The Safe Cities Programme is an initiative of UN Women, in partnership with the Government of Papua New Guinea, which is helping to address women’s safety and engagement in market activity. UN Youth Volunteer Adrianna Kunjib serves with UN Women’s Safe City Programme. She shares her experience as a volunteer and the inspiration she gets out of her volunteering assignment.
I used to work for Port Moresby Municipality as a book keeper for market venders when I got the opportunity to become a UN Youth Volunteer with UN Women’s Safe City Programme.
Over 80 per cent of vegetable sellers in Port Moresby are women, especially single mothers and widows who experience all sorts of abuse in public places. The programme promotes the safe use and enjoyment of public spaces by women through empowering them economically and through other means.
Because of my experience with the Municipality, I was recruited to assist vendors register in the new database system. My role with the programme is to reach out to vendors, introduce them to the system and make sure they register in the data base.
The new registration system aims to protect vendors from harassment, or being pressured to pay bribes for services. With this new system in place, each vender receives a receipt that documents their payment and protects them from being asked to repay their municipality fees.
Before I became a UN Volunteer, I wanted to go to school, study law and get a good job. Working closely with vulnerable women in Port Moresby’s Gordon Market helped me realize that I want my career to be driven by my passion and sealed by a cause greater than myself. --Adrianna Kunjib, UN Youth Volunteer with UN Women
I have witnessed how creating an environment where women feel safe and protected can contribute to economic empowerment and prosperity. And to think that I was a small part of this great initiative, encourages me to take greater steps and feel confident to seek opportunities to grow within my community.
As a UN Volunteer, I have become part of a larger community than the one I used to belong to. Even though my day-to-day work includes working with my local street vendors, the overall objective of my project takes me beyond my local community and country. This sense of belonging to a cause is not only empowering, but also heartwarming. --Adrianna Kunjib
I am very happy that I was selected to volunteer for the UN. I am particularly happy, because I was able to make my mother proud for having a daughter who is working with an organization that is known to be for the people.