Five cities are to receive United Nations awards for positively promoting the spirit of volunteerism as a contribution to local development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Known as the “City with Heart” prize, the award was set up by the United Nations and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The cities are: Bogotá (Colombia), Esmeraldas (Ecuador), Falmouth (Jamaica), Natal (Brazil), and Tegucigalpa (Honduras). While the award for Bogotá will be made on 7 December 2004, the others cities will receive their prizes on the International Day of the Volunteer on 5 December 2004.
In particular, Bogotá is receiving its award because of the various programmes promoted by the municipality in recent years. These include: “Think about Others – Feed your Heart”, “Health for the Home”, “Serving with the Heart”, and “Bogotá against War”. All these programmes have one feature in common – the promotion of urban volunteerism.
Bogotá was selected as a winner by a committee of experts from the United Nations Volunteer Programme (UNV), the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), and the IDB’s Inter-American Initiative on Social Capital, Ethics, and Development.
To be considered for the award, Bogotá demonstrated that its volunteers have a high level of commitment, are agents of change, and offer their services within a sustainable structure that guarantees the continuity of voluntary action.