Friday, December 9, 2011

UN Volunteers, V-Force and V-Awards.. A Journey Begins...

If you've been watching Sirasa TV, Channel One MTV or Shakthi TV or listened to the radio stations also owned by the same network over the past few months you would have seen or heard about V-Awards. A one of a kind and also the first of a kind event in Sri Lanka this is. V-Awards, like the tagline says for itself "Shinning a Light of Those who serve in Silence" is an event which is an awards show that was organized to honor, support, say thanks, encourage and to bring out those people around the nation in Sri Lanka who have served in silence to serve the people without thinking of their own personal benefits. 

A joint effort by the International Year of Volunteers +10 National Steering Committee and News 1st along with many other partner organizations such as the UN Volunteers and others was V-Awards. Hundreds of applications were received from various parts of the island nominating many individuals who have done tremendous work in terms of volunteer service and from these applications, 26 were short listed to be the best of the lot. 

Come, December 5th 2011.. its International Volunteer Day 2011.. and best of all, its the 10th Anniversary of the IVD since it was started way back in 2001.. and so like everywhere in the world, here in Sri Lanka also, plans were drawn up to celebrate the day in style and this time it included having the V-Awards Announcing the Finalists show too...

V-Awards Announcing the Finalists show was a veeeery grand event held at the Stien Studios Ratmalana, which boasts as one of the largest ever in South Asia and owned by the MTV / MBC Networks. With a large amount of guests including VIP's, nominees, their families, friends and everyone else, the event was a resounding success. First the 26 shortlisted nominees were felicitated on stage and then the shot list was brought down to 15 finalists who were announced one by one with a surprise factor coming in where a volunteer from the V-Force shadowing them awarding them with the certificate and im proud to say i was also one of those who awarded one of the nominees. In addition to all these, other events such as entertainment items and what not were performed to make the event a huge success.

While I was talking about the event up there, you would have noticed I had talked about a V-Force.. even the title of this post says so.. And im sure if you didnt knw abt it all this time, you would be wondering what exactly the V-Force is.. to tell you a bit about it, the V-Force is a group of volunteers who have joined up to volunteer themselves for these projects and probably many more to come in the future. There are almost 300 members in the V-Force and around half of them played a part in the V-Awards show too... 

To be honest, volunteering is not something thats new for me. Since long time, ive been helping out with projects on my own just so that the others feel that they have an extra hand in their team to support them. Ive been part of the Red Cross in school level and also participated in many CSR projects done during school times and continued the trend into uni life too with joining the student club as a volunteer and working in events.. Once i heard about the V-Force and the UN Volunteers thing thru an event that was supported by the V-Force, i always wanted to join in... and so thru a V-Force website i submitted by application to join and thus started receiving updates on events being held and stuff.. I badly wanted to participate in many of these events but never was able to due to the work load i had with lectures and stuff but when the V-Awards update came i was determined that i atleast be part of this and get started with this.. and thus started my role in V-Force.. ive worked in a V-Force event for only two days but its been fun.. to see the different kinds of people who come in to join hands for worthy causes.. its good to see it.. especially youth coming together.. means a lot.. a whole lot more in a country like Sri Lanka just after a war has ended...i just hope this V-Force doesnt break up and stays strong and grows in the years to come and i be part of it...

There is a quotation that i remember reading somewhere which says "If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours".. this is probably the basics of volunteerism... you can have all the money in the world but you will lack happiness. volunteer yourself to make someone happy and see yourself smiling too.. Just like Mr.Heenbanda (finalist of V-Awards) said in his AV on the V-Awards day... "money is nothing. i do not take money for what i do.. i do it for personal satisfaction. the smile on another persons face when they feel good just keeps me running".. this is true volunteerism.. 

to leave you with, i attach a picture gallery of the V-Awards event held last week and also a news coverage clip of the V-Awards...






Created with flickr slideshow.




Just like Marion Wright Eddelman said.. "Service is the rent we pay for living.".. so... HAVE YOU PAID YOUR RENT???

Adios!!!

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