With local interviews out the way, and training already starting for South African volunteers this weekend, it is the international volunteer applicants that are now being interviewed for the 3000 spaces up for grabs for those outside South Africa’s border.
After an extensive search, and with 67,999 applications processed, the 2010 FIFA World Cup™Organising Committee South Africa (OC) Volunteers department is now in the final stages of selection of the 15,000 OC volunteers and 3000 Host City and Football For Hope volunteers that will work during the tournament - with just the international volunteers to finalise.
The international interviews, which started on 1 February, are being conducted in South African embassies across the globe, and the OC Volunteer department is confident the process will be complete on 19 March.
For the OC Volunteer Manager, Onke Mjo, the international volunteers will bring a wealth of experience to the strong workforce.
“A lot of these volunteers have worked on major events in the past. We are interviewing potential volunteers who have worked on the Beijing Olympics, the 2006 FIFA World Cup and even ones who have just finished work at the Vancouver Winter Olympics”.
Mjo believes that the number of applications from around the world are indicative of the international perception of the World Cup. “We receive thousands of emails from potential international volunteers and there is a lot of excitement around the tournament. The fact that they are coming all the way to South Africa to work as volunteers during the tournament shows that they know it will be successful. And they will be an important part of this success”.
But for Mjo, it is the response from the African continent that is most pleasing.
“There has been a lot of talk about whether this really is an African World Cup but if you look at the number of applicants from countries on the African continent it is obvious that the whole continent is included,” said Mjo, referring to countries such as Nigeria with 424 volunteer hopefuls being interviewed, Ghana with 185 and Cameroon with 170 interview hopefuls.