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United Nations Relations

International Volunteer Day Celebrated in Buenos Aires

Spanish

Buenos Aires, Argentina - “Let’s say: ‘Thank you!’ together” was the motto that focused the Argentine UPF celebration of International Volunteer Day on December 5, 2011, in Buenos Aires. The emotional celebration was held in the Guimerá Hall of the Casal de Catalunya in the historical district of San Telmo. Awards were presented to the winners of the Competition on Solidarity Activities “Social Action: Common Welfare and Voluntary Work.”

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The Ceremony started with congratulatory messages from different organizations; among them was a warm message sent by Mr. David Smith, Director of the United Nations Information Centre for Argentina and Uruguay, for that special occasion. The message from the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon concerning the International Volunteer Day 2011, was also read by Mr. Horacio Daboul, president of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Tourism and Public Services of the District of Parque Patricio (Buenos Aires) and president of the Rotary Club of the same District.

The central moment of the event was the awarding of the winners by the jury composed of Prof. Lucrecia Potenza, Dr. Luis Guedes, Mr. Hugo Cattoni, Mr. Alejandro D´Alessandro, and the Secretary General of UPF-Argentina, Mr. Miguel Werner. The categories that were selected by UPF-Argentina were the following: Education, Ecology, Arts, Childhood Aid, Senior Citizens Aid, Integration for Handicapped People, Integral Health, Communications, and Services. The General Direction of Religion of Buenos Aires offered books to donate together with the certificates and the awards.

The category Ecology opened the series of the winning projects with the project “…And they will become trees again” that received the first prize through the presence of Mr. Esteban Fauret and Mrs. Amalia Daibes, both directors of the Pehuajenses Writers Circle. Their activity is to promote, through literature, actions that can help the natural environment, such as planting a tree every time a new book is printed. The projects of the category on Integration for Handicapped People closed the ceremony and received their awards by Dr. Mónica Bianchi, Coordinator of the Committee on Handicapped People of the Civil Society Consulting Council of the Foreign Ministry of the Argentine Republic.

The highest distinction was offered to Mr. Saul Macyszyn, president of the Foundation “Microemprendimientos Solidarios.” Mr. Macyszyn was able to overcome his own handicap and create different alternatives for integration and development in the city and province of Buenos Aires that can help people with different kinds of handicaps. All the awardees expressed deep gratitude and emotion. They didn’t make long speeches or self-serving promotions of  their own efforts or projects, but each one of them expressed that they received a “comforting caress for their souls” in a situation completely opposite to what they are accustomed to, which is “giving to others.” This time, they were the receivors of much affection, love, and applause.

The event focused on the initiatives and the projects that were presented, all of them very valuable, showing a deep love for the cause of the common welfare and promoting the culture of service, one of the basic foundations for peace. Among the honored proposals there were projects from universities, foundations, public organizations, churches, and cultural centers. They involved young people, seniors, NGO directors, ordinary volunteers, businessmen, and religious people from different creeds. Some of them traveled long distances to come to the convocation, some from Tucuman province, from Córdoba, Santa Fe, and Entre Rios provinces. Mr. Carlos Varga, Director of the Unification Movement in Argentina, joined the jury in greeting the participants; he thanked them for their commitment and encouraged them to continue pursuing their initiatives and dreams.

A talented guitar player, Raúl “Nony” Ressia, delighted the audience with his skillful performance. In tune with the celebration motto, the final toast was accompanied by cheers of “thanks” that sung by a famous singer, Guillermo Echevarría, in 40 different languages. The above mentioned event was organized to commemorate the International Volunteer Day, established by the UN (Resolution 40/212, December 17, 1985) that exhorted people to adopt measures to raise awareness about the important social contributions offered by volunteers and encourage people from all social environments to be active in volunteer work.

“With the world population having surpassed seven billion this year, we must tap every person’s potential to help others. Everyone can make a difference. Volunteering matters. With passion and commitment, they are helping to show how volunteering can change the world. As we mark International Volunteer Day, I encourage policymakers to do even more to support and welcome volunteerism, and I urge everyone to consider what they can do to join the movement.” - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, International Volunteer Day 2011

Other readings during the event included the following excerpt from Return to Love, by Marianne Williamson: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

“True love is a heart that gives and gives and wants to continuing giving. True love is a love that even forgets that it already gave love and gives love again.” This quote by UPF Founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon from As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen was read by Stella Maris Querol, President of the Asociación Abril.

Winners of the UPF Competition on Solidarity Activities 2011

“Social Action: Common Welfare and Voluntary Work”

Category: Integration of Handicapped People

FIRST PRIZE

Foundation Microemprendimientos Solidarios, President Sr. Saúl Macyszyn, San Isidro – Province of Buenos Aires / Buenos Aires, San Isidro y Martínez (Province of Buenos Aires)

SECOND PRIZE

Project “Del dicho al hecho”: Graciela Díaz De Silva - President Foundation Espíritu Santo, San Miguel de Tucumán – Province of Tucumán

THIRD PRIZE

Program “Mundo alas va a la escuela”: Colectivo de Instituciones de Discapacidad de San Isidro, San Isidro – Province of Buenos Aires

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Project “Centro de alfabetización para adultos”: Lic. Ignacio Tenuta - Director Ejecutivo de Fundación FEducar, Buenos Aires City

Workshop of photography “Miradas creativas” (A.D.C.A.DIS): Liliana Alejandra Lizardo, Colón – Province of Entre Ríos

Category: Public Service

FIRST PRIZE

Project “Vivamos con alegría”: Prof. Mónica Susana Chiappino – “A.L.A.S. del alma”, Florencio Varela – Province of Buenos Aires

SECOND PRIZE

Project Solidary El Bolsón (Río Negro): Universitarios para el Desarrollo (UPD), Juan Pablo Cannata / Javier Daura, Buenos Aires City / Shares in Río Negro

TIRAD PRIZE

Program “Click al futuro” y “Encendiendo ideas”: Foro Permanente para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura por la Paz, Buenos Aires City / Shares in Quilmes – Province Buenos Aires

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Iniciativa “Tres horas unidos por el Chaco”: María Florencia Bovio, Junín – Province of Buenos Aires / Shares in Chaco

Iniciativa “Corazón de Pachamama”: Hilda Alimonti, Munro - Province of Buenos Aires / Shares in Jujuy

Ayudas solidarias a escuelas y ONGs del interior del país: Stella Maris Querol - President Asociación Abril, Buenos Aires City / Shares in different provinces

Category: Aid to Senior Citizens

FIRST PRIZE

Program “¡De mayor a menor a jugar!”: Foro Permanente para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura por la Paz, Buenos Aires City

SECOND PRIZE

Talleres para la Tercera Edad: Silvia Elena Berezin, Talleres para la Tercera Edad - Universidad Nacional de Quilmes (UNQ), Quilmes – Province of Buenos Aires

THIRD PRIZE

Caminos de convivencia, para el diálogo y la paz social: Rubén José Fernández, Lomas del Mirador – Province of Buenos Aires / Shares in Buenos Aires

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Voluntariado en distintas entidades: Catalina Brancale, Buenos Aires City

Voluntariado en la Iglesia Santa Clara, Salomé Royo, Buenos Aires City

Category: Education

FIRST PRIZE

Project “Modelos con una mirada social”: Facundo Romani - Presidente de Nueva Escuela, Longchamps - Province of Buenos Aires / Shares in Province in Buenos Aires

SECOND PRIZE

Project “Extendiendo equidad”: Lic. Silvia Gabriela Vázquez, Secretaria de Extensión Universitaria - Universidad de la Marina Mercante (UDEMM), Buenos Aires City

THIRD PRIZE

Proyecto tutorías: María Luz Etchegaray, Área Proyectos de Asociación Civil “San Gabriel Hace Norte” (SGHN), Vicente López - Province of Buenos Aires / Shares in Laguna Naineck - Province of Formosa

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Project “Prevenimos y acompañamos la vida”: María del Carmen Acuña, Coordinadora de talleres del Instituto María Auxiliadora de La Boca, La Boca - Buenos Aires City

Project “Camino digital”: Verónica Fantini / Gabriela Fassio, Program of Volunteers - Fundación Uniendo Caminos, Buenos Aires City

Category: Arts

FIRST PRIZE

Espacio cultural para la convivencia familiar y comunitaria: Carlos Alberto Gallo, La Algarroba - Asociación para el desarrollo humano, familiar y comunitario, Capilla del Monte – Córdoba / Shares in Valle de Punilla, Deán Funes y Cruz del Eje (Province of Córdoba)

SECOND PRIZE

Project “Reciclar para reciclarnos”: Dora Portillo / Silvia Rodríguez, Centro La Balsa, Buenos Aires City

THIRD PRIZE

Project “Escuela de danza”: Padre Hernán Morelli - Parroquia Santa María Madre del Pueblo, Villa 1-11-14 - Bajo Flores - Buenos Aires City

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Promoción de actividades con poetas, escritores, escultores y pintores: María Elba Benítez, Villa General Belgrano - Province of Córdoba

Proyecto solidario “Circo kids”: Prof. Griselda Luque, Villa Ballester – Province of Buenos Aires

Category: Communication

FIRST PRIZE

Revista bimestral Sembrar Valores: Dra. María Amalia Caballero, Directora General de Sembrar Valores, Asociación Civil, Acassuso – Province of Buenos Aires / Shares in Argentina

SECOND PRIZE

Project Irradiar “Nosotros con voz”: Lic. Estefanía Buzzini, Compromiso Social y Extensión - Fundación Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA), Villa 21-24 - Buenos Aires City

THIRD PRIZE

Neurofelicidad: “Creciendo como seres humanos y aprendiendo a ser felices”: Virginia Gudiño – Directora Neurocapital Humano, Buenos Aires City / Shares in Iberoamérica

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Columna periodística “Una mirada interna”: Perla Rodríguez – Colaboradora Diario Crónica (Comodoro Rivadavia, Chubut), Comodoro Rivadavia – Chubut

Programa radial “Somos todos diferentes”: María Dorotea Cima / Miguel Tomás Demársico, Buenos Aires / Shares in Argentina

Category: Aid to Children

FIRST PRIZE

Project Centro Deportivo de Villa 15 y Escuela de Fútbol Nuestra Señora del Carmen: Prof. Juan Sánchez / Prof. Mario Arévalo, Padre José Nicolás Zamolo - Parroquia Nuestra Señora del Carmen, Villa 15 - Buenos Aires City

SECOND PRIZE

Project “Construyendo juntos”: Guido Savall - Coordinación Compromiso Social y Extensión, Foundation Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA), Buenos Aires City

THIRD PRIZE

Project “Así jugaban nuestros abuelos”: María Elena Marc - Argentina Cultural y Educativa, Mar del Plata – Province of Buenos Aires

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Project intergeneracional: Talleres de construcción de juguetes y Jornadas recreativas, Lic. María Laura Finauri, Secretaría de Extensión Universitaria - Universidad Nacional de Quilmes (UNQ), Quilmes – Province of Buenos Aires

Project “El deporte es una masa”: Gonzalo A. Córdoba - Corazón de Vida, Province of Buenos Aires

Category: Integral Health

FIRST PRIZE

Project “Sembrando vida”: Fundación Chacras de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires City

SECOND PRIZE

Project ciudadano “Promotores de salud”: José Luis Hermosilla, Monte Cristo - Province of Córdoba

THIRD PRIZE

Asistencia a personas con diabetes: Dr. Jorge Bernardo Prez, Educatorio “El Aguará”, Reconquista - Santa Fe

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Espiritualidad, educación y salud integral: Rabino Arieh Sztokman - Escuela de amor. Buenos Aires City

Project “Por un millón de pasos: Caminemos juntos”: Dra. Silvia Julia Kaplan - Directora de Profesionales para la Salud Integral (Pro.Sa.I.), Buenos Aires City

Category: Ecology

FIRST PRIZE

Project “Y volverán a ser árboles”: Esteban Domingo Fauret / Amalia Isabel Daibes, Directivos del Círculo de Escritores Pehuajenses, Pehuajó – Province of Buenos Aires / Shares in Argentina, Bolivia y Chile

SECOND PRIZE

Iniciativa “Un árbol por cada año de nuestra patria”: Constanza Sena - Referente de la Matanza de Agua y Juventud Argentina, Lomas del Mirador – Province of Buenos Aires

THIRD PRIZE

Literatura y preservación de los recursos naturales: Grupo Literario Dementeazul - Museo Cooperativo de Eldorado (Misiones), Theodosio A Barrios, Eldorado – Province of Misiones

 

Translation: Rosetta Conti

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