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“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language, and next year’s words await another voice. To make an end is to make a beginning.” - T.S. Eliot

Wishing you a wonderful and fulfilling New Year. 2012 was a landmark year for iVolunteer in many ways. iVolunteer launched and executed the first ever volunteer awards in partnership with Apeejay. We also formalized two new programs, ‘Whiteboard’ and GYAN (Get your answers now), that aim to engage senior corporate professionals in facilitating and capacitating development organisations. Another feather in our cap was added when we sent out our 200th Indian volunteer to work in South Sudan as a part of our iVolunteer Overseas program.

Realizing the need to propagate the concept of volunteering, on the International Volunteers Day, we executed a campaign to reach out to young children and promote volunteerism. More of this campaign in this issue and interesting information on ‘Active Citizenship’- our theme for the month of January. 

In parallel news, 3 of our iVolunteer staff members gave birth to beautiful babies in 2012. Congratulations to Jyolsna, Priya and Neha and wishing them the best in the future.

   
       iVolunteer Team

     iVolunteer.in

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IVO AWARDAt the onset of a new year, iVolunteer is happy to announce the launch of the ‘iVolunteer Awards’. These awards will recognise the contribution of volunteers and organisations who engage them. Also, they are aimed at raising awareness on volunteering by bringing to light, the stories that ‘inspire by example’. Read more on the iVolunteer Awards or visit our Facebook page for all the updates on the awards.

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On International Volunteers Day, we conducted a national campaign ‘Ready, Steady, Volunteer’ which aimed at sensitizing school students on civic responsibilities and encouraged them to volunteer in their own little ways. Students from 32 schools across 7 cities participated in various activities like Civic Housie, Collage Making and Mini-Volunteering workshops. The campaign was able to reach and engage 13000 students, nationally and engage students through volunteers.

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What is the definition of active citizenship? To be honest, we don’t know.

What are the roles of an active citizen? That too, we cannot state with much confidence, purely because the roles change from day to day depending upon the circumstance and relevance to the situations. What does seem clear is that active citizens all have common traits; these traits are the foundations as well as structural pillars to what an active citizen builds their actions on.

Not having a clear definition of active citizenship but knowing that active citizens’ all share common traits, one needs to ask “what are these traits that make active citizens – active citizens?” One might list a few of these as responsibility, ability to make a choice, informed about reality, have a perspective and a common vision and willing to make a contribution, awareness and more importantly realizing one’s role in making a positive change.

Without saying that the following is the answer to the question posed earlier, we think that mentioning all of these traits steers us to a point where we can conclude in saying that an active citizen is someone who steps out of ignorance and makes a conscious decision to bring about change, not just any change, positive change. It also seems critical that active citizens know who they are and know what change they want to influence.

With this reflection, we seek everyone to ask themselves “who am I?” and “what change am ‘I’ going to influence today?” Let us know your views

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