French Voluntary Service Day 2016
French Voluntary Service Day 2016: promoting and encouraging the commitment of French volunteers
Puducherry, 22 October 2016
Twenty-odd French volunteers gathered at the Alliance française de Pondichéry on Saturday 22nd October for the second edition of the French Voluntary Service Day, an event that is celebrated worldwide in October.
This year’s celebration opened to a day of discussions and points of view exchanged on the theme, “Volunteering for Youth and Social Cohesion”, between French volunteers spread over various parts of India (Delhi, Chennai, Kochi and Mumbai).
Organized by France Volontaires Inde based in Puducherry, this event enabled many volunteers to meet and speak about their respective experiences as volunteers, the successes and/or challenges faced, their visions of voluntary service as a vehicle of peace and social cohesion.
France Volontaires, agency of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, encourages French volunteers to work in India through the intermediary of the National Representative, Aswathi Chandramohan, who is based in Puducherry. “Forging robust relations between France and India indisputably goes not only via the civic commitment of our French volunteers in India but also the presence of Indian volunteers in France.
In 2015, France Volontaires established the “Civic Service Reciprocity” programme in partnership with the Regional Directorate of Food, Agriculture and Forests of the French region of Loire, which enables young Indian volunteers to travel to France and thus promote Indian culture among the French youth.
The day was a success for all the volunteers, who were able to share their thoughts on volunteering and benefit from the advice given by France Volontaires for better understanding cultural differences and taking these into consideration while carrying out their work.
The day concluded with a reception at the Consulate General of France. Mr Philippe Janvier-Kamiyama, Consul General of France in Puducherry, who was present on the occasion, welcomed the work done by French volunteers on the ground and encouraged the development of voluntary service in India.