Early celebrations for International Volunteers Day in Zwedru
In the early hours of Tuesday, 28 November and exactly a week to the day itself, pupils and youth groups took over the principal streets of Zwedru, Grand Gedeh county for a clean-up campaign. With rice bags and gloves in hand, they picked up plastic and other rubbish littered on the streets. Later in the day, they turned out to a dusty football pitch for an exhibition match between a United Nations -combined team versus Zwedru youth that ended 2-2.
The following day and in continuation of IVD, ideally held on December 5, the youth groups and students gathered at the Zwedru Youth Center where, amidst signing, an awards ceremony and a few speeches, the ideals of volunteerism were extolled.
The UNMIL OIC, HOFO, borrowing the words of the late President John F Kennedy encouraged Grand Gedeans not to ask what the county can do for them but rather, what they could do for their county. A female youth leader thanked the organizers for the program and promised to continue with the cleanup campaign. The Acting Superintendent, Tarley Dweh praised the young people for the cleanup exercise which he said was a selfless sacrifice in the true spirit of volunteerism. UNV Program Assistant, Korpo Tenny Peters who was part of the team from Monrovia explained the theme, “Volunteer Act First, Here, Everywhere,” and encouraged all to do so at all time.
The program was climaxed by the reading of the UN Secretary -General’s special message marking the day and afterwards, bags with the UNV logo inscribed on them and solar radio sets donated by UNMIL PIO were distributed.