Tuesday, 19 November 2013



13 November 2013

Bonn, Germany
: The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme today announced the ten winners of the "Online Volunteering Award 2013" and launched a global voting campaign for the public’s favourite winner.

Every year, UNV connects more than 11,000 online volunteers with development organizations across the globe through its Online Volunteering service (www.onlinevolunteering.org). Congratulating the winners, UNV Executive Coordinator Richard Dictus emphasized that "Online volunteering provides the opportunity for people to serve others from where they are, overcoming the constraints of distance, money, gender, age and physical challenges. It is truly the spirit of solidarity exemplified through people expressing their humanness."

In the lead up to

International Volunteer Day (IVD) on 5 December, UNV invites citizens worldwide to be inspired by the winners’ stories and participate in the global voting for their favourite winner on http://www.onlinevolunteering.org/en/org/stories/index.html.

The team that gets the most votes will be announced as the public’s favourite on IVD.

The winners’ stories
have been published on the Online Volunteering service website (http://www.onlinevolunteering.org/en/org/stories/index.html), where anyone can vote for their favourite winners:

Abhishek N., Aruna Babu, Arundhathi Harikrishna, Cheryl Stafford, Debjani Sengupta, Deepa Chandrashekar, Deepa Kumar, Pavithra S., Pavithra Rajan, Renganayaki Nambi, Rahul Muralidhara, Saleshni Chaudhary:
Online volunteers from across the globe have been developing and teaching daily online classes in various subjects to around 200 children with visual or hearing disabilities across 8 cities in India for Ann Foundation. The U.S.-based NGO is a volunteer organization dedicated to educating and empowering economically and socially marginalized children and youth with disabilities through projects in India, Ukraine, Cameroon and Egypt. With the support of hundreds of online volunteers who have collaborated with the organization over the past years, Ann Foundation has empowered over 2,000 children.

Agnieszka Joanna Stolarczyk
: Online volunteer Agnieszka Joanna Stolarczyk from Poland has played a major role in boosting the visibility and recognition of Noble Missions for Change Initiative (NMI), a Nigerian NGO that works to empower underprivileged children by providing them with information, skills and support for a healthy and productive livelihood.

Aksa Bilal, Chioma Okwudiafor, Daniel Benson, David Arnett, Diego Lopez, Eleana Velentza, Fanny Bessem, Fortunato Novelliere, Gabriela Campos, Hamsini Srinivasan, Happy Mukama, James Carstensen, Kirthi Jayakumar, Lontsi Fomekong, Md. Nahidul Islam, Nidhi Modani, Prasad Ramachandran, Sharique Hassan Manazir, Shudzeka Eric Tewiy, Slawosz Fliegner, Wendy Chan, William Kin:
A global team of 48 online volunteers carried out research on the entrepreneurial environment in African countries and produced an e-book and articles for the Association of African Entrepreneurs (AAE). The final product titled "Hopes and Mirages" is intended to serve as a guide for anyone who wishes to embark on a business enterprise in the region. 2

Alexander Harris, Ashwinkumar Dakshinamurthi, Neha Jain, Sangeeta Pandey: Four online volunteers joined forces with Global Civil Initiatives, Inc. (GCI), an NGO based in Kyrgyzstan, to develop a project proposal on low-carbon technologies for sustainable energy generation, poverty alleviation and climate change adaptability in the Issyk-Kul region. The proposal aims at enabling the rural population in regions with no access to electricity to gain increased benefits from the use of sustainable, low carbon technology. The project also aims at facilitating livelihood generation and increase community engagement in sustainable energy solutions in the region.

Beth deBeer, Lea-Kristin Martin, Lilani Seram, Louis-Marie Ngamassi, Prasida Khanal, Shaopeng He:
A diverse group of 37 online volunteers from across the globe engaged in 4 months of intense collaboration with the United Nations Department of Economic Affairs (UN DESA) to process 386 research surveys carried out across 193 UN Member States for the 2014 UN E-Government Survey. The diversity of nationalities and languages of the online volunteers -- more than 65 languages, representing more than 15 nationalities out of which half are from developing countries -- mirrors perfectly the culture and mission of the United Nations.

Elaheh Zohrevandi, Emmanuel Owobu, Isaac Owusu, Kirthi Jayakumar, Suman George, Usha Shenoy:
A team of online volunteers produced a monthly e-zine, supported a campaign to open the first school in Okoijorogu village, and drafted an eye-care plan that serves several villages in rural Nigeria. They supported Delta Women, the U.S.-based NGO working to empower women in Delta state, Nigeria, and worldwide.

Camille Seccaud, Elizabeth Fernandez-Begault, Saley Djibo, Virginie de Nobrega:
The Benin-based NGO Fondation Joseph The Worker tasked a team of online volunteers from France and Niger to produce a manual, guide and image box on the prevention of torture. The online volunteers researched, drafted and reviewed the texts, developed guidance documents for the image box and designed the images.

Leonardo Parrado Varón:
Online volunteer Leonardo Parrado Varón from Colombia supported children’s right to education by putting his design skills at the service of the Asociación Aprendo Contigo (I Learn with You), a Peruvian non-profit organization that delivers educational services to children and youth undergoing medical treatments. His 20 designs of Pipo, the organization’s signature doll, were used to produce two new board games for children. 200 sets have already been sold, helping the organization gain visibility and strengthen its financial sustainability.

Leonardo Parrado Varón, Susana Mammola:
The Colombian Red Cross collaborated with online volunteers to design training resources for Red Cross volunteers, produce educational materials for vulnerable communities, draft the 50th anniversary edition of the Grey Ladies Magazine and develop an outreach campaign for the recruitment of national Red Cross volunteers.

Mridula Bhat:
Online volunteer Mridula Bhat, an Australian national originally from India, has played a key role in making the educational programme of The People's Open Access Education Initiative smooth and student-oriented. The UK-registered charity offers online education and capacity building in Public Health for developing countries. A number of students have already obtained postgraduate qualifications through this initiative.3

The jury of experts in volunteerism and development cooperation chose the winners based on their commitment and contributions, the results of their collaboration and their impact on the activities of the organizations they supported. Besides UNV representatives from Field Units and headquarters, the jury included:

• Mr. Youssef Ali Al-Kazim, Secretary General, Arab Federation for Voluntary Activities, and Chair of Qatar Centre for Voluntary Activity

• Mr. Marc Fillieux, Coordinator of Resourcing Unit, Talent Management Branch, International Labour Organization

• Mr. Luis Neves, Group Climate Change and Sustainability Officer, Group Change and Corporate Responsibility, Deutsche Telekom

• Ms. Irene Perurena, Director of International Organizations and Cooperation, City of Knowledge Foundation

• Ms. Susan Stroud, Founder and Executive Director, and Sarah Rutherford, Service Fellow, Innovations in Civic Participation

• Ms. Anne-Marie Bekaert, UN Online Volunteer

On International Volunteer Day (IVD) on 5 December 2013,
we celebrate our commitment and hope for a better world. The main focus of IVD 2013 is awareness of and recognition for volunteers and volunteer organizations. The purpose is to recognize this commitment, to inform people about the impact of volunteering on peace and sustainable development, and to applaud volunteers for their dedication and impact.

The International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development (International Volunteer Day) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly through Resolution A/RES/40/212 on 17 December 1985. Since then, governments, the UN system and civil society organizations have successfully joined volunteers around the world to celebrate the Day on 5 December. Learn more at www.volunteeractioncounts.org


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