LAGOS CELEBRATES INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEERS DAY

Rewards 50 Outstanding Lagos State Volunteer Corps Members

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the International Day of Volunteers, the Lagos State Government has rewarded 50 outstanding members of the Lagos State Volunteer Corps (LSVC) with cash gifts for their remarkable services towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Speaking at a retreat organised by the Office of Sustainable Development Goals and Investment, in conjunction with UN Volunteers in Nigeria, to mark 50 years of UN Volunteers activities across the globe, the Special Adviser to the Governor on SDG, Mrs. Solape Hammond said that the State government was inspired by the profound contributions of the volunteers towards building a better future.

Speaking about the initiative, the Special Adviser said: “The State Volunteerism Corps was motivated by value. This value, which was conceived by Mr. Governor a few years ago, has become an indispensable structure that is making the government responsive to citizens and creating a more inclusive and efficient development”.

Mrs. Hammond pointed out that as an essential act of citizenship, the volunteers’ course has galvanised Statewide attention, encouraging and fostering a culture of service, adding that efforts of participants remain vital in Mr. Governor’s aspiration to grow a sustainable society where every Lagosian will live a fulfilled life and contribute to the development of the State.

On the theme of this year’s occasion, “Volunteer Now for Our Common Future”, the Special adviser maintained that volunteerism is an agent of change because it is one of the best expressions of civic engagement, saying “The gift of your time and talents can make it possible to positively impact another person’s life”.

She stated that beneficiaries of the cash reward exhibited leadership and passion in the course of service to humanity.

Applauding the immense contributions of the volunteers in the delivery of SDGs targets across Lagos, Hammond noted that the impact of their activities have been significant, particularly during the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic when the government was trying to flatten the curve of the disease.

She enumerated some of the projects the volunteers have successfully executed to include the Community Clean-Up, Tree Planting, Elderly Medical Checkup, the Snacks for Thought, Mother, Infant and Child (MICH) Initiative and Mental Health Survey among others, stressing that the Office is looking forward to a making more impact in the State particularly in vulnerable communities.

In her remarks, the UN Volunteers Country Coordinator, Ms. Veronica Obiuwevbi, spoke extensively on the theme of the Y2021 International Volunteers Day campaign, “Volunteer Now for Our Common Future”, maintaining that volunteerism can help ensure that no-one is left behind and that by working together, we can build a fair, equitable and sustainable future for all.

She disclosed that the Day is dedicated to showcasing volunteers’ contributions and impact by highlighting local actions at various levels while also thanking them for their actions and commitment.

On her part, the Permanent Secretary, Office of Sustainable Development Goals and Investment, Mrs. Abosede George, described volunteerism as a basic expression of human support that is centred on the five Ps of SDGs which are People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnerships.

She said the State’s Volunteer Corps, comprising diverse individuals, has over 9,000 membership relentlessly implementing strategic SDG projects in different communities across Lagos.

While applauding the State Government’s passion towards volunteerism as a platform for the achievement of the SDGs, Mrs. George advised that the present administration should project the practice of volunteerism as a culture to further strengthen civic engagement, social inclusion and solidarity among citizens.

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