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National Volunteer Services Centre validates report on volunteerism

Mar 31, 2011, 1:30 PM | Article By: Yusuf Ceesay

National Volunteer Services Center (NVSC), a joint initiative of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs (MOFEA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on 29 March 2011, started a three-day validation of consultancy report on development of a legal framework for volunteerism in The Gambia.

The forum, held at the Baobab Holiday Resort in Bijilo, attracted government officials, and public and civil society organizations.

The convergence seeks to address pertinent issues effecting the establishment of a legal framework and gender dimensions of volunteerism in The Gambia and the simplification of the MDGs and PRSP in the country.

Speaking at the workshop, Saul Njie, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the MOFEA, said the main objective of commissioning the reports is to help light the path for an informed and highly relevant intervention strategy that will enable partners to achieve the essential goals of the project.

He noted that the joint initiative of the UNDP and the Gambian Government is an acknowledgement of the great contributions of human progress that millions of volunteers have made and continue to make around the world.

“With estimates of between 7 to 14 % as volunteer contributes to the economies of some developed countries,” says DP Njie.

He noted that volunteerism has become an integral part in international development that is increasingly recognised for its powerful potential as a tool for development.

Njie says the forum is very timely, hoping that it would come up with very constructive ideas for approving or improving the works accomplished. 

Speaking earlier, Momodou E. Touray, Programme Specialist UNDP, posited that volunteerism is a broad concept not only in definition but also in a contextual form.

The UNDP programme specialist underscored the need to explore issues raised about volunteerism in The Gambia so as to see how they can explore effectively in the development of the country.

“We have to familiarize engagement in volunteerism,” he noted. According to him, in their level of initiative, they have made a research upcountry on volunteerism to achieve development at the grassroots level.

“The platform is a very huge step forward, if legal framework is put in place to assist us in volunteerism,” Mr Touray said.

He urged the participants to use the opportunity to interact and share best legal framework and outcome to address policymakers for development at the grassroots, national and international levels.