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UN Volunteer Site Planner Samara Hamid (right) and UN Volunteer AutoCAD Surveyor Urmi Das, at the office of IOM in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.
UN Youth Volunteer Site Planner Samara Hamid (right) and UN Youth Volunteer AutoCAD Surveyor Urmi Das, at the office of IOM in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

Volunteer voices of inclusion from IOM Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, UN Youth Volunteers bring fresh ideas and additional energy to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), especially in times of emergencies. They provide better access to communities and help engage with local authorities, staff and partners to unveil future possibilities. UN Volunteers Samara Hamid and Urmi Das serve with IOM in Cox’s Bazar, and share how they volunteer for an inclusive future on the occasion of International Volunteer Day.

Samara Hamid, a national UN Youth Volunteer Site Planner and Project Associate with IOM, believes that by becoming a volunteer one can extend knowledge and skills in the humanitarian and development sector.

She is making a difference in her community in many ways. As a site planner, she interacts with the community to help identify its needs and help them translate these into reality. Samara's daily assignments involve the planning and redevelopment of settlement sites to meet site planning standards for the safe settlement of the Rohingya refugees, as well as designing facilities and supporting on mapping requests as needed for Site Management and Site Development teams.

Diversity brings together expertise and knowledge. In the long run, the ability of diverse groups to work as one unit is an achievement in itself. My fieldwork is people-oriented and this leaves no room for inequality. For me, equality and inclusion are the key ingredients of successful projects. --Samara Hamid


Urmi Das is a national UN Youth Volunteer AutoCad Surveyor with the IOM Infrastructure Unit. This is responsible for construction and rehabilitation processes, including survey, design, construction supervision and monitoring for community infrastructure facilities in refugee camps and host communities, such as roads, culverts, slope protections, health and community centers, police stations and cyclone shelters. 

In her assignment, Urmi assists the unit to prepare and provide the designs and drawings of facilities built or rehabilitated by IOM. The construction and/or rehabilitation of these facilities supports both refugee and host communities to have better access to common facilities and services, and enhanced protection.

She believes that inclusion and SDG 10 help to reduce differences between teams, whichin turn creates a safe and respectful environment for work. Speaking about diversity at the workplace, Urmi says it is important for her to involve all genders and cultures. 

"First,I make sure to involve members of all genders working towards creating an equal work environment," Urmi shares. "Second, I aim to create an inclusive workplace that fosters a tolerant culture. I believe that diverse teams are more creative, generate more innovation and have better customer orientation."

Volunteering has always been a part of my life. Doing something voluntarily implies contributing without necessarily getting anything in return; this altruistic motivation is what moves me to be a volunteer.

Volunteerism is universal and, when accessible to everyone, regardless of their background or social status, can become a powerful equalizer. Read more stories about how UNV and IOM are partnering to further inclusion.