Kiduo Mwamnyenyelwa, currently serving as a national UN Volunteer Field Facilitator with UNDP Tanzania, started off as an online volunteer.

How digital volunteering opened my eyes

I have been engaging in community volunteering for several years, but I had never realized that in the digital era, there is opportunity for digital volunteering within the United Nation system.

I remember sitting at home in Mwanza, Tanzania, in July 2017, and reading about the work United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme was doing on my phone. As I read further, my excitement grew, and I stumbled upon the United Nations Online Volunteering platform. I quickly followed the link, read on, and in 10 minutes, I was able to understand how it works.

I was delighted by the prospects of using the platform. I loved the impact I could make anywhere in the world from the comfort of my home. --Kido Mwamyenyelwa

I registered for an online volunteering opportunity on the UNV platform in September 2017. It took less than 20 minutes to complete.

The selection process lasted for a few weeks, and an organization selected me for a task that lasted from September 2017 to February 2018. I felt elated, because it was my first application. The assignment involved being an ambassador at socialprotection.org – an online member-based platform for knowledge sharing and capacity building. In my role, I analyzed data, conducted research and advocated for various social protection organizations. I also helped develop web content for publishing on the platform.

I was pleased to collaborate and interact with colleagues from across the globe during the assignment. I interacted with people from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, the UK, the USA and Venezuela.

It was an exciting assignment, and I acquired several skills, including task prioritization, online advocacy, content sourcing techniques and organizational content management. --Kido Mwamyenyelwa

The opportunity also enabled me to understand the work of the UNV programme and collaborate with colleagues across the globe to advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  In the end, I received a certificate for accomplishing my assignment.

In April  2018, I applied for another opportunity at Teach a Man to Fish. It is one of Europe's leading charities, providing young people from around the world with the opportunity to develop 21st-century skills through a school business model.

The host selected me as a judge for the Pan-African Awards for Entrepreneurship in Education, which involved selecting the winning proposal for business funding of US $15,000. Once more, I had an excellent opportunity to network and learn vital skills. Once more, I had a great opportunity for networking and learning indispensable skills.

Today, I am serving as a national UN Volunteer and field facilitator with UNDP in Tanzania. There, I help tackle critical development issues in my community. I can confidently say that the journey to my current assignment all started with my online volunteering journey.

As COVID-19 is driving more people to work from home, I believe that online volunteering offers an important pathway for talent development and skill enhancement for young people. With the platform, young people can contribute to humanity's progress anywhere in the world without their homes. --Kido Mwamyenyelwa