UN staff in Mogadishu, Somalia, on Friday, 3 December 2021 turned out in droves, to take part in a fun run, to mark International Volunteers Day (IVD). This was in solidarity with the volunteerism campaign and in line with this year’s theme, “Volunteer Now for Our Common Future.”
Organised by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) team in Somalia, in collaboration with the UN Staff Welfare and Recreation Committee (SWRC), the event drew ecstatic participants who took part in the 5-, 10- and 15-kilometre runs.
In addition to promoting fitness and healthy living, the early morning event presented an opportunity for all to promote the ideals of volunteering and the spirit of volunteerism.
While flagging off the participants, the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme in Somalia, Mr Jocelyn Mason said, “Volunteerism is an integral part of what we do at the United Nations. Therefore, may the spirit of volunteerism lead you on your marathon.”
A feverish atmosphere filled the air as participants drawn from different UN Agencies, Funds, Programmes and Missions, including the African Union Mission in Somalia, eagerly waited to be flagged off.
Encouraging, recognising and promoting volunteerism is an important part of creating a more equal and inclusive future for communities and worldwide
The IVD is marked annually on 5 December, to recognise and promote the tireless work of UN Volunteers, across the globe It is an opportunity for all to advance the Sustainable Development Goals, at all levels.
The SDGs were adopted by the UN in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
Speaking after the run, Mr Mason said, “The celebrations and values espoused by IVD, fills the team at the UN with optimism for a better future and called for concerted efforts to transform the world. For generations of tomorrow, we must take responsibility for the changes needed to build a better future now.”
Encouraging, recognising and promoting volunteerism is an important part of creating a more equal and inclusive future for communities and worldwide.
Mr Mason hailed all volunteers across the world and particularly, saluted persons volunteering in Somalia, for their commitment to humanity and staying the course, despite challenges posed by the terrorist group Al-Shabaab and disruptions brought about by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, goodwill messages were sent by the Head of UNSOS, Ms Lisa Filipetto and UNSOS Director, Mr Amadu Kamara.
After the run, all the participants were hosted to a breakfast at the UN compound hosted by the SWRC.
The UN acknowledges sports as a tool for social progress that can be used to inspire youth to engage in peacebuilding and development activities in countries that have experienced conflict such as Somalia.