ECOWAS Volunteers Programme begins 7th Regional Coordination Council Meeting18 Dec, 2018
Abuja, 17th December 2018. The 7th meeting of the Regional Coordination Council of the Economic Community of West Africans States (ECOWAS)’ Volunteers Programme (EVP) began in Abuja, Nigeria on the 17th of December 2018.
The meeting allows for the review of the implementation of the 2018 programmes and budget of the regional office while paving the way for the adoption of the 2019 EVP work programme and budget, after the assignment of new tasks.
Declaring the meeting open, the ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner for Social Affairs and Gender Dr. Siga Fatima Jagne noted that volunteering is recognised worldwide as a system that harnesses the knowledge and experiences of millions of people by offering them the opportunity to contribute freely to the development of their communities.
She maintained that it is against this backdrop that ECOWAS, in collaboration with its financial and technical partners, established the EVP “to facilitate the engagement and participation of its young citizens in regional and national peace and development initiatives through volunteering and in accordance with its Vision 2020”.
According to Commissioner Jagne, who is also the chair of the Regional Coordination Council (RCC) of the EVP, volunteering is now an opportunity for people to “take action to make development happen and build resilient communities”
Thanks to diligence, commitment, purposeful leadership and active support of all stakeholders Dr. Jagne opined that the EVP is now a regional and continental reference point in international volunteering.
She expressed the confidence that with the collective efforts of the stakeholders driving the process, and the commitment advocated by volunteering, hope would come the way to communities in the region while strengthening sustainable development and peace building.
Welcoming the participants to the two-Day meeting, the Director, ECOWAS Youth and Sports Development Centre (EYSDC) Francis Chuks Njoaguani, stressed the need for commitment on the part of stakeholders in order to have a realistic and beneficial EVP work programme for 2019.
Through the EVP, no fewer than 175 volunteers, including 104 men and women have been deployed to three post conflict countries in West Africa namely Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone as well as the EVP Regional Office in Burkina Faso.
Guinea Bissau, the fourth pilot programme country, is expected to receive its first batch of volunteers by the end of 2018.