Cemefi: Conferences on volunteering for social change 

In November 2016, Cemefi hosted two major conferences: the 24th World Volunteer Conference and 8th World Youth Volunteer Conference, both organized in partnership with the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE).  

Enthusiastic delegates at the World Youth Volunteer Conference.

The main topic of both was ‘Volunteering for social change’ – considering volunteering as a means to create synergies, combine the efforts and talents of individuals towards the achievement of common goals, allow personal learning and skills, and to remind us of our ability to make a real difference in social issues. Both conferences started by highlighting volunteering activities in areas such as community development, health, arts and culture, and environmental care, among others.

The main conference was held in Mexico City and brought together 991 participants from 51 countries. Plenary speakers such as Kumi Naidoo and Salil Shetty raised awareness and inspired participants to take action.

Covering very different aspects of civil society work, 240 speakers from 35 countries shared their knowledge, generating discussions, exchanging tools and enriching experiences.

The youth conference, held in the City of Puebla, Mexico, was based on the assumption that the Sustainable Development Goals are a guideline for an array of volunteer actions for young people, with the potential to eradicate poverty, protect the planet, and build prosperity in a social justice framework for peace. It brought together 577 young people from 21 different countries.

It began by raising questions about youth volunteering effectiveness, with 85 speakers from 12 different countries leading the discussions. The conference ended with the creation of an action agenda whose main priorities are to:

  • increase volunteer infrastructure and education
  • guarantee the continuity of volunteer action
  • protect rights of youth to all develop equally
  • translate high-level agendas into actions everyday people can understand and do
  • develop a greater focus on training to develop youth capacity.

For more information visit the website http://www.cemefi.org.

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