Blood Donation Drive to Mark International Volunteer Day Sees Large Turnout of Donors
More than 500 Vientiane citizens from all walks of life celebrated the International Volunteer Day by making an act of volunteerism and donating blood.
The International Volunteer Day (IVD), established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1985, is an initiative where thousands of people all around the world celebrate volunteerism and commemorate its contribution to building the world we want. This year’s campaign aims to promote the contributions of volunteers as first responders in times of crisis.
In her remarks, Ms. Kaarina Immonen, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative highlighted the solidarity of people helping each other in times of need: “In times of emergencies, volunteers are the first to respond and offer support. Often members of affected communities themselves, they help save lives and find survivors after a natural disaster, provide water, food and shelter for the displaced, and help prevent diseases amongst vulnerable populations.”
As. Prof. Dr. Sing Menorath, Vice President of Lao Red Cross: “We are happy that the UN Volunteers Programme has decided to support blood donation activity this year. Although the number of voluntary blood donation is increasing year by year, in Lao PDR, 60,000 donations are needed each year, but only 44,000 donations are made. Blood donations are needed by patients with anemia, kidney failure, hemorrhage, operations, dengue fever and road accident victims.”
The event helped collect the necessary amount of blood units, raised youth awareness on volunteerism, and increased volunteers’ capacity to provide help when needed. Participants learnt about volunteerism and emergency management through theatre performances, first aid training, road safety session and other engaging and fun activities.
Mrs. Vilavorne Phanthavong, Deputy Secretary General of the Lao Youth Union, praised the contribution of the all volunteers across the country and said “Volunteerism constitutes a key component for a more inclusive growth strategy in Lao PDR through the promotion of people’s greater participation to enhance the sustainable development of the economy, society and environment of Lao PDR as a whole.”