Create Your Own Opportunity

Maggie Wachter
01 May 1999

Geneva's newest conference organization, the International Conference Volunteers (ICV), offers rare opportunities to do satisfying, interesting work and meet new people in an international environment. The aim of ICV is to provide volunteers for international conferences and events held throughout Switzerland, especially in Geneva, as well as to offer exciting experiences in an international setting for volunteers.
"When international conference delegates arrive at the conference venue, it usually takes them a while to get their bearings. This is where volunteers, who know the city, can make a huge difference," says ICV founder Viola Krebs.

ICV's slogan is "Create Your Own Opportunity". Opportunities include making new friends, meeting high-level professionals, being privy to world events as they happen and gaining a deep sense of satisfaction. Students also acquire valuable work experience and references for future employment.

ICV bloomed out of Ms. Krebs own work as volunteer coordinator for the 12th World AIDS Conference, held in Geneva in 1998. Many volunteers of the Conference were so touched by the magical synergy that it generated that they began inquiring about future volunteer opportunities right away. When Ms. Krebs was subsequently invited to participate in a conference on drug-related harm in March 1999, more than 1000 volunteers from the AIDS Conference stepped forward to help. Many were local recruits. Some traveled to Geneva from countries like Holland and Russia and were hosted by local families.

"We find a use for everyone's skills," says Ms. Krebs. "For example, some volunteers are bilingual and can help with translation. Others have computer skills or administrative experience. Some know how too drive a bus, others are great at taking care of the volunteer cafeteria." She smiles. "We try hard to give volunteers interesting work that will put their own particular skills to good use."

Ms. Krebs is currently recruiting volunteer translators (non-professional) for the Global March against Child Labor, 22 to 30 May 1999. To check out this and other upcoming volunteer opportunities or sign up to become a volunteer for a future conference consult the ICV homepage.

"Conferences come to Geneva from all over the world. They receive many international delegates and treat very important issues," points out Ms. Krebs. "As a conference volunteers, you can actively contribute."

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