Wed, 06 Aug 2003

Volunteer center to provide more job opportunities

Sari P. Setiogi, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Opening up the opportunity for Indonesians to work as United Nations volunteers abroad, the United Nations Volunteers, in cooperation with the ministry of manpower and transmigration, launched the Volunteer Development Center (VDC) here on Tuesday.

They also launched a website for the center, which can be accessed at

The center is expected to serve as a forum for exchanges of information, knowledge, skills and expertise among volunteers and volunteer-based organizations, and to facilitate participation by the general public through outreach activities.

It will also develop private sector sponsorship and other fund-raising mechanisms, and exchanges of information on good practices in voluntarism for human development.

Minister of Manpower and Transmigration Jacob Nuwa Wea said that voluntary work would help to reduce the number of unemployed in Indonesia.

Data issued in 2002 showed that there about 9.1 million unemployed people across the country, with many more millions underemployed.

"They will be assigned to places where their help is badly needed, not only in remote or conflict areas," said Jacob.

Jacob said the volunteers would have their everyday needs supplied, but would receive no financial remuneration.

National UNV volunteer development center specialist Erna Dwirapita said that transportation, accommodation and meal costs for the volunteer workers would be covered.

According to the UNDP Resident Representative for Indonesia, Bo Asplund, as of June 2003 UNV had 45 national and international volunteers working in Indonesia. It was expected the figure would increase to 75 individuals by the end of this year.

"We are also expecting more Indonesians to participate in the voluntary work abroad," Asplund said.

The center would also enable provinces across the country to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDG)

The MDG include a reduction in poverty, the provision of primary education to all children, and reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.