Beijing Olympic Games help promote volunteering spirit in China

04 Jul 2008
IOC News Beijing 2008

Countdown to Beijing 2008: today on volunteerism and the Olympic Games
One of the most tangible aspects of the Beijing Olympic Games for visitors and athletes alike will be the contact with the numerous unpaid volunteers. They will be on hand to ensure everything runs smoothly in Beijing and other Olympic venue cities. Hosting the Olympic Games has given the people of China not only a tremendous sense of national pride, but it has also inspired a huge wave of desire to give up time to help others. United Nations Volunteer (UNV) programme Executive Coordinator Flavia Pansieri states: “The 2008 Olympic Games will showcase the unifying power of sport and highlight the very visible contribution of volunteerism. UNV is also working to further develop volunteerism in China and demonstrate its potential for development in the years ahead. This is inspiration in action.”

Half a million volunteers on duty
In total, half a million volunteers will serve in Beijing and other Olympic venues. Of those, 100,000 will be Olympic volunteers – 70,000 for the Olympic Games in August and 30,000 for September’s Paralympics. They were chosen from more than a million people who applied. Another 400,000 city volunteers took up their posts beginning July at 500 information stands around Beijing, providing information and translation services for visitors. They will continue until the Paralympic Games finish.

“Green Olympics” campaign promoting energy saving and pollution reduction
The UNV programme is supporting some of these information stands by supplying advocacy materials to promote volunteering for the “Green Olympics” – an environmental awareness campaign launched by the UNV in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and several Beijing based associations. It aims to encourage volunteer action to save energy consumption and reduce pollution.

Olympic Volunteers Project continuing until 2010
Green Olympics forms part of a three-year, USD 1.4 million Olympic Volunteers Project, undertaken with the China International Centre for Economic and Technical Exchanges and running until June 2010. It is not only promoting volunteerism through the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, but also demonstrates volunteerism as a resource for development. The other main components comprise training 10,000 volunteer leaders and post-Games programmes to contribute to China’s social and economic development through volunteerism. About 6,500 volunteers and volunteer managers have also received special training on elements including HIV and AIDS awareness.

Beijing Games will demonstrate the power of volunteerism“The 2008 Olympic Games offers China and the world an opportunity to take a big step forward in raising global awareness of the power contributed by volunteers, not only to sport, but also to the well-being of whole society worldwide,” said Subinay Nandy, UNDP Country Director in China, at the launch of the project

Learn more about the Olympic volunteers in Beijing
Official website of the Beijing Games

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