Volunteerism is essential in achieving SDGs – Canadian High Commissioner

Accra, Madam Heather Cameron, the Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, has said volunteerism is a powerful resource that could contribute to the implementation of a true people-centered development model to improve lives and achieve slated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

She said volunteers through their work in communities contribute to poverty alleviation through capacity and skills-building, participation and partnership with local government and civil society organisations (CSOs).

Madam Cameron said partnership between nations on a sustained basis was required to achieve SDGs, adding that in an increasingly interconnected world, partnership between individuals and CSOs would play more important role to ensuring that innovative development solutions reached the grassroots.

Speaking at the commemoration of the 2017 International Volunteers Day in Accra, the High Commissioner said volunteerism helps to expand and mobilize constituencies to engage people in national planning and implementation of SDGs.

The event which was held under the theme: Recognizing all volunteers as a driving force that unite the world, brought together collaborating Canadian volunteer groups including; Uniterra, Eqwip Hubs, Crossroads International, Veterinarians Without Borders, Engineers Without Borders and Global Affairs Canada.

It was meant to celebrate the commitment, impact and role of volunteerism and to encourage networking between international volunteers in Ghana to share experiences, insight and solutions between sectors.

While acknowledging the enormous efforts of Canadian volunteers in improving the economic and social well-being of poor and marginalized communities, Madam Cameron said the long tradition of volunteerism was inspired by the ideals of equality, mutual respect and cooperation in a multicultural society.

She expressed optimism of a closer cooperation between Canada and Ghana, contributing towards development efforts that align with the SDGs and Canada’s development action areas; gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, human dignity, environment and climate change action, inclusive governance and peace and security.

She said the United Nations affirms volunteerism as key channel for engagement at all levels to address specific development issues through the development of innovative solutions.

Globally, volunteer networks are effectively promoting voice and participation and responsiveness, as they provide an opportunity to link local, national and global spaces she said, and encouraged the volunteers to develop strategies, partnerships and alliances to foster development across the globe.

Madam Cameron said more than 2,400 Canadian volunteers have been deployed to over 42 countries with more than 11,000 others and 15 volunteer cooperation agencies to be deployed between 2015 and 2020.

Mr Loius Amo, Head of Americas Unit at the Ministry of Finance, lauded Canada for continuously providing support to Ghana in reducing poverty and improving the general well-being of communities through volunteerism.

Bilateral relations between our two countries have remained strong and Ghana remains one of the most important development partner countries of Canada in Africa he said.

He pledged government’s commitment to strengthening the cooperation and relationship between the two countries in the coming years.

Source: Ghana News Agency