United Nations Volunteers (UNV) based in Kenya have received awards from the Volunteer of the Year Awards (VOYA) 2021 for the voluntary work they do, to support the vulnerable in society.
The Volunteer of the Year Awards is an event organized by United Nations to honor the outstanding contribution of the volunteers in the community for their dedication and commitment to improve the lives of people in society.
Public Service, Gender, Senior Citizen Affairs and Special Programmes Cabinet Secretary Prof. Margaret Kobia said the government recognizes volunteerism as it helps in promoting a people-led approach to service delivery.
Kobia noted that the engagement of volunteers in service delivery is a renewable resource for achievement of the development agenda in the country.
“When one offers their services to another in a form of love and kindness, it helps in enhancing peace, cohesion and inclusive development in the communities they live in,” said Kobia.
The CS made the remarks in a speech read on her behalf by the Principal Secretary State Department for Social Protection, Senior Citizen Affairs and Special Programmes Mr. Nelson Marwa during the Volunteer of the Year Awards 2021 at a Nairobi hotel.
Kobia said the implementation of the National Volunteerism Goals Policy of 2016 has articulated the government’s aspirations towards integrating volunteerism as an enabler for achievement of national and international agenda.
“This year’s theme, ‘Volunteer now for a better future’, has helped inspire people to stand up and take action,” Kobia said. She said when community members are encouraged to identify their problems and are involved in addressing them, the solutions are usually sustainable and visible.
The CS said that an all-inclusive strategic collaboration among the government, private sector and volunteer organizations will help volunteerism flourish and contribute towards a formidable National agenda.
Kobia who congratulated the volunteers for their continued dedication towards supporting the vulnerable members of the community, said the honoring of volunteers encourages volunteerism which is an important part of creating a more equal and inclusive future for communities.
Speaking at the event, the Makueni County Governor Prof. Kivutha Kibwana said volunteerism is a key to spiritual expression as those involved, volunteer without expecting anything in return.
“I congratulate the awardees and remind them that there is also a process to apply for state recognition which is good particularly for young people, ” he added.
The Governor also called upon the government to include provisions in the law that allow willing senior citizens to participate in volunteering.
By Njeri Kariuki