Everyone™s Business

Feb 18, 2008 (LBO) – The United Nations office in Sri Lanka will hold a round table conference Tuesday to seek ways of encouraging more people to do volunteer work after a noticeable decline in interest. “The round table conference will talk about how we can make volunteering everyone’s business again,” United Nations Volunteers Programme Coordinator, Okama Ekpe Brook, said.

“It™s all about development and bringing positive changes in the lives of Sri Lankan people,” she said.

Though a culture of ‘volunteering’ is in-built among Sri Lankans, soaring living costs and changing lifestyles have left people with less free time to do voluntary work.

Potential volunteers are also worried about lack of recognition owing to bad publicity against international aid agencies and non-governmental organizations.

The United Nations Volunteers directly mobilizes more than 7,500 volunteers every year and over 75 percent of them are from developing countries.

Volunteerism can supplement government services, raise awareness and help in rapid mobilization of first responders in emergency situations, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Neil Buhne said.

The conference