Service Programs

Outstanding Volunteers Honored in Buenos Aires


Let's say together: "Thank you!”
International Volunteer Day 2012
Second Annual Solidarity Awards - Universal Peace Federation of Argentina

Under the slogan "Let's say together: 'Thank you!'" UPF-Argentina commemorated International Volunteer Day at the Peace Embassy in Buenos Aires on  December 5. This date was set by the UN on December 17, 1985 to "raise greater awareness of the important contribution of volunteers, thus encouraging more people in all social conditions to offer their services as volunteers."

The focus of the event was to pay tribute to volunteers. Especially to the winners of the second annual Solidarity Contest "Social Action: Volunteering and the Common Good" organized by UPF-Argentina in the categories of Education, Arts and Culture, Integration of People with Disabilities, Spirituality and Self-help, Integral Health, Communication and Relationships, Environment and Ecology, Childhood, Old Age, and Sports and Recreation.

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Initiatives or activities done in 2012 were recognized, all of them with an incalculable value. Projects by universities and foundations were honored as well as by diverse organizations ranging from sports to religious and local as well as international. There were also recognitions of volunteers. Some of them made long trips so as not to miss the tribute, traveling from Córdoba, Santa Fe, Mendoza, Entre Rios, and several cities in the province of Buenos Aires. Only one representative, from a total of 40 winning initiatives, could not be present, due to a last-minute professional situation.

Everyone was comforted with the "touches to the soul" that were given, some of them overwhelmed when expressing some words after receiving the award, in a completely different circumstance from what they are used to in their jobs, which is to give others. The last awarded category, Education, received the most nominations and placed greater demands on the jury, which decided to give two prizes in each category. The awards highlighted the importance of sharing, cooperating, and collaborating above mere competition, which may provoke distortions or misgivings.

The jury of the contest was responsible for the delivery of diplomas. It consisted of Lic. Silvia Gabriela Vázquez, Director of the Social Responsibility and Resilience Degree of the Mercantile Marine University; Prof. Inés Palomeque, President of Mil Milenios de Paz (Thousand Millennia of Peace); Lic. Hugo Cattoni, Director of Day Home for Elders of Santa Ana and San Joaquín; the Specialist in Social Security Alejandro D'Alessandro, President of the Center for Strategic Planning for Social Security (CPESS); and Lic. Miguel Werner, Secretary General of UPF-Argentina.

Prof. Palomeque was represented on the occasion by Lic. Coral Schneider, Director of Institutional Relations of Mil Milenios de Paz. Also participating in the award ceremony was Mr. Carlos Varga, Director of the Unification Movement in Argentina, who gave each of the winners a copy of the autobiography of Rev. Sun Myung Moon, As a Peace-loving Global Citizen. He also gave the final words before the toast of gratitude to the representatives of organizations and volunteers, highlighting their high ideals and work for noble causes, investing time and resources into public service, which is the foundation of coexistence and peace.

The jury praised for the award the affinity of the project or initiative "with the common good, social responsibility, sustainable development, civic engagement, the spirit of service or cooperation, sense of family and the promotion of peace, transcending as the interfaith as the intercultural, values promoted by the UPF". They also praised "the originality, the number of people or organizations involved, and the community impact of the nominees."

At the beginning of the meeting, which overflowed the auditorium in a day of intense heat, the announcer Jorge Pereyra shared the message of Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the UN, on the occasion of International Volunteer Day 2012. "By offering their time and knowledge without expecting a material reward, volunteers themselves feel fulfilled and are imbued with an extraordinary sense of fulfillment," the Secretary-General said.

Other notable quotes were read including "We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less if it were  missing that drop" (Mother Teresa of Calcutta); and "We must be the change we wish to see in the world" (Mahatma Gandhi).

Celebrate Volunteerism was the slogan chosen by the UN for this year's observance, which offer "an opportunity for the volunteer organizations and volunteers to make visible their contributions to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, locally, nationally, and internationally." The UN estimates that about a billion people around the world are doing some volunteer work. This contrasts with the stereotype images of a consumerist and individualistic society. While those images are valid, the significant number of volunteers whose lives transcend self-interest offers a more optimistic expectation about the future.

Musical interludes between the different categories of awards were provided by guitarist and vocalist Carlos Picazo. Before the program a review was shown of the celebration of International Volunteer Day in 2011 by UPF-Argentina.



First Prize: "Recycling Life"
Argentina Citizen Foundation, Buenos Aires

Second Prize: "Foresting my city with the perspective of improving the quality of life"
Agrotechnical Provincial School No. 3 "Coronel Manuel Eduardo Arias" Humahuaca - Jujuy Province

Third Prize: "I take care of the planet ... And you?"
Clean Hands Group, Hurlingham - Province of Buenos Aires

Honorable Mention: The Other Half - Radio Program
Radio Libre - 99.3 FM, Autonomous City of Buenos Aires


First Prize: "We work so our passion will exceed the limits of the field'
Department of Social Responsibility - Racing Club "Solidary Racing," Avellaneda - Province of Buenos Aires

Second Prize: "Sports Attitude, Life Attitude"
Foundation Development through Sport (DAD), "Attitude Sports Tournament Team," Escobar - Province of Buenos Aires

Third Prize: "For a better future" - Sports program for blind people: Childhood Blindness Prevention
Foundation San Juan - San Juan Province


First Prize: "Inclusion through sport" - Aerobic Program
Building Don Orione - Area of Resources and Communication, Claypole - Province of Buenos Aires

Second Prize: First Day about Disability / Together for an inclusive community
Centre Día Resiliencia, Florencio Varela - Province of Buenos Aires


First Prize: "Now, let's fill the field with solidarity!"
V National Children's Solidarity Campaign, Racing Club / Association of Civil Messengers of Peace
Avellaneda - Buenos Aires Province / Autonomous City of Buenos Aires

Second Prize: Community garden project at la Divina Pastora School (Miramar)
Huerta Niño Foundation - Project Mi Huerta, Miramar - Province of Buenos Aires


First Prize: Cultural Exchange
AFS Civil Partnership, Local Representation of Neuquén Volunteers, Neuquén - Neuquén Province

Second Prize: "Creative Perspectives" ADCAdis
Photography for teens and adults with disabilities, Workshop Labour Training No. 146 – ADCAdis, Colón - Province of Entre Rios

Third Prize: "The corner of chamamé"
FM radio program "Pehuenche" (92.3), Malargue - Mendoza Province


First Prize: “Knowledge that transforms / wills that build”
Social Volunteer Center of the Elders Center, National University of Lanús - Department of Community Health, Lanús - Province of Buenos Aires

Second Prize: Itinerant Workshops for Elders (ITSH)
PRAXIS Program: Practices for Social Inclusion, National University of Quilmes (UNQ) – Secretary of University Extension, Quilmes - Province of Buenos Aires

Third Prize: Promoters of Volunteers in Action
Santojanni Hospital - Social Service, Autonomous City of Buenos Aires


First Prize: "Solidarity in Action" - University Volunteer
Maimonides University, Autonomous City of Buenos Aires

Second Prize: "The Healthy Will: A University Matter"
Ministry of Planning and University Extension, Faculty of Odontology of La Plata - National University of La Plata, La Plata - Buenos Aires Province

Third Prize: “Seeing the future through the eyes of children” Program for children with low vision
Childhood Blindness Prevention Foundation, San Juan - San Juan Province


First Prize: Positive News
Broadcast media, social, environmental and economic sustainable models, Autonomous City of Buenos Aires

Second Prize: Solidarity initiatives YA (Youth Ambassadors)
Youth Ambassadors Program, Posadas - Misiones Province

Third Prize: "The General Belgrano Cruise Lives"
Radio Program - FM de las Américas (89.5 MHz), Bahía Blanca - Province of Buenos Aires

Honorable Mentions:

Rotary E-Club West, Relationships and solidarity tasks
La Matanza - Province of Buenos Aires

Newspaper column "Una Mirada Interna"
Journal "Crónica" of Comodoro Rivadavia - Chubut, Comodoro Rivadavia - Chubut

"Héctor Florencio Lucero" Award
Recognition to the country's media: AM, FM and TV
Malargue - Mendoza Province


First Prizes:

"With education building opportunities"
Mother Teresa College, Virreyes - Province of Buenos Aires, Inclusion and Integration Project School

Schools No. 16 and No. 5 (Barrio Flores - Buenos Aires)
Messengers of Peace Civil Association, Autonomous City of Buenos Aires

Second Prizes:

Social Leadership Training Program
School Leaders, Córdoba - Córdoba Province

"Immediate Help Program"
School Foundation, San Isidro - Province of Buenos Aires

Third Prizes:

La Barca Project
Civil Association La Barca, Munro - Province of Buenos Aires

Volunteer Guardians "Access by Studying"
Civil Women Association 2000, Autonomous City of Buenos Aires

Honorable Mentions:

"Social Promotion El Bolsón," University Association for Development, Solidarity Branch of the Association for the Promotion of Culture, Autonomous City of Buenos Aires

Sponsorship for the Adult School No. 39 of Barranqueras (Chaco)

Community Count with me! San Isidro - Province of Buenos Aires


Special Award for Volunteering

Dr. Rubén Omar Sosa, Laura Project (Trees Urgent ask for Help) / Barrileteadas Solidarias
Manager of the Infectious Diseases Unit and Room No. 2 of the Pediatrics Hospital Dr. Pedro Elizalde, Autonomous City of Buenos Aires

Honorable Mentions

Lic. María Inés Alegnani, "Social inclusion work with children, young people and adults with disabilities"

"The toy library as a tool for social inclusion and creativity in various fields," Association of Educators of Latin American and the Caribbean (AELAC) - Argentina Chapter Secretary and President of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires' Chapter, Autonomous City of Buenos Aires

Gonzalo Córdoba, President of Heart of Life
"Inclusion without bars" / "Let's help the others think differently," José León Suárez - Province of Buenos Aires

Maria Isabel Fiego / Maria Emilia Mirabete / José Emilio Alegre
Campaign "Wichi only for love 2012, "Mar Del Plata - Buenos Aires Province

Andrea Baissetto / Antonella Maria Minen / Jose Mancilla
National University of Litoral, "University Volunteers 2010-2012: Participate to grow, integrate to form," Santa Fe - Santa Fe Province

Baltazar Ortega, "Tutoring for adolescents in poverty"
Cultural Association for Integral Development - CIDA, St. Lucia School - City of Santa Fe, Santa Fe - Santa Fe Province

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