Regional Volunteer Conference Cancelled
30 June 2015 at 10:49 am
The Asia Pacific Regional Volunteer Conference, scheduled for October in Hanoi, Vietnam, has been cancelled due to a lack of resources and financial support according to the organisers.
The Vietnam Volunteer Center, the 2015 host organisation, informed the governing body, the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) that they were unable to secure the support and resources required to run the event.
IAVE is the global peak body for volunteering set up to promote and facilitate volunteering effort around the world with a world conference and regional conferences being held every two years with countries bidding to host the event.
The current IAVE World President is Australian Kylee Bates. She was elected in 2014 and has been an active member of IAVE since 2001.
In his letter to Bates about the cancellation, V? Minh Lý, the Executive Director of the Vietnam Volunteer Center (VVC), cited “numerous difficulties in the process of preparation for the conference, especially the lack of human resources and financial capabilities.
“In addition, due to the economic recession, corporates and enterprises in Vietnam could not sponsor the conference,” he said.
IAVE’s Executive Director Kathi Dennis based in the US said the international organisation was deeply appreciative of VVC’s efforts and their willingness to take on this responsibility.
“They have tried their best but have come up against difficult circumstances that could not be resolved,” she said.
“We have considered whether it is realistic to re-schedule the conference for another location later in the year and have concluded that it is not. To try to do so now would face the same challenges of capacity and financing for a possible host organization and for IAVE and would be fair to neither of us nor to you who expect a high quality conference.
“Instead, we have already begun the process of selecting the host country and site for the 2017 regional conference and anticipate announcing that by the end of the year.”
Dennis said next year’s World Volunteer Conference in Mexico City would go ahead as scheduled.
IAVE was founded in 1970 by volunteers from throughout the world – and volunteers continue today to set its strategic direction and guide the organisation’s work.
In May 2014, the Australian organisers hosting the World Volunteer Conference in September resorted to crowdfunding to raise additional money to pay for scholarships for people to attend the international gathering.
Australia was successful in winning the rights to the 2014 International Association of Volunteer Effort (IAVE) conference with Volunteering Australia, the peak body for volunteering, as the host organisation. The Conference took place in September 2014 on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
However, the organising committee opted for a fundraising campaign on the crowdfunding platform, Indiegogo to raise as much as $200,000 that they had hoped to acquire through corporate sponsorships.
“We have worked tirelessly to secure sponsorships and funding but economically it's not a great time in Australia and the Federal Coalition’s focus on reducing the deficit has impacted us,” the Chairperson of the Advisory Committee of the 23rd IAVE World Volunteer Conference and Patron of Volunteering Australia, Margaret Bell, said at the time.
Kylee Bates told Pro Bono Australia News that it was disappointing to have to cancel the Asia Pacific Conference however she said IAVE was exploring opportunities for national volunteer representatives to come together later this year.