On 26 June 1998, over 12,000 participants from all over the world will converge on Geneva's Palexpo Convention center for the 12th World AIDS Conference. Hotels will be booked as far away as Annecy in France and NeuchÃ¢tel in Switzerland. The eyes of the world will be focused on Switzerland as prominent researchers, scientists and doctors join with public health workers, people living with HIV and AIDS and their families and friends to create a better future. The theme of this year's Conference is
Much of the Conference's success depends on voluntary contributions of time and expertise from within Geneva's local community. The conference organizers are looking for people aged 16 and older who are interested in a unique opportunity to make a very personal contribution of their time and talents to the fight against AIDS.
Volunteers are needed to help in all aspects of the Conference, including setting up the conference rooms, preparing the conference registration packs, registering the participants, interpreting and translating, manning information desks, assisting medical workers and helping to shuttle distinguished researchers, community leaders, policy specialists and others between conference venues.
"We need volunteers to help throughout the Conference, starting on 26th June or even earlier" explains Viola Krebs, the Conference's Volunteer Coordinator. "The desire to help is an important qualification for a prospective volunteer. Although prior work experience or specific skills are not necessary, languages are an asset, especially French and English."
Indeed, the rewards of being a conference volunteer are many, including a deep sense of solidarity with participants and the exciting opportunity to meet interesting people from all over the world. Each volunteer will receive a certificate of participation and a T-shirt. For students and those with no prior work experience, there is an additional incentive: they will be eligible for a certificate of work to help with future job-hunting.
Ms Krebs, who has done a lot of volunteer work in the past, says about the Volunteer Program. "Volunteers experience a strong sense of sharing in this important event and feeling that they really can make a difference."
If you are interested in joining the Volunteer Team and helping to make this year's Conference a world class success, fill out the Volunteer Registration form or contact Viola Krebs or her assistant Nelson Matute, at the Conference Secretariat as soon as possible.