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Visit to see progress in volunteering for development

Ghulam Isaczai (centre), Chief of UNV’s Development Division, and Manon Bernier (left), UNV Portfolio Manager for Latin American, are given a warm welcome by the participants and beneficiaries of the Community-based Adaptation to Climate Change Programme (a joint programme between CBA-UNDP and UNV). The participants are members of the communities of Huajasiya, Cavinchilla, Tilacoca and Cojatapampa in the municipality of Carabuco, Department of La Paz. (UNV)Ghulam Isaczai (centre), Chief of UNV’s Development Division, and Manon Bernier (left), UNV Portfolio Manager for Latin American, are given a warm welcome by the participants and beneficiaries of the Community-based Adaptation to Climate Change Programme (a joint programme between CBA-UNDP and UNV). The participants are members of the communities of Huajasiya, Cavinchilla, Tilacoca and Cojatapampa in the municipality of Carabuco, Department of La Paz. (UNV)Indigenous community lunch – Aptapi – by the participants and beneficiaries of the Community-based Adaptation to Climate Change Programme, prepared to welcome Mr Isaczai and Ms Bernier and to thank them for UNV’s support in Bolivia. (UNV)Indigenous community lunch – Aptapi – by the participants and beneficiaries of the Community-based Adaptation to Climate Change Programme, prepared to welcome Mr Isaczai and Ms Bernier and to thank them for UNV’s support in Bolivia. (UNV)Mr Isaczai (left) and Ms Bernier (centre) listen to Juan Carlos Soria, national UNV volunteer Specialist who is giving a presentation about a “community guide to evaluate vulnerability reduction”. Mr Soria works in the Community-based Adaptation to Climate Change Programme. (UNV)Mr Isaczai (left) and Ms Bernier (centre) listen to Juan Carlos Soria, national UNV volunteer Specialist who is giving a presentation about a “community guide to evaluate vulnerability reduction”. Mr Soria works in the Community-based Adaptation to Climate Change Programme. (UNV)Ghulam Isaczai (fourth from the right) and Manon Bernier (third from the right), together with national community UNV volunteers – Yanapiris – of the UNDP MDG project, national UNV volunteers of the Global ART UNDP Initiative, and leaders of Indigenous Intercultural University of Kawsay in the municipality of Challapata, Department of Oruro. (UNV)Ghulam Isaczai (fourth from the right) and Manon Bernier (third from the right), together with national community UNV volunteers – Yanapiris – of the UNDP MDG project, national UNV volunteers of the Global ART UNDP Initiative, and leaders of Indigenous Intercultural University of Kawsay in the municipality of Challapata, Department of Oruro. (UNV)
01 October 2010

La Paz, Bolivia: The Chief of the Development Division of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, Ghulam Isaczai visited Bolivia last week to learn about the achievements and progress made by UNV and its partners towards human development.

On his first visit to the region, Mr Isaczai, an Afghan national wanted to learn about the development work that national and international UNV volunteers are doing in Bolivia. He was interested in the work carried out in collaboration with other United Nations Agencies in the capital La Paz, and in the various projects and programmes around the country.

The UNV programme in Bolivia focuses on the integration and promotion of volunteerism, with a special focus on human development and the Millennium Development Goals. To this end there are currently 49 professionals working as UNV volunteers: 29 national and 20 international UNV volunteers.

The UNV volunteers work within nine United Nations Agencies: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

The first day of the mission Mr Isaczai travelled to the department and city of Oruro, in the heart of the Altiplano region, to see the day-to-day reality of several UNV volunteers working in rural areas. These UNV volunteers, who themselves belong to indigenous groups, are known locally as Yanapiri, the Aymara word for “someone who helps the community”, and work within a UNDP project for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The work of the Yanapiri volunteers highlights a new approach to volunteerism for community development, in which the MDGs are seen from an indigenous perspective with regards to the world and cosmos.

Mr Isaczai also had the opportunity to see first-hand the work of various UNV volunteers involved in the strategic alliance between UNIFEM and UNV. This alliance promotes volunteerism and participation of women in the preparation of local budgets. These budgets include a percentage to be dedicated to women’s issues. This project is underway in three countries of the region: Bolivia, Ecuador and Argentina.

A short meeting with UNV volunteers working in La Paz was also organized as part of the mission. This meeting gave the volunteers the opportunity to share their work experiences with the various Programmes and Agencies. They also shared their motivation and ideas to improve the UNV programme in Bolivia.

UNV is administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)