In the frame of the UN Days, former ONUCI days for peace, reconciliation and social cohesion in Côte dIvoire, from 16 to 18 January the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme Field Unit held a healthiness operation at the General Hospital of Lakota, conducted by UNV Programme Manager Mr Jacques Mouaya.
The main entrance of the hospital looked more like a garbage can than anything else because of the proximity of the city market, which you have to cross before reaching the hospital premises, said Abou Seidou, UN Volunteer for ONUCI.
The activity was officially launched by the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the UN and Humanitarian Affairs Coordinator, Mr. Ndolamb Ngokwey, who emphasized the voluntary nature of the operation during a meeting with the authorities of the health centre. He talked about the advantages of volunteerism for peace, for the national reconciliation process, social cohesion and development of our communities, as well as the importance of youth commitment. Most great men of the world had a good and fruitful volunteerism experience", he said.
The operation brought together about thirty young volunteers, who came with their own tools to help improve the sanitary conditions and give the hospital a better appearance. It was also a good opportunity to raise awareness, and the participation of the mayor and the prefect represented a success in this advocacy effort.
The authorities of the department and the official delegation set the example, before leaving it to the young volunteers, to clean up the area. For all those people who participated in the cleaning operation it was all about volunteering for their locality. We succeeded in convincing them that no one else will come and develop their city in their place, and also that it is their duty to do whatever is in their hands to help the government, of course within the limit of their means. And this operation was a first step towards their contribution to the full development of the city, said Abou Seidou.
The goal of the operation was to improve the conditions of the area around the hospital and to continue the tradition, spreading throughout the city, with more youth commitment. According to the organizers of the operation, the volunteers were all happy to have been useful to their locality and say they would have been ready to do much more if they have had more tools provided by the authorities or other NGOs. They also promised to sensitize more youth and help to promote public awareness on solid waste management to prevent diseases related to poor sanitation.