Volunteering, an essential building-block for development

10 November 2005

Through volunteering, civil society plays a key role for development. Such is the assessment made by the enquiry "Volunteering, Youth and ICTs," a report realized by various African associations, this observation has served as a canvas for different solidarity projects, mainly in Mali, country where the enquiry took place.

Carried out under the auspices of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and the one of New Information and Communication Technologies, the investigation was coordinated by ICV-Mali. The report of the working group analyses questions related to Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) from different angles, keeping in mind the question of volunteering.

Direct links between the Millennium Development Goals and ICTs are clearlz outlined in the study. The report also looks at the implications at the level of State management underlining the role of decentralization and local governance. The report also focuses on the vindication that they offer a unique opportunity  and a dynamic tool for Malian youth, or youth in any other developing country, contributing to the accomplishment of the potential for humanity. Volunteerism for youth can be seen as a common thread and the report underlines its role as a means for enhancing a spirit entrepreneurship.

"Our society needs committed and motivated citizens", ensures Mohamed El Moctar Mahamar, coordinator of the working group and representative of ICVolunteers-Mali. When he just obtained his diploma, Mahamar immediately committed himself in the construction of his own future by volunteering in the educational service of his region, thus building valuable experience and of interest. "The program saw itself carried at the ministerial level and I was asked to help coordinate the program." Consciences about the positive impact of his commitment, Mahamar did not hesitate a moment to join ICVolunteers when the opportunity came up.

Oumar Diamounténé, an active member of ICV-Mali, is generally motivated by the aims of ICVolunteers. "Though not well structured in my country, volunteering is not a new phenomenon at all. ICV-Mali offers solid foundations to this means for development, ensuring thus a stable basis for the new generation that will follow in our footsteps."

To actively involve young people and less young people giving them a chance to develop their own solutions. Making sure that each one can, if he wants to, architect of his own future. This is the definition of volunteering. As points out H.E. Mr. Adama Samassékou, former Minister of Mali and president of the international federation of ICVolunteers "volunteering offers accompanying rather then intervention."

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