Gov Alia Makes History, Embraces UN Volunteer Programme


BY VICTOR BUORO – The Governor of Benue State, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia, has become the first African Governor to join the United Nations (UN) Volunteer Full Funded Programme.

In achieving this significant milestone by being the first Governor in the continent to embrace the programme, Governor Alia has further demonstrated his unwavering commitment to youth empowerment and access to leadership opportunities.

A statement by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Sir Tersoo Kula, said this groundbreaking initiative underscores the setting of a new standard for leadership across the African continent.

According to the statement, the agreement, which officially became effective on 14th February 2024, and financially operational on 16th April 2024, marks a historic moment in African governance, adding that Governor Alia, by subscribing to the UN Volunteer programme, has demonstrated a visionary approach to governance, recognizing the pivotal role of young people in driving sustainable development.

Sir Kula stated that Governor Alia’s subscription to the UN Volunteer programme, 53 years after its formation, is a testament to his commitment to inclusive governance and dedication to creating a more prosperous and equitable society for all, adding; “His actions serve as an inspiration to a new generation of leaders dedicated to creating positive change in their communities.”

Meanwhile, expressing excitement at the development, Director General of the Benue State Bureau for International Cooperation and Development (BICD) and Focal Person for the UN Volunteer project, Leo-Angelo Viashima, noted that Governor Alia has redefined what empowerment and access to leadership means.

He said under the programme, over 40 beneficiaries from Benue State will be selected in the first year, in line with global best practices.

Also in her remarks, the Country Coordinator of the UN Volunteer in Nigeria, Ms. Veronica Obiuwevbi, praised Governor Alia for setting the pace, stating that the UN Volunteer in Nigeria is excited about this partnership.

Ms Obiuwevbi further said; “We will do all we can to ensure that upon completion of the programme, beneficiaries would have gained the needed skills to be able to impact Benue state and the society in general”, even as she described UN Volunteers as changemakers who are contributing to peace and development with their skills and experience through volunteerism.

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, founded on December 7, 1970, is a programme that contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide.

Volunteerism is a powerful means of engaging people in tackling development challenges, and it can transform the pace and nature of development. Volunteerism benefits both the society and the individual volunteer by strengthening trust, solidarity, and reciprocity among citizens, and by purposefully creating opportunities for participation.

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