By Evie Andreou
A PROGRAMME to introduce volunteerism in schools will be launched from the new term, Education minister Costas Kadis announced yesterday.
The minister, accompanied by Volunteerism Commissioner Yiannakis Yiannaki, presented the programme that will be introduced in September that aims to encourage the active involvement of students in community service and to help with the development of social cohesion.
“The participation in volunteer activities and in non-governmental organisations has positive effects on a personal and at a collective level,” the minister said, adding that in every school one teacher and a student will be responsible for the promotion of volunteerism matters.
From now on, each school will have to include in its annual programming at least one action promoting volunteerism, while school trips will be better utilised for students to get acquainted with the work of various non-governmental organisations, community and volunteer groups.
“We have to arm them (the youth) with the values and virtues of volunteerism, the values of giving, of social solidarity, of love to our neighbour, and all those that volunteerism professes,” Yiannaki said.
Kadis also said that in cooperation with the Volunteerism commissioner and other government departments, specific efforts will be promoted and their results adopted through learning and active involvement in civil society.
“Through volunteer activities, key learning opportunities are provided and volunteers can develop new skills as well,” Kadis said.
The minister added that the new skills that students develop will be important for their personal development and for their career prospects, and that volunteerism reinforces values such as respect, solidarity and social responsibility.