10428428_550525405089965_5672735677162481188_nIn appreciation and honor of volunteers from 12 different associations, NGOs and institutions , 57357 hosted and organized the closing celebration of UN’s “ International Volunteering Week in Egypt “ at the Hospital auditorium last Friday, Dec.12, 2014.  Attending the celebration, which lasted from 1 pm to 3pm, were a delegation from the UN , headed by Monica Prisacariu, UNV Program officer, Mrs. Amal Gamal Soliman, First Undersecretary for the Ministry for youth and sports and top 57357 foundation  management. The event brought together people committed to different causes and from different walks of life including Hospital 57357, Helm , art2care, Ahmos, Gesr, Misr eL Kheir, Peer Egypt, Vodafone, Labanita, Engaz, Egypt’s Scouts . Yet, they were all drawn together with the strongest of bonds: their love for and generous giving to the less privileged of the society. This was no ordinary celebration: one could not but be touched by the positive energy that filled the entire place heightened by the cheers and encouragement of the Scouts group. One also could not but be filled with awe and admiration for all these people who give of their time and energy in secret and humility expecting nothing for return. Highlights of the event were the speeches of the UNV Program officer, Prisacariu, the words of the undersecretary of the Ministry for youth and sports, Amal Gamal Soliman, the short documentaries about 57357’s volunteers and the UN’s volunteerism week in Egypt, and the remittance of honorary certificates to the 12 organizations. “Egypt is one of the most vibrant civil society and this is because they have volunteers”, reveals Prisacariu while the undersecretary for the Ministry for youth and sports, Amal Soliman expresses her wish that volunteerism becomes a habit in the lives of people. Soliman also informs the audience that the Ministry has set up a number of clubs through which people can volunteer and that the Scouts Movement is the basis of the Volunteerism movement in Egypt. In parallel to the celebration, Art2care had set up workshops for drawing and handcrafts for the children in the garden. It is noteworthy that Hospital 57357’s Volunteers department constitute 3000 registered adherents. About 20% are active volunteers who are involved in the different daily hospital activities with the children & in fundraising, while the remaining 80% are seasonal volunteers. It set up the guidelines, policies and procedures for Volunteers placement, application, screening and training. It sought to encourage different sectors of the community such as retired, youth, students, employed and housewives to be part of  its volunteering programs. It has worked closely with MSE schools to set-up an in-hospital school for 57357’s in-patients. This year it has also collaborated with art2care to set up a one year program based on the initiation of patients to all forms of art as a therapeutic tool and a field of interest and specialization