Uvira, with activities including awareness campaigns, art, and conference-discussions. 
The CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: IVD Celebrations in Bangui and Bimbo
The IVD Celebrations in the Central African Republic started on 30 November until 5 December, with activities at the Centre for Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Bangui and the orphanage Coeur Compatissant at Bimbo. During the celebrations, students from Emergency School in the PK3 IDPs Camp Received School Kits from MINUSCA Volunteers. A donation of teaching materials to the school “Vie-Espoir des sourds-muets” in Benz-Vi took place in the presence of the UNDP R.R / RCA.
A provision of clothes and food kits was offered to the orphan Cœur Compatissant de Bimbo.
CHAD: Health and Inclusion in Chad
IVD Celebrations in Chad took place during the week of 2-5 December 2019 in Abéché with many activities, among which:
- Installation of 5 modern tents at the HPA
Salubrity at the Regional Hospital and blood donation
- HIV/AIDS awareness at the Lycée Franco-Arabe in Abéché
- Donation to women who gave birth to children between December 1 and 5 at Hospital of Abeche
- A medical parade: Awareness raising campaign about the treatment of malaria and diabetes screening
- A football match, women/men volunteers vs girls/men from the Lycée Franco-Arabe d’Abéché.
- Conferences and debates on volunteering and volunteer contributions to inclusion
NIGERIA - Roadshow in Lagos / Volunteers support Internally Displaced Persons
As par of IVD celebrations, UNV Nigeria promotes the values of volunteerism for peace and inclusion, in a roadshow held on 2 December 2019 in Lagos. Another activity included volunteers visiting an IDP camp, to promote inclusivity and equality with the vulnerable. Also, a big conference was organized in Lagos with the theme "How volunteerism can promote inclusivity" on 3 December 2019. The event united actors from different perspectives: National NGOs focusing on Youth, the Nigerian National Volunteer Service (NNVS) and the UNV Country Coordinator. Special Guest Speaker: Olusegun Dawodu, Commissioner, Lagos State Ministry for Youth and Social Development.
NIGER: Empowering Girls and Women inclusion
IVD celebrations in Niger started from 2 to 5 December 2019, in Tillabéry. Among the activities, a qualifying training (dyeing, saponification, etc.) for 25 women/girls with disabilities in Tillabéry and provision of start-up kits for income-generating activities. A conference to discuss volunteering and civic responsibility was held at the University of Tillabéry, plus a food and clothing donation to women and girls detainees at the Tillabéry prison
On the 5th, the official ceremony of the International Volunteer Day followed by an exhibition of volunteer activities with the participation of the RC and the Minister for Regional Planning and Community Development. IVD activities ended with a football match between the volunteers and the Tillabéry team, followed by a cultural evening for the volunteers.