Swiss Assembly marks 10th anniversary of first ICV action

Rédaction, English review Sarah Webborn, revisión en español Katerine Chollet
01 December 2007

On 29th November 2007, the General Assembly of ICVolunteers-Switzerland united long-standing and new volunteers, partners and individuals interested in the activities of ICVolunteers.

Victor Gabriel, President of ICVolunteers-Switzerland, opened the evening with an introduction and welcoming words.

"It all started exactly 10 years ago, with the creation of a poster calling for volunteers for the 12th World AIDS Conference", recalls Viola Krebs, Director and Founder of the ICV movement. This Conference was organised in Geneva and brought together more than 12,000 participants and 850 volunteers. "The skeptical claimed that we would not be able to find any volunteers in Geneva for this kind of activity. We proved them to be wrong", explains Viola.

To date, ICVolunteers have implemented over 260 projects in 30 countries. In 2006, the volunteers of the network contributed over 40,000 hours to communication projects. This corresponds to 450 volunteer positions in 2006, of which 300 were attributed to projects managed by ICVolunteers-Switzerland, the cradle of the now worldwide network.

Rabah Tounsi, a member of the Federation's research and development team and moderator for the evening, linked history with the present and future of the network. "In the last two years, we moved from a reactive to a proactive stage with initiatives and citizen projects such as the language and migration project, the reforestation project and the VolTerre project. The latter works with young people to educate and raise their awareness of the environment and on issues related to ecology and biodiversity."

The most senior member (and doyenne) of ICVolunteers was there too. Magda Boon-Denès is 85 years old today, but is not among the least active. On the contrary, tireless, with a lively spirit, she is proud to be a volunteer. She recalls some of the highlights of her years of activity with ICVolunteers, where she had the occasion to exchange ideas with personalities, such as for example Ruth Dreifuss, former Federal Councilor at the occasion of the World Knowledge Dialogue Forum in Crans-Montana in 2006.

Thirty five people participated in the ICV-Switzerland General Assembly. There were almost as many nationalities present: Italy, France, Hungary, Russia, Egypt, USA, Brazil, Tanzania, Uruguay, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Spain, Vietnam, Argentina, Jordan, Canada, England, Senegal, Congo and the Philippines, to name just a few. This is also one of ICV's characteristics: a network open to the world, a communication platform and meeting point, a link between knowledge and needs.

And once the formal part of the evening concluded, with statistics and figures presented by the treasurer and the auditor, the evening's participants enjoyed the apero and buffet. The buffet was prepared by the Geneva office team, in particular Jérôme and Lwiise. The latter once more demonstrated her know-how in the field of cuisine with her delicious chicken à la tazanienne. The evening finished in good spirits at around 11pm.

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