Ministry Exerting Efforts to Consolidate Voluntary Service in Ethiopia

96

Addis Ababa, ENA, October 19/2012 Efforts are underway to strengthen voluntary service in the country so that it could contribute to the development of the nation, according to Ministry of Women, Children and Youth.
Youth Movement and Participation Director at the ministry, Mattias Aseffa told ENA that the ministry has carried out awareness creation activities to bring attitudinal change among the public and make volunteerism a culture.

Besides, a National Volunteer Policy that aims to sustain the existing voluntary activities and benefit the public at large is sent to the House of People’s Representatives for approval, he added.

 According to him, the draft policy for voluntary services is long overdue, but is expected to be approved this Ethiopian year.

The draft policy states that participating in voluntary activities will facilitate conditions for the participants as it enables them to benefit from various opportunities in the country.

Training has also been given to various stakeholders in order to enable them to engage in the activities and bring attitudinal change about voluntary service among the society, the director stated.

Mattias pointed out that the country has saved over seven billion birr through voluntary activities undertaken nationwide during the last rainy season. 
Moreover, “in terms of social benefit, many needy people, orphans, street children, elders and victims of car accidents have benefited from the voluntary services.”

Compared to other countries, voluntary services remains very low, the director said, adding that Kenya is, for example, saving about 4 billion USD every year through voluntary services, which contribute highly to the gross domestic products of the country.

Volunteerism among the youth in the country will help to widen the life skills of the youth and  promote friendship and understanding among the participants and service recipients.

Voluntary service has been conducted in Ethiopia for the past ten years.