Volunteering for Social Change

From the 7th to the 10th of November took place the 24th IAVE World Conference, organized by IAVE, the Mexican Centre of Philanthropy – CEMEFI and Amevol.

Once every two years the conference becomes the main meeting point for NGOs and volunteering associations leaders, volunteers, company managers, governments (yes, that’s right, public administrations all over the world promote, manage and certify volunteering actions), universities, civic centres, religious groups and experts from all over the world. In this occasion, the conference was attended by nearly 600 people from 56 countries.

24-conferencia-iave-1With the title “Volunteering for social change”, during the conference were presents various studies and researches, and there were spaces dedicated to workshops, debates, dialogues and the exchange of experiences and good practices.

With the aim was to promote and acknowledge the achievements of voluntary actions, as well as develop a global vision on it, the conference was a complete success and became a clear example of the richness and diversity existing in the world of volunteering. It was also the occasion to get updated regarding the needs and worries of the sector, its achievements and the initiatives that take place in each world region.

Lluc Martí, coordinator of the program “Active Volunteers”, enjoyed three keynote addresses, carried out by Kami Naidoo, from South Africa, Salil Shetty, from India, and Teresa Perales from Spain. Kami Naidoo, former director of CIVICUS and Greenpeace, pointed out the need to dedicate more efforts to public advocacy, to take more seriously the need to collaborate with various sectors, to be more ambitious and understand the urgency to achieve tangible changes, remembering the success of some initiative led by the organized civic society. On the other hand, the general secretary of Amnesty International and leader of the global Millennium campaign, Salil Shetty, demanded that people who are activists, fighters and peace builders around the world are considered as volunteers. 24-conferencia-iave-5He reminded the refugees’ crisis and the relevant role that young people need to play in order to reach the new list of objectives for sustainable development. The Paralympics medallist Teresa Perales carried out the closing act, sharing her experience of struggle and self-improvement, as well as her winning mentality.

FCV presented the program “Active Voluneers” in the session called “Volunteering and inclusion-Generation Change”, which was dedicated to young people and where he shared his point of view together with the representatives of Ashoka (Mexico), Walt Disney (Argentina) and Catholic University Andres Bello (Venezuela), that was attended by 30 representatives from south-American organizations.

Along with official speeches and a warm welcoming, the attendees participated in various formative workshops and were able to know the results of the 8th IAVE World Youth Volunteer Conference, that took place from the 3rd to the 5th of November in Puebla, Mexico and that was attended by more than 300 young people from around the world. In addition, they could understand the various perspectives of volunteering, its challenges, problems, priorities and take the pulse of how the current situation of volunteering is around the world.

One of the best moments was the tribute to the founder of the organization, Mary Ripley, where there was one of his sons and where the president of IAVE, Kyle Bates, remembered her last participation in an IAVE conference, in 2004 in Barcelona.

24-conferencia-iave-3The program included a dance and music performance in the “Palacio de Bellas Artes”, which got all the participants excited.

In Mexico, IAVE presented the two conferences that will take place in 2017: the 7th Latin America Regional Conference, in Guatemala, and the next Pacifi-Asia regional conference in Malasia. After London 2012, in 2018 the World conference will come back to Europe and, specifically, in the Bavarian city of Augsburg, Germany.

In the last 10 years, IAVE world conferences took place in India, Panama, Singapore, the United Kingdom and Australia. This is the 4th conference attended by Lluc Martí who, 10 years ago, was selected to speak in the Youth Conference and in the main IAVE conference in New Delhi, in 2006. FCV was a co-organizer of two IAVE Youth conferences (in Panama in 2008 and in Singapore in 2011), as well as three Youth Forums during three IAVE regional conferences in Pasific-Asia (Taiwan), in Latin America (Colombia) and the first one in an Arabic country (Lebanon), from IAVE Youth world office in Catalonia, which was managed by FCV.

24-conferencia-iave-4FCV aspires to be the organization that represents IAVE in Europe, as well as to be part of IAVE world assembly.

FCV is creating and promoting worldwide a toolbox for Active Volunteering and is promoting the realization of two international training courses called “Volunteering for Change” and “Volunteerinf for Peace”. As a result of its participation in the conference, FCV aims at strengthening its collaboration with other public and private NGOs from Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Guatemala, the United States, Canada and the Philippines, in order to favour the exchange, the association and learning among Catalan and international organizations.