The Lesson of Volunteerism in the London 2012 Olympics

By Mohamed Nadioui
Morocco World News
Rabat, August 13, 2012

The spectacular build-up and closing ceremony of London 2012 Olympic Games that was promised by the organizing committee came true. The engagement of volunteers in this ceremony was also astonishing and praised. More than 70000 volunteers were mobilized to make of this ceremony a breath-taking success.

Volunteers bid farewell to London 2012 Olympics.

At the close of the ceremony, watched by 10,000 athletes and 80,000 spectators in the stadium along with 30 million TV viewers, President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, who declared the Games of the 30th Olympiad closed, said: “We will never forget the smiles, the kindness and the support of the wonderful volunteers, the much-needed heroes of these Games.

“You, the spectators and the public, provided the soundtrack for these Games.”

“Your enthusiastic cheers energized its competitors and brought a festive spirit to every Olympic venue.”

The flame should be passed on to Arab Youth.

It is the British youth who will benefit from the legacy of the Olympics, especially the infrastructure. Thus, the Arab youth, striving to change their communities for the better, should draw an instructive lesson from this inspirational experience.

The wave of youth-led transformational change processes in the Arab region has highlighted youth as a positive asset for peace and development. To address the challenges and aspirations of youth, volunteering provides a viable sustainable mechanism that can turn their grievances and frustrations into positive energy and a social asset.

Youth particularly have the time, energy, and skills that can be readily drawn upon to address national development challenges. Youth volunteering can engage young men and women in a range of activities that can improve their participation and positively harness their energy to contribute to the realization of national and global development goals, while enhancing their life, citizenship, and especially work-related skills. At the same time, young people can improve their qualifications and readiness for employment through the professional and interpersonal expertise and leadership skills gained through volunteering.

Hence, the Arab youth should get involved in volunteering work at all levels in order to change their communities for the better and improve their readiness for employment and civic engagement.

• Mohamed Nadioui is a graduate translator from King Fahd Advanced School of Translation. He currently works as a technical translator for a French company based in Casablanca. He is a volunteer translator with the United Nations Volunteers in charge of translating the Arab States Portfolio at the UNV.


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