U.S. Embassy Strengthens Spirit of Volunteerism

On Monday, September 13, the U.S. Embassy in Paramaribo kicked off its latest program, an effort to boost volunteerism.  

The kick-off comes days after the world marked the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks in New York. In the years following the attacks, the date became the National Day of Service, when Americans are encouraged to volunteer and work to better their community. 

“On September 11, 2001, we saw the best of humanity as people rushed to save others, to comfort the injured, and support the rescuers,” said U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Officer Jake Goshert during the training program kick-off. “And in the years since, Americans have worked to find some light in that dark day. Through volunteering and helping their community on September 11, Americans support their communities. And we are excited to see so many Surinamese wanting to improve their ability to help others through this program. 

Through the program, sponsored by the Embassy’s American Corner at the Cultureel Centrum Suriname CCS on Henck Arron Straat, 40 people of different ages, social and educational backgrounds, will receive six months of training in volunteerism and leadership. 

The training will be provided by Dezvolta Academy with CEO Marciano Li A Young, a certified John Maxwell trainer. During the on-line training, the students will learn more about topics such as networking for success, managing difficult conversations, managing pressure and maintaining balance, as well as time management. 

At the end of the 6 months, 20 participants will be selected for extra classes on leading volunteers, mentoring and coaching as well as fundraising strategies. 

Students who participate in the training will be invited to assist with future American Corner events as the Corner reopens when Covid regulations allow. 

“The National Day of Service started from a dark place, with the 9/11 attacks,” Goshert said. “Today, with Covid, we are in another period of fear and uncertainty. But we know that volunteering, helping others, building our communities is a way out of this global tragedy. So we are happy the American Corner can play a part in giving people tools they need to help others.”