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Ecowas to sustain, extend volunteer programme to member states as pilot stage winds up

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The Regional Coordination Council of the ECOWAS Volunteer Programme (RCC-EVP) has ended its 4th Ordinary Meeting on 25th February, 2016 in Ouagadougou with several recommendations including the involvement of the private sector and other development partners for the improvement and sustainability of the programme, as the pilot stage comes to an end this year. 

The RCC also recommended the extension of the EVP to all member States.

The three (3) day meeting which held at the Bravia Hotel in Ouagadougou, the Burkina Faso Capital was chaired by Dr. Fatimata Dia Sow, Commissioner for Gender and Social Affairs of the ECOWAS Commission. 

She emphasized the need for a coordinated resource mobilisation in support and for the sustainability of the ECOWAS Volunteers Programme (EVP) beyond the Pilot Stage as it is crucial for the Region’s integration agenda.

The RCC considered and adopted the report on the implementation of the pilot phase, which is winding up. The Council also considered and adopted amendments to the Management and Administrative Procedures Manual, the Volunteers Condition of Service and fundraising proposals to ensure the sustainability of the programme among others.

Officially launched in Monrovia, Liberia in 2010, the EVP programme is a mechanism designed to harness the use of young qualified Community Citizens to serve as volunteers in Member States with the objective of building a successful and sustainable programme involving youth in voluntary actions and initiatives for constructive volunteer youth leadership, capacity building involving NGOs, and development-oriented peace building.

Ninety-six volunteers from 12 Member States have been deployed to, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone from the inception of the pilot stage in 2011. 

Despite challenges posed by the outbreak of Ebola in the 3 host countries for the pilot stage during the implementation of the EVP, the programme has recorded great success with ECOWAS Volunteers still active in the field.

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