UN Volunteers in Sudan brainstorming for International Volunteer Day in 2019.
UN Volunteers in Sudan brainstorming for International Volunteer Day in 2019.

UNV boosts United Nations’ efforts in Sudan

Currently, 167 UN Volunteers serve the United Nations system in the Sudan. Most of these assignments are with the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA). Additionally, a diverse group of other United Nations partners work with UNV as part of their efforts for peace and development in the country. UN Volunteers currently bring different expertise to UNDP, UNICEF and UNHCR. Some 27 per cent of the UN Volunteers serve in the field of monitoring and evaluation, while 3.8 per cent provide support in areas of protection, governance, rule of law, human rights, coordination, communications and operations.

Newton Mutunga served as a UN Volunteer Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) Officer in Darfur. Recruited in 2015, he was posted in the Marra Mountains (Jebel Marra), where armed conflict persists and increasing numbers of people have been forced to leave their homes. You can read more about Newtons’ UN Volunteer experience in Sudan here.

Former UN Volunteer Sachiyo Miwa (Japan) served as a UN Volunteer Associate Humanitarian Affairs Officer with the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA) in the Sudan under the Human Resource Development Programme for Peacebuilding and Development (HRD).

Sachiyo’s work contributed to resource mobilization in the recently accessed Jebel Marra region in Central Darfur, as she consolidated inputs provided by active sector coordinators. She drafted the Multi-Sector Rapid Response Plan which focused on the urgent humanitarian needs associated with malnutrition among children under five in Jebel Marra localities.  You can read more about her experience here.

Sudan has a long history of volunteering and recognizing contributions to the community. An appreciation for volunteer actions was articulated by Wala’a El-Boushi, Minister of Sports and Youth, on the occasion of International Volunteer Day (IVD) on 5 December 2019 in Sudan. 

On International Volunteer Day, I would like to praise all volunteers in Sudan who have contributed to the protection of the society and who have provided many services to their communities. --Wala’a  El-Boushi, Minister of Sport and Youth, Sudan

Inspiration for the type of involvement by young people through volunteering can also been seen in the UNDP and UNV initiative on promoting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This programme, the first of its-kind in Sudan, mobilizes youth to build momentum and commitment to achieve the SDGs by 2030. These SDGs Advocates worked relentlessly on promoting the Global Goals and fostering engagement of new stakeholders in implementation. Find out more about the programme (and watch the video) here.

Ginna Romero Pauwels serves as a UN Volunteer-Gender Officer serve with the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) on the Sudan-South Sudan border.  Her assignment takes her to a part of the country with difficult accessibility and isolated conditions of life, besides the unresolved conflict of the delimitation of boundaries in Abyei. Despite this, Ginna shares, “I can say that this has been the most valuable, enrichment work experience I have had in my life.”

This unique assignment has helped me to strength my confidence as a professional woman, work for the recognition of the importance of women’s role in a peace process, comprehend from inside how a peacekeeping mission works within the UN system, gain international experience, develop my career and create real opportunities to become permanent staff with the United Nations. --Ginna Romero Pauwels, UN Volunteer Gender Officer with UNISFA, Sudan