SWVR2015_UN Volunteers_GC4W NewsA group of passionate individuals and distinguished delegates were invited to the United Nations on Friday, June 5th, 2015 – to participate in the presentation of the “State of the World’s Volunteerism Report: Transforming Governance.” Lilian O. Ajayi, Founder and Executive Director of the Global Connections for Women Foundation (GC4W) and Chief Temitope Ajayi (Mama Diaspora) were invited to attend. The event was hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Volunteers (UNV).

The meeting involved a discussion of the 2015 UN Volunteers analysis and report on the impact of volunteerism and transforming governance. Helene Clarke, UNDP Administrator gave the keynote remarks saying “At UN Volunteers and at the UN Development Programme, we see how volunteers make a difference for the better. From our experience and as the evidence reflected in this Report shows, the motivation and commitment of individual volunteers needs to be matched by responsive and supportive governments and development actors. We hope that this report will be considered, discussed and used for empowerment of more people in more places to confront the exclusions, discrimination and inequalities which block development process, and to achieve sustainable development for all.”  

The Executive Coordinator of the United Nations Volunteers, Richard Dictus was among the key speakers of the afternoon session and in his address he mentioned, “With this report, we hope to show that the art of the possible. When we bring all available resources to the table of development, we make the challenges of our times seem surmountable. By creating environments for people to volunteer their time, it is possible to use their skills and knowledge for the common good in the sphere of governance.” Also present at the United Nations was Jennifer Stapper, Chief Communications United Nations Volunteers; Jordi LIpart, Chief United Nations Volunteers New York; Ambassador Athur Kafeero, Chef de Cabinet – Office of the President of the 69th Session of the General Assembly, and Ms. Aqeelah Akbar, Senior Adviser –  Office of the President of the 69th Session of the General Assembly. 

On the very same day, the Global Connections for Women Foundation (GC4W) had a firsthand experience with an “act of volunteerism” when one of our tweeter followers, Tolulope Ebun helped raise over $500 in one hour, in support of the GC4W “FiveforFive” bring an education to the disabled girls in Karamajiji fundraiser.

FiveforFive_GC4W campaign

As explained by Amanda Mukwashi, Chief of Knowledge and Innovation at UNV, and the lead author of the report, “volunteerism can contribute to enhancing voice and participation, accountability and responsiveness.” Tolulope Ebun’s dignified courage and support for the GC4W FiveforFive cause is one that reminds us of the role that the youth play in deriving actions. One of the youngest presenters at the meeting was Zganga Taonga Mvula, Program Coordinator at Restless Development in Zambia. In her presentation, Zganga explained “as a young person volunteering, I have experienced firsthand the impact volunteerism has on individuals and communities.”

With more than 1 billion global volunteers, most working in their own countries and in the forefront of ensuring that their actions and commitments – benefits the lives of their fellow citizens and influences how they are governed. Volunteers continues to a play pivotal role in promoting global collaboration and accountability from legislatives.

We applaud volunteers around the globe and those that continue to give their time and talents to GC4W, we appreciate your commitment and your outstanding contributions. To learn more about the report or to download a copy, please visit here {http://www.volunteeractioncounts.org/en/swvr-2015.html}