Formulation of Nat’l Volunteer Policy stress

Published : 05 Dec 2020 08:57 PM

LGRDC Ministry is leading to develop a national volunteer framework for fostering volunteerism in Bangladesh to support SDGs’, assured by Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives Minister Md. Tazul Islam during the event titled ‘Volunteering for Achieving SDGs in Bangladesh’ at InterContinental Dhaka on International Volunteer Day as the Chief Guest.

December 5 is celebrated as International Volunteer Day (IVD) around the world to promote and support the spirit of volunteering. In observation of the day, this year the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development & Co-operatives (MLGRDC), Department of Youth Development, Ministry of Youth and Sports, WaterAid and UNV Bangladesh, has organised an event titled ‘Volunteering for Achieving SDGs in Bangladesh’. Several volunteers from different organisations took part in this event. 

In this event, the award-giving ceremony for the ‘IVD Bangladesh Volunteer Award 2020’ also took place there. The theme of the initiative for this year was – ‘Volunteer for COVID-19 Response and Recovery’. 

COVID-19 pandemic brought down an unprecedented threat upon the entire world. The global population is still struggling to get back to the regular pace of life, as the virus continues to affect hundreds of lives every day. However, volunteers across the world have been doing an incredible job to support the mass people to prevent the pandemic. The dedicated volunteers are putting their own lives at stake. WaterAid Bangladesh, MLGRDC, Department of Youth Development, Ministry of Youth and Sports, and UNV Bangladesh stepped up to acknowledge the courageous efforts of such volunteers in Bangladesh with their ‘IVD Bangladesh Volunteer Award 2020’. Winners received prize monies of various amounts up to BDT 1,00,000; besides crests and certificates. The winners were chosen after an extensive and neutral selection process from a pool of applications.

On the ‘International Volunteers Day’ around the world, the organisers opted to promote the spirit of volunteerism and honor the great efforts of the volunteers who have been passionately supporting their community and country for a greater cause. 

Md. Tazul Islam MP, Honorable Minister, Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives said, ‘Cyclone Preparedness Programme (CPP) was first initiated in 1973. Bangladesh was the country that took the lead. We have always been a pioneer fighting against calamities. 

And once again that is visible during this global pandemic. During coronavirus, volunteers have done a tremendous job to raise awareness in handwashing and personal hygiene. As a result, we, as a nation are thriving against this dire situation.’

Helal Uddin Ahmed, Senior Secretary, Local Government Division has said, ‘We have seen how Mother Teresa have changed so many lives by volunteering. It is such an inspiration to the younger generation of this country to help people in need at an unprecedented time like this.’

Mia Seppo, UN Resident Coordinator said, ‘I’m very much impressed by how Bangladesh values and promotes volunteerism among its courageous nation. I appreciate the efforts given so far in this sector, although I think there are still some room for improvement. Various sources are interested to facilitate Bangladesh with funding and infrastructural assistance. So if the inner abilities are developed, Bangladesh will soon see an even mightier force of volunteers who could conquer the tougher challenges lying ahead.’

Hasin Jahan, Country Director of WaterAid, said, “Since the very beginning of Covid-19 pandemic, the volunteers played a tremendous role in keeping the community safe and functional, putting the utmost priority to the humanitarian cause. This award is a humble attempt to thank them for the incredible effort they have put so far for the country and its people. 

Aktar Uddin, Country Coordinator, UNV Bangladesh, ‘The indomitable spirit of volunteerism is celebrated through such initiatives like IVD. The core message is to inspire all the volunteers across the world, and encourage their unity because unity is strength. The world requires dedicated volunteers to attain and maintain the sustainable goals. Bangladesh currently has the greatest number of UN volunteer, and nothing could make me any prouder like this accomplishment.’

Md Akhter Hossain, Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports chaired the event. 

Among others, Dipak Chakraborty, Additional Secretary, Local Government Division Sultana Afroz, Secretary and CEO, PPPA, Prime Minister’s Office and Aminul Islam Khan, Secretary, Technical and Madrasha Education, Akhtaruz Zaman Khan Kabir,Director General, Department of Youth Development, Ministry of Youth and Sportswere also present. 

In the 2nd session, a Panel discussion titled ‘Volunteers contributions towards development and need of national volunteer policy’ also took place on the same day at the event where speakers highlighted the need of a structured policy on volunteerism, volunteer database, the safety, recognition and skill development of the volunteers etc.