04.12.2010 | UNV: Global Online Film Festival

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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.

To participate visit: www.facebook.com/unvolunteers
Media contact: Lisa Hiller, Share the Story Campaign Manager, Tel. +49 (0) 228-815-2161. Email: elisabeth.hiller@unvolunteers.org

About UNV: The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that promotes volunteerism to support peace and development worldwide. Volunteerism can transform the pace of and nature of development, and it benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer. UNV contributes to peace and development by advocating for volunteerism globally, encouraging partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming and mobilizing volunteers.

UNV volunteers work in more than 130 countries around the world. Last year, 7,545 UNV volunteers from 154 countries contributed their skills towards to the work of 20 United Nations organizations, 17 UN Missions, and many local institutions.

To join the discussion and to participate in the film festival visit:
www.facebook.com/unvolunteers

To download full media release [pdf]:
United Nations Volunteers Launch Global Online Film Festival

For more information on the Share the Story campaign visit:
Share the Story: Volunteering for the MDGs

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