Coordinating community service activities in refugee camps
Shire, Ethiopia: Shigeko Nambu, former UN Volunteer from Japan, worked as a UNV Community Services Officer in northern Ethiopia in 2008 and 2009. She provided support to vulnerable refugee populations in Eritrean refugee camps in Shire, Ethiopia.
Growing up in Bangkok, where she saw many children of her age begging in the streets or being involved in prostitution or drug trafficking, she decided to be a humanitarian worker. She believes that people are supposed to be given equal opportunities and, unfortunately, that is not the case in this world. As Shigeko states, there are millions of people, including refugees, trapped in cycles of poverty or in difficult circumstances regardless of their efforts to overcome their situations. "When I see the results of my work even to the smallest scale where a good change was brought to the lives of people, that encourages me to keep up with my work," she says.
Shigeko coordinated the community service activities in two Eritrean refugee camps, with populations of 10,000 and 15,000 people. She established a system to identify and assess refugees with special needs and planned a support programme. In addition, Shigeko coordinated and facilitated scholarship programmes for the refugees and formulated adequate child protection responses. Shigeko also coordinated sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) prevention, response and awareness activities by working closely with implementing partners. She coordinated with the Ethiopian government, partners and the refugee community to ensure security and equal opportunity in the camps.
Through her experience as a UN Volunteer, Shigeko learned that environmental issues such as firewood collection and darkness in the camp at night are highly associated with the protection of refugees. As an environmental officer at UNHCR Headquarters now, she has been promoting fuel-efficient stoves and alternative energy for cooking while promoting solar lighting in a number of refugee camps.
|Home | Contact us | FAQs | Search | Sitemap | UNDP Information Disclosure Policy|
|UNV is administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)|