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Viet Nam approves major new volunteerism project

13 January 2009

Ha Noi, Viet Nam:
The Prime Minister of Viet Nam has approved a million-dollar UNV-led project that will help develop the country's voluntary sector.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung signed an agreement to proceed with the three-year 'Strengthening the Capacity of Volunteerism for Development' project on 8 January 2009. In partnership with the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCYU), it involves establishing a Viet Nam Volunteer Information Resource Centre to help raise awareness of volunteerism for development.

Other planned outcomes include policy recommendations for the drafting of regulations on volunteerism; and enhancing the capacity of HCYU and other volunteer-involving organizations to assist youth and other vulnerable groups through volunteerism.

About half of the financing, $530,000, will come from the UNV Special Voluntary Fund, a general funding pool to which various donor governments and institutions contribute. It allows UNV to develop new approaches to volunteerism for development, and support pilot activities that demonstrate the added value of volunteerism.

HCYU, Viet Nam's largest volunteering organization, will join with corporate sponsor Viet Nam Telecom and three international volunteering organizations – Australian Volunteers International (AVI), Volunteering for International Development (VIDA) and Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) – to co-sponsor the project. Their contribution totals about $370,000 and each of the international organizations will also assign a volunteer.

The 'Strengthening the Capacity of Volunteerism for Development' project is also part of the UN 'Delivering as One' initiative, which aims to coordinate UN agencies for faster and more effective development operations and accelerated progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. Viet Nam is one of the eight 'Delivering as One' pilot countries and the UN Viet Nam One Plan fund is contributing about $190,000.

(Source: UNV Global website

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