Three Scope Global staff members have recently returned from the 2016 International Volunteer Coordinating Agency Conference in Bonn, Germany.
Christine Molitor (CEO), Anthony Rologas (Executive Manager, People, Culture and Knowledge) and Simona Achitei (Program Manager, Volunteer Program) joined approximately 160 delegates from international volunteering agencies and donors, researchers and volunteers.
The conference was a great opportunity to strengthen our connections with international volunteering agencies and to exchange learnings on international volunteering practice.
This year’s conference theme, ‘increasing resilience of communities through volunteering’, was brought to life at the welcome reception. “A 19 year old man from Syria gave a powerful speech about his own experience volunteering with the White Helmets – a volunteer team of first responders who plunge into rubble to save trapped civilians,” says Anthony. “During his subsequent journey to seek refuge in Germany, he was assisted by volunteers at various points along the way.”
Scope Global played an important role in the conference agenda. Simona presented a session about a team of Australian volunteers Scope Global deployed to the Philippines to help communities ‘build back better’ after Typhoon Haiyan. She also presented on our significant work to make volunteering more disability inclusive through initiatives like the Disability Empowerment Skills Exchange and Disability Incentives Grants.
Simona Achitei presenting about team volunteering in response to Cyclone Haiyan, the Philippines
Christine was invited to join a high-level panel discussion on the topic of leveraging innovation in international volunteering.
These sessions received very positive feedback from conference delegates. The session on disability-inclusive volunteering was cited specifically during the closing plenary as a highlight of the conference, and has led to international collaboration through a new community of practice.
“During the conference, we took the opportunity to initiate and lead a new community of practice for inclusive volunteering”, says Simona. “This will strengthen cooperation and lessons learnt amongst volunteer coordinating organisations and enable Scope Global to contribute to the global body of knowledge on the value of inclusive international volunteering.”
Anthony stayed in Bonn after the conference to attend a United National Volunteers (UNV) Partnerships Forum. He was joined by representatives from the United Nations, volunteering agencies, national governments and companies to discuss and learn more about the work of UNV, volunteerism and its contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals.
The 2016 International Volunteer Coordinating Organisations Conference was hosted by the International Forum for Volunteering in Development (of which Scope Global is a member), the United Nations Volunteers programme, and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
Scope Global manages the Australian Volunteers for International Development program on behalf of the Australian Government.