Speech by Ms. Akiko Fujii, Deputy Country Director at the International Volunteer Day (IVD) Celebration 2017

Dec 4, 2017

Date: 2 December 2017
Event: 2017 International Volunteer Day Celebration
Venue: King Ly Thai To Statue, Hoan Kiem Lake

Dear Mr Nguyen Phi Long, Secretary of the HCM Communist Youth Union, President of Viet Nam Youth Federation; Mr Vu Minh Ly, Director of Viet Nam Volunteer Center, representatives from volunteer involving organizations, media, colleagues and volunteers.

Today, I have the honor to represent UNV in the 2017 international volunteer day ceremony together with the National Volunteer Award today.

First of all, we would like to thank everyone who contributed to making this event possible, especially the Youth Union.

The theme of the international volunteer day this year is ‘Volunteers as first responders in times of crisis’.

Such crises may arise as a result of forced migration, armed conflict or natural disaster. Often themselves members of the affected communities, and in the face of considerable personal difficulty and danger, volunteers help save lives, provide assistance to the displaced, and assist in covering the basic needs of vulnerable populations.

For example, the severe Damrey typhoon in early November caused flooding that affected 15 provinces in Central Viet Nam. It created acute water, sanitation, shelter, food and nutrition emergency needs. Many volunteers helped after the typhoon to assess the damage and its effect on communities, and supported relief operations. They mobilized resources, distributed household kits to communities and assisted in cleaning up and in disease prevention.

There are 20 national and international UNVs working with us at the United Nations here in Vietnam and they are also contributing to peace and development in their work. Every single day, they are an inspiration to all of us around them, with their enthusiasm, their energy, their work ethic and their desire to contribute to positive change.

Through volunteering, I believe that anyone, no matter what their age, where they come from, or what their socio-economic status, has the potential to inspire others if they live with that same enthusiasm, energy, work ethic and desire to contribute.

We encourage everyone, but young people in particular, to get involved. Young people in Vietnam between the ages of 16 and 30 represent nearly 30% of the country’s population. Of course, there are many challenges facing the youth of this country, but young people also have so much potential. I encourage you to demonstrate your potential through volunteering.

Later at this ceremony, the Youth Union and UNV will be giving awards to 9 organizations and 9 individuals, those who have contributed the most to the development of Viet Nam with high volunteerism spirit. Please join me in honoring them and all of you, the volunteers, who are present here today for your great achievement and devote to your community and the society as whole.

Xin cam on!



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