International Volunteer Day (IVD) 2014

Mukuru kwa Ruben Center of HOPE had the pleasure of hosting this year’s International Volunteer Day (IVD) held on 5th December 2014. The favourable weather set a joyous mood which energized the team of volunteers and representatives of volunteer involving organisations to ‘Make Change Happen’ which was the theme of the day.

The volunteers came ready to make change happen within the Mukuru community through tree planting, clean up and a fire drill.

Over 400 volunteers gathered to celebrate this day.

“We celebrate all our volunteers for their sacrifice and contribution. As you may have experienced (if you live in Kenya), Mukuru becomes a muddy mess during the rainy season. Our volunteers brave this and many other challenges so they can  serve the members of this community,” Ms. Tabitha Muia, Corporate Communications Officer at HOPE worldwide Kenya, shared in her welcome speech to the volunteers at the Mukuru Center of HOPE.

Youth volunteers warm the stage as they dance

The event was graced by the United Nations Volunteer (UNV) Regional Manager for Africa, Dr. Tapiwa Kamuruko who read both speeches from the UNV Executive Coordinator and the UN Secretary General. The Secretary General shared, “On this International Volunteer Day, let us be inspired by the many individuals who selflessly serve others, and let us resolve to do our part to contribute, freely and proactively, to change conditions now towards a better future for all.”

Dr. Tapiwa Kamuruko led the volunteers in a tree planting exercise.

Mr. Thomas Ngumi, from the Ministry of Labor read the speech from the Cabinet Secretary; and the area Chief also graced the occasion.

The Kenya Forest Services made their contribution and participated in making change happen by donating 200 tree seedlings. The tree seedlings were planted at different institutions within Mukuru Kwa Ruben including Ruben Baptist School, Mukuru Menno School, African Church and Gatoto School.

The guests led the tree planting exercise while the volunteers followed to plant the trees in all the selected institutions. Each volunteer gladly took a seedling and planted it carefully with guidance from the Kenya Forest Service Embakasi sub-county Technical officer.

The volunteers applauded efforts by the government to recognize and budget for volunteerism, and commemorate IVD in all counties in the coming years.

The grounds in schools within Mukuru are mostly bare and dusty and also muddy during the rainy season. There is no doubt the trees will transform Mukuru and make change happen.