Rescuing populations from the threat of statelessness in northern Benin
Just a few weeks after joining the protection unit for stateless persons of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) regional office, I was given the opportunity to participate in my first field mission and to reach out to people threatened by statelessness in northern Benin, at the border with Niger. The aim of this mission was to understand the causes of the situation faced by these people, analyze its impact on their daily lives, and envisage lasting solutions, together with local authorities. Read
What it means to be a UN Volunteer
The decision to serve as a UN Volunteer, at home or abroad, is based on a commitment to the United Nations and to the UN’s contribution to peace, development and human rights in support of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
As a UN Volunteer you have the extraordinary opportunity to create beneficial change and have a positive impact on people's lives. Even if your UNV assignment is fairly short, it can have a long-term impact and achieve a ripple effect that extends far beyond the immediate beneficiaries of your efforts.
Your role as a UN Volunteer is that of both facilitator and catalyst. UNV encourages you to be creative and entrepreneurial in finding ways to develop capacity and to promote and foster volunteerism for peace and development - both within and beyond the formal framework of your assignment.
Ultimately, if development is to be effective and sustainable, the people affected by it must take ownership of its processes and drive them forward. Indeed, the MDGs can only be reached if millions of people around the world voluntarily mobilize to achieve them. Your actions as a UN Volunteer can also inspire others to volunteer and to believe that they too can make a contribution towards peace and development.
UN Volunteers come from around 160 countries and many more cultural backgrounds, and thanks to this wide variety of perspectives they bring a range of experiences, expectations and approaches. This diversity gives their work a particular dynamism.
UN Volunteers are thus part of a global, cumulative effort that integrates volunteerism as a core contribution to peace and development: and the concept of volunteerism for peace and development is at the core of UNV’s mission.
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