Hundreds to participate in National Volunteer Symposium
THE JAMAICA National Building Society (JNBS) Foundation, the Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS) and CUSO International have renewed their collaborative initiative and will host the second annual National Volunteer Symposium, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston, on Friday, December 5, which is being observed as World International Volunteer Day.
The symposium, under the theme, 'Volunteerism: A Spotlight on Youth Leadership and Innovation,' will demonstrate and highlight how volunteerism can become an effective means of honing the leadership skills of youth volunteers, as well as to generate innovative social programmes to tackle negative societal issues.
"Approximately 100 youth volunteers will participate in the symposium," Saffrey Brown, general manager, JNBS Foundation, said. "And, this year's staging is designed to facilitate increased interaction between presenters and participants for a mutually beneficial experience."
Brown explained that in addition to the formal presentations, there will be a world café featuring six stations, hosted by adult leaders of local social volunteer groups. This will give the young participants the opportunity to meet in smaller groups to learn from the experiences of the respective hosts.
"This year, world café will allow our young volunteers to interact with our established leaders of volunteer organisations who are creating impactful legacies. The leaders will relate their experiences from working in social programmes to the young volunteers, as well as to respond to questions," Brown outlined.
"We are also launching the 'GoVolunteer Contest,' prior to the symposium. Our young volunteers will be invited to submit a brief video highlighting a social project or venture they would like to initiate or expand. These videos will be shortlisted, and persons submitting videos will pitch their project at the symposium. Based on their presentations, the most innovative project will receive an award," Brown announced.
A grant of $50,000 will be awarded to the youth volunteer leader who submitted the best video presentation highlighting their project idea. The awardee will be decided and announced at the symposium, and the award presented.
The symposium will be the precursor for the CVSS' Day of Care initiative on December 6. On that day, the youth volunteers will be encouraged to turn out to assist groups of homeless persons in downtown Kingston.