UMH completes Volunteerism Promotion Conference

The Miguel Hernández University of Elche (UMH) has just completed the UMH Volunteerism Promotion Conference XVII, held on this occasion under the slogan of “21st Century Volunteers” over April 6 and 7, 2022, in the Aula Magna of the Altabix Building. The event aimed to promote associationism and volunteering as key tools in building a caring society, raising awareness in the university community, and bringing volunteer action and its different forms of action closer to society. In this edition, in-person attendance resumed, for which 77 people were present. Of the participants, 42% were students, 10% university staff, 9% alumni, and 39% were non-UMH personnel.

Opening the conference on April 6 were General Director of International Cooperation for Development of the Generalitat Valencia, Xelo Angulo, and Vice Rector for International Relations of the UMH, Vicente Micol. Then, the “What We Discovered during the Pandemic” conference was offered by Sergio Moratón, who is delegate in the Valencian Community and the Region of Murcia for the Vicente Ferrer Foundation. His presentation highlighted the role of people with fewer resources who, during the pandemic, reclaimed their position in society by showing solidarity and helping with what little they had.

“Volunteering at the UMH” followed, and it shed light on social and health volunteering through the “LaUMHteAcompaña” initiative, international development cooperation volunteering by the UMH in Rwanda, sports volunteering, and environmental volunteering. Furthermore, the “Volunteering in International Development Cooperation: Solidarity Aid or Cooperation?” roundtable made the distinction between specific solidarity aid and programmed aid with the intention of permanence.

In the afternoon, the attendants participated in the “SDG Mission Escape Room” workshop given by the Red Cross. The aim here was to bring the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) closer to the participants in a fun and educational manner and to raise awareness on the need and the importance of fulfilling the 17 SDGs and the role of all humanity in preserving the planet. There was another workshop by the name of “The Great Game of Human Rights,” given by Solidaridad Internacional del País Valenciano, and it strived to shed light on and make a call to action on the violations of the human rights of people who traverse the Mediterranean Sea and to denounce the situation of criminalization and persecution suffered by defenders of the rights of people on the move.

On day two, Thursday April 7, the “Walking towards the Future. Social and Health Volunteering” roundtable revealed the needs of this type of volunteering in today’s society. Debate ensued in the “The Prostitution Thing” workshop organized by Doctors of the World in which prostitution was pointed out as a form of gender-based violence and a violation of human rights.

On both days, April 6 and 7, the Associations Fair took place in the Hall of the Altabix Building. In it, 20 entities showed off the work they perform, demonstrating their commitment and responsibilities to society, as well as the values and actions from volunteering in multiple fields.

Attendants at Thursday’s closing ceremony included UMH Rector, Juan José Ruiz; the Autonomous Secretary for Cooperation and Democratic Quality of the Generalitat Valenciana, Antonia Serna; and the Minister for Development Cooperation at the Elche City Hall, Mariola Galiana. In it, the rector formally awarded prizes to the projects selected in the Call for Prizes for solidarity projects in which UMH students participated.


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