French Volunteering Day 2019 [fr]
On the occasion of the French Volunteering Day held in all countries having French volunteers, the former and future volunteers as well as potential Ghanaian host structures gathered at Alliance Française, Accra. The French Ambassador to Ghana, Anne Sophie AVÉ, opened this day of exchange and information.
At French Volunteering Day 2019, which coincided with the 10th anniversary of the France Volontaire platform (operator of the MEAE in terms of volunteering and civic engagement abroad), several dozen young Ghanaians and Ghanaian volunteers returning from their missions as well as civil society organisations met at Alliance Française on the 25 October, in the presence of the French Ambassador to Ghana, Anne Sophie AVÉ and the representative of France Volontaires in Ghana.
This Day also offered the opportunity to celebrate the Cooperation Agreement on the Promotion of Volunteering and the Exchange of Volunteers and Language Assistants signed between France and Ghana during the Ghanaian President’s visit to France on 10th July 2019. The purpose of the Agreement is to promote and facilitate exchanges of volunteers and language assistants as well as their mobility between the two countries.
Since 2017, 9 Ghanaian volunteers and 4 Ghanaian language assistants have completed a reciprocal civic service mission in France. The entire mission of each of these Ghanaian volunteers is handled by France. Thus, the French State, through the Agence du Service Civique, pays them a monthly allowance, the sending structures (Alliance Française and Embassy of France) finance the plane ticket, the reception structure in France provides the volunteer with accommodation. The Embassy of France, as indicated by the Ambassador, "exempts the visa and residence permit free of charge, as provided for in the Bilateral Cooperation Agreement" (Ghanaian volunteers all benefited from a visa fee waiver and work permit exemption to France). Thus, H.E. wished " that the French volunteers welcomed in Ghana, three of whom just arrived in 2019, could also benefit from the provisions of the Agreement".
French Ambassador Anne Sophie AVÉ recalled that "volunteering is a great opportunity for French volunteers to get to know Ghana and learn from this country, its culture and dynamism". She also expressed the wish "that France could welcome more Ghanaian volunteers so that Ghanaian and French youth can learn from each other and also strengthen relations between the two countries"; this will be made possible by the new Agreement on the Promotion of Volunteering signed between both countries.