3 years ago, the +GhanaThink Foundation started the National Volunteer Day! It's still going strong. It has spread all across the country and spurred a spirit of volunteerism in Ghana. The impact is enormous and continues to grow with volunteer activities all year round. Read the press release below prepared by +Ghana Volunteer Program lead +Ela Asare. Kudos to her and her team of +Enock Seth Nyamador +Adelina Martey +Felix Nartey +William Osilaja Boampong and +Gerald Sowah for organizing this.
The Ghana Volunteer Program (GVP) is a program being run by the GhanaThink Foundation, an NGO based both in Ghana and the USA. National Volunteer Day, which falls around the 21st of September each year, is our major activity. It was instituted as part of GVP in 2013. This year, National Volunteer Day activities can be organized on 17th, 18th, 21st, 24th & 25th September 2016 as well as other nearby dates. The initiative aims to get as many people as possible in Ghana to volunteer their time or do community service during the Founder’s Day Holiday weekend. While volunteerism is not very popular and part of our society’s fabric, many individuals and organisations volunteer occasionally. National Volunteer Day (NVDay) is to increase these numbers and unify efforts in volunteerism in Ghana. We are encouraging more people to do community service within Ghana. That’s the same spirit our founding fathers engendered within our citizenry.
In 2013, we coordinated over 34 activities in 11 towns in Ghana around 7 regions around September 21. In 2014, we coordinated over 80 activities in 9 regions in Ghana around September 21. In 2015 - around September 19-21, we coordinated over 90 activities in all 10 regions in Ghana around September 21. Over a 1000 volunteers participated across the country. We look forward to more participants for National Volunteer Day in 2016.
Ato Ulzen-Appiah, the director of the GhanaThink Foundation stated: “Volunteering is a great way to show leadership in our communities and for our nation. I hope to see many first time volunteers for this see National Volunteer Day. After NVDay, we can individually say I Made Ghana Better Today! ”. By having volunteer or community service activities, we would be championing the ideals of our founding fathers and joining a national effort to work for Ghana. Volunteering demonstrates initiative and hard work, two ideals that many organisations look for while hiring. We believe that by participating in NVDay, participants would be building their CVs and professional capabilities.
We expect several individuals and organisations to hold different activities throughout the country. Activities ranged from skills training programs, clean up exercises, tutoring in a particular course, reading clinics for kids, blood donation drives, creating playing grounds for kids in the government schools to painting schools and faded zebra crossings. More than 300 people volunteered and their work benefitted thousands of people. The impact on the volunteers and beneficiaries was massive and was captured on social media via the #NVDay15 hashtag.
Eleanor Asare, the lead coordinator for the Ghana Volunteer Program said “NVDay has not only come to stay, but it is also here to cause a positive change in our attitudes towards volunteerism and to serve as a development tool.” Make it a point to be a part of NVDay16 this year by organising and registering your event on our volunteeringh.org website. The registration of your activity will allow us to support you with more volunteers and some publicity. At the volunteeringh.org website, you can also join volunteer activities that are being planned by others. We look forward to hearing about the incredible things you will be doing on NVDay16. Stay updated with what’s happening with the #NVDay16 hashtag and on social media Twitter, Facebook and Google+ . You can also support the organization of National Volunteer Day activities by donating through gofundme.com/Nvday16. Volunteerism, the heart of community development. Watch our promo video