As part of the ongoing training, education and development of its members and the general public, Rotaract Club of Nicosia organised on 5/11/2013, a Professional Development event titled “The Concept of Volunteering in Modern Society”.
The Commissioner for Volunteering and NGOs, Mr Yiannis Yiannaki, who was the main speaker, introduced this newly established position and explained his main duties and responsibilities. He presented and analysed his aims and goals in relation to the modernisation of volunteerism in Cyprus, with particular emphasis on the need for co-operation and co-ordination amongst the various NGOs.
Mr Yiannaki also presented the “Declaration of the rights and responsibilities of volunteers and voluntary organisations” which has been approved by the Council of Ministers, following Mr Yiannaki’s suggestion. Copies of the Declaration were handed-out to all participants.
Mrs Nadia Karayianni, board member of the NGO Support Centre and an active volunteer for several years, elaborated on the concept of “volunteerism”, with particular reference to the status quo and future perspectives. She presented the NGO Support Centre’s philosophy and their upcoming projects.
Mrs Karayianni shared her own experiences, gained through her involvement in NGOs, and noted the difficulties NGOs are faced with during the ongoing economic crisis. However, she expressed her certainty that these difficulties can and will be overcome and that the new Commissioner has a very important role in supporting and assisting the NGOs.
The Red Cross Representative, Mr George Frantzis gave a historical overview of the organisation and elaborated on the new strategies they are in the process of implementing in order to modernise and better-organise the Red Cross.
He placed emphasis on the importance of cultivating a culture of volunteerism in Cyprus, using as an example other European countries, and highlighted the benefits of being a volunteer.
The participants then had the opportunity to ask questions and enter into a fruitful discussion with the three speakers.
Both Mrs Karayianni and Mr Frantzis expressed their interest in a future co-operation with our Rotaract Club, which was noted by the Commissioner with pleasure. In the Commissioner’s view we, as Rotaractors, have a very important role, as representatives of the new generation and as active members of the society, in effecting a change in this field.
In the end, our President Niovi Georgiades awarded, on behalf of our Club, the Certificates of Appreciation to the three speakers and promised that us Rotaractors, will do our best to promote, develop and improve volunteerism in Cyprus.
We would like to thank all the speakers and the participants for attending our event.
Special thanks to our Professional Development Officer, Anna Maria Leotsakou and President Niovi Georgiade for organising a great event.