SECOND AFRICA REGIONAL GOOD DEEDS DAY CONFERENCE
The Good Deeds Day 2nd Africa Regional Conference
Doing a World of Good: Leveraging Corporate Volunteering, Youth Engagement & Partnerships for Africa’s Socio-Economic Growth
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200 nonprofit and corporate leaders from 23 countries came together to discuss strategies & trends in volunteerism, partnerships with corporate & other stakeholders to boost Africa’s socio-economic growth, and other key topics. The conference was held at the Boma Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya.
Co hosted by
Good Deeds Day in Partnership with The Volunteer Involving Organizations Society, Kenya Red Cross Society, Ministry of Labour and Social Protection and the County Government of Nairobi City, in collaboration with Private Sector Corporates and Development Partners held a 3-day 2nd Africa Regional Good Deeds Day Conference at Boma Hotel, Nairobi. The theme of the conference focused on Corporate Volunteering, Youth Engagement and Partnerships for Africa’s Socio-Economic Growth. The discussions were divided into four areas; Understanding volunteerism in the African context, Mobilizing Resources to support volunteerism, Measuring volunteer impact and Volunteering in Emergencies.
The question at the center of the conference was: “How can Governments, Private Sector and Non-Governmental Organizations Maximize on Corporate Volunteering, Youth Engagement and Partnerships for Africa’s Socio-Economic Growth?” Below is a synopsis of major themes and outcomes from the conference, many of which address issues closely connected to corporate volunteering, youth engagement and partnerships. For detailed information on these findings, please refer to full conference proceedings.
Partnerships and Collaborations
Partnership was recognized an effective way of implementing and promoting volunteerism. For example, across Africa, there were 23 participating countries with over 2000 projects and 45000 volunteers.
- Volunteerism is a unifying initiative where volunteers come together to speak one language of responsible citizenry;
- Corporates, governments, NGOs and civil society to build more partnerships with development partners such JICA, USAID, DFID;
- Partnership with a shared vision;
- Strategic partnerships are built on trust;
- Private sector, VIO’s, NGO’s and civil society to look out for private sector not only for monetary support but to learn common values and best practices
Volunteering for Development
- VIOs to align volunteer activities with specific UN Sustainable Development Goals and to contribute towards realization of in-specific national development goals;
- Youth participation in volunteerism was akin to promoting peace and national development;
- Need to formulate and enact policies that integrate volunteerism in SDGs and national development;
- Mentorship at an early age was recognized for promoting and practicing volunteerism among young people.
Formalization of Volunteerism
- The Kenyan government in consultation with all relevant stakeholders had developed National Volunteering Policy in 2016;
- Other African countries urged to learn from Kenya how to formalize volunteerism;
- Policy support of volunteerism was identified as means of attracting funds to finance volunteerism initiatives;
- VIOs urged to work with governments; this appealed for support from corporates and development agencies
- Need for policy and decision makers to come up with appropriate policies to promote the empowerment, involvement and working conditions of people living with disability
Best Practices in Volunteerism
- Develop and endorse best practices in volunteerism by instituting standard operation guidelines for volunteerism;
- VIOs to undertake need assessment on best volunteer projects with the community;
- Partnerships to include sharing best practices;
- Embrace volunteerism underpinned by cultural practices that promote togetherness and sharing;
- Best practices in volunteerism includes and not limited to creating social value, innovative, sustainable community outcomes, long-term intervention, co-designed with the community and addresses multiple socio-economic challenges.
- Promote impactful volunteering which delivers measurable improvements in poor and marginalized communities;
- Doing good can only be true if the impacts were measurable;
- Integrating corporate social investments and community service was recommended;
- Volunteer work could be measured by answering to the following; How many people volunteered? What kind of work did they do? How many hours did they put in? What is the average pay for such work? Total economic value of the volunteer work
Innovative approaches in Volunteerism
- Leverage on the large number of young people active on social media platforms to communicate volunteerism;
- Set up innovation labs where youth can volunteer to conceptualize new ideas;
- Crowdfund for volunteer activities;
- Integrate existing technological innovation in promoting volunteerism. For example, MPESA had revolutionized mobile money transfer and communities were able to receive money anywhere anytime in their handsets;
- Technology require resources; to develop campaign promo materials, volunteers could offer support through publicity
- Corporate volunteering was identified as an operational way of appealing employees in community service;
- A bottom-up approach was recommended when implementing corporate social responsibility initiatives; ideas to originate from the community;
- Offering pro-bono services could help corporates promote their brands;
- It was prudent for any corporate entity to ensure that a community within which they worked was leading a sustainable life;
- Corporates and private sector were encouraged to actively participate in political processes because they were likely to be affected more by bad governance.
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