United Nations Volunteers launch global online film festival

01 Dec 2010

Bonn—In the lead-up to International Volunteer Day (5 December), the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme invites the world to an online film festival.

The online festival—which starts at 14:00 GMT +12 on 4 December—will cross the globe, stopping in 12 time zones to see how voluntary action is making a difference in tackling challenges related to environment, hunger, education, maternal health, gender equality, and HIV/AIDs. “These stories don’t make the news, but they are changing the world,” said UNV Executive Coordinator Flavia Pansieri.

“International Volunteer Day is a chance to recognize the contribution of volunteers, especially their role in helping to meet the Millennium Development Goals,” she said. Annually, volunteers contribute US$ 400 billion to the global economy, according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies.

Beginning at 14:00 GMT+12 on 4 December, festival participants will share the story of volunteers fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS in Vanuatu—'the happiest country in the world’. From there, as it crosses the globe, the 24-hour event will invite people to share their ideas and voluntary actions that help the world achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

“Volunteers are making the Goals happen, and in places where the Goals are off target, volunteerism, if supported and managed well, could help turn situations around,” Ms. Pansieri said.

“We need to do more than say thank you. There is an opportunity now for decision-makers to expand volunteer action in efforts aimed at meeting the Goals by empowering volunteers through supportive policies,” she said.

Many of the stories that will be shown on 4 December were made by volunteers or inspired by volunteers working with a range of agencies including: the United Nations, the United Kingdom’s Voluntary Service Overseas, the International Federation of the Red Cross, and civil society¬† groups around the world.

The festival will pass through a number of countries, including: Fiji, Vanuatu, the Philippines, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, Kenya, Cyprus, Albania, Zambia, Guinea Bissau, Spain, Liberia, Ghana, Haiti, Jamaica, Ecuador, and Samoa. Online volunteers based in Malaysia and the United Kingdom and working with organizations in Guatemala, Nepal and Afghanistan will also be featured.

Contact Information

Lisa Hiller
Share the Story Campaign Manager
Tel. +49 (0) 228-815-2161
Email: elisabeth.hiller@unvolunteers.org

To participate visit: www.facebook.com/unvolunteers