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More youth volunteers needed — UN

Thursday, December 05, 2013    

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ON the occasion of International Volunteer Day today, December 5, wards of the Rio Cobre Juvenile Correctional Centre in St Catherine will paint the facility's dining hall as well as murals featuring inspirational slogans of their choosing.

They will be working alongside UN volunteers, the Department of Correctional Services, the Council of Voluntary Social Services and visual artists.

Explaining the rationale for the programme, UN point person in Jamaica Dr Arun Kashyap said in statement issued yesterday that youth focus is a priority of the current United Nations Development Assistance Framework (2012-2016) for Jamaica and, given that the wards at Rio Cobre are all engaged in various rehabilitation activities and programmes including academic training, behaviour modification, recreation, and vocational training, it was a good fit.

"We hope to build upon these activities and explore the possibility of institutionalising volunteerism in Jamaica to further catalysing the achievement of Vision 2030 Jamaica," Kashyap said.

"Globally, young people are the leading agents of change in their communities, hence the important contributions made by youth volunteers being reflected in this year's theme, which is 'Young-Global-Active'. The theme provides the opportunity to encourage larger local youth participation in volunteerism," continued Kashyap, who is also Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme," said Kashyap

"International Volunteer Day allows us the opportunity to recognise the contributions of individual volunteers and volunteer organisations to humanity and also to pay a special tribute to the contribution of youth volunteers in global peace and development," he added.

Volunteerism is an effective way to help others and promote greater inclusiveness within a community as volunteers donate their time, skills and knowledge to assist in improving the conditions and habitability of the communities for the underserved everywhere.

Their participation in the decision-making process, Kashyap said, is vital in promoting democratic governance, fostering accountability and responsibility in a country's development.

Every year, the United Nations Volunteer Programme hires 8,000 qualified and experienced men and women to work at the heart of communities worldwide to achieve peace and long-lasting development. The programme is locally managed by the United Nations Development Programme.

The United Nations in Jamaica has been instrumental in the creation of the National Volunteer Centre, which was established shortly after the UN designated 2001 the International Year of Volunteer.

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