|ECOWAS VOLUNTEERS PROGRAMME CONCLUDES 8TH REGIONAL COORDINATION COUNCIL MEETINGAbuja, December 6-7, 2021 – The ECOWAS Commission through the Department of Social Affairs and Gender has organized the eighth meeting of the ECOWAS Volunteers Programme Regional Coordination Council (EVP-RCC). The EVP was established in 2004 with the support of African Development Bank and the United Nations Volunteer Programme to build a pool of young men and women from the ECOWAS region ready to be deployed to post-conflict countries for the promotion and consolidation of peace, recovery, reconciliation and national rehabilitation. Participants at the council meeting were drawn from different directorates of the ECOWAS Commission, current volunteer host countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone, the ECOWAS Peace Fund and the ECOWAS Youth and Sports Development Centre (EYSDC), Regional implementing agency of the EVP.
The Commissioner for Social Affairs and Gender, Dr. Siga Fatima Jagne, in her opening address, welcomed participants to the meeting which had commenced in November 2020, but could not be concluded due to operational difficulties. She conveyed “the gratitude of the ECOWAS Commission to all participants for responding positively to invitation and for supporting this crucial process in the development of volunteerism in West Africa”. She promised the support of the Social Affairs and Gender Department for the initiatives and conclusions that will emerge from this meeting in order to build a stronger EVP.
In his welcome address earlier, the Director, ECOWAS Youth and Sports Development Center (EYSDC), Mr. Francis Chuks Njoaguani, expressed appreciation to all EVP-RCC members for their attendance at previous sessions of the Council meeting and said that this concluding session is to review and finalise the programme’s administrative and management procedures manual and volunteers conditions of service as well as adopt for publication the “Guide to Good Practices in the Contribution of Volunteerism to the Fight against Epidemics in the ECOWAS region”. He wished the meeting fruitful deliberations and looked forward to the validation of the reviewed EVP official texts by the Management of the ECOWAS Commission.
It will be recalled that since inception, the ECOWAS Volunteers Programme has deployed about 177 volunteers to Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, the EYSDC, UNFPA Liberia, and WAHO. A new set of volunteers is presently being recruited and will be deployed in 2022 to the Republics of Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau and Liberia.