- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 26, 2009

CITIZEN JOURNALISM:

S. Africa wants you for ‘10 World Cup

The 2010 World Cup will be held in South Africa, and the organizers said they need 15,000 volunteers.

Danny Jordaan, head of South Africa’s World Cup organizing committee, put out the call Monday for what he called the “lifeblood” of the 2010 tournament. Tasks for volunteers include distributing tickets and ushering fans.

Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and able to speak, read and write English. Interested parties can apply on the FIFA Web site (www.fifa.com) through Aug. 31.

U.N. needs $4.8 billion to deliver aid

The United Nations estimates that it needs a record $9.5 billion for all of 2009 for humanitarian aid because more people need help than in previous years, but only 49 percent of its funding requirements have been met.

And last week, officials also said it still needs $4.8 billion for the rest of the year to bring food, shelter, medicine and other aid to 43 million people who have fled fighting or suffer from droughts and disasters around the world.

While governments have maintained their funding pledges despite the global economic downturn, fighting in Pakistan and Sri Lanka that has uprooted hundreds of thousands of people and droughts and civil wars in Africa have made the U.N. budget soar, U.N. humanitarian chief John Holmes said Tuesday.

Now hear this

From FoxNews.com: “The call to volunteer was a constant theme during the Bush administration, and while there were significant increases in groups like AmeriCorps, it seems a tough job market and renewed call for service by President Obama have spiked volunteers to join the Peace Corps.

“It was President Kennedy who said nearly 50 years ago, ‘I have today signed an executive order providing for the establishment of a peace corps on a temporary pilot basis.’

“From that pilot program in 1961, close to 200,000 volunteers have served our country around the globe on behalf of this group in developing nations in every corner of the globe. Now it seems more Americans are answering the call.

“One volunteer, Ashley Brown, tells us, ‘I wanted to both serve people and travel at the same time, and Peace Corps seemed like the obvious choice.’

“The Corps says starter applications have jumped 40 percent in the last year and completed ones are up 16 percent. Some in the organization claim President Obama’s renewed call to serve is the reason for the spike in applicants, but volunteers we spoke to also say that a tough job market helped them make the decision as well.

“Volunteer Kate LaBore says, ‘At the time when I was casting around for a new career direction, it was partly because I was laid off and was unemployed at the time.’

“President Obama says he wants to increase the budget for the volunteer group by 10 percent in time for its 50-year anniversary in 2011.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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