"Ordinary People - Everyday Heroes"

The first week of June is internationally recognized as an opportunity to salute the sterling services of volunteers. In South Africa this serves as a reminder to the non profit sector of the critical contribution which volunteers make to essential services in our community.

 

During Volunteer Week all organizations that utilize volunteers are encouraged to acknowledge the vital role which volunteers play within our communities.

 

It is against the backdrop of the past two weeks in South Africa that we have been reminded of the ways in which Ordinary People become our Everyday Heroes.

 

Ordinary citizens of South Africa – housewives, fathers, business people, students, grandparents – have formed the ground swell of the relief efforts to the thousands of foreigners who have been displaced in recent days. We have witnessed with deep shame and horror the inhumanity with which our brothers and sisters of neighbouring countries are being treated. This has been counterbalanced by the pride with which we see the humanitarian support reaching those who have been affected.

 

It is only fitting therefore that during this Volunteer Week of 1st to 7th June 2008 we pause to salute the unsung heroes who have spent hours providing transport, shelter, cooking and serving meals, sorting and distribution clothing and other essentials items and providing the counseling support and the many other areas of support needed by so many victims.

 

Volunteer Week is an opportunity of spreading awareness and educating communities on the roles volunteers play within any country, especially in terms of social and disaster relief and emergency services, where people’s live depend on the commitment of volunteers.

 

The Volunteer Centre is of the beliefs that volunteer networks – which compromise committed individuals and groups, assist and enhance social cohesion at various levels providing favorable conditions for collective endeavors. In this respect, volunteerism contributes to the fabric of social capital which is critical for development.

 

To honor, celebrate and promote this effort that so often goes unnoticed, the Volunteer Centre remains part of the national and international movement which aims to build on the legacy of services by consolidating and developing volunteering into the most important social movement of our time. The contribution of volunteers is critical in the sustainable development of our country.

 

The Volunteer Centre is a membership-based organization, which assist in the efficient and effective use of volunteers to assist in the delivery of much needed services in communities across South Africa. Members are generally Non-Profit Organizations & Corporate who engage in volunteering programmes

The Volunteer Centre has satellite offices situated at Mitchell’s Plain, Khayelitsha, Vredendal and Beaufort West. The Head Office of the organization is based at 124 Belvedere Road, Claremont. For more information – or find out more about how you can make a difference, please contact us on 021 674 5338 or info@volcent.co.za – or view our website at www.volcent.co.za for more information.

 

The Volunteer Centre’s Mission Statement is based on its belief in both the power and impact of volunteering:

 

The Volunteer Centre exist to motivate and develop effective volunteering through consultations, training, information and placement services for the benefit of all.

                                            

 

Deline Van Boom

Director – Volunteer Centre