UN Youth Volunteer Florence Homberger helps pack boxes with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provided by UN Women for beneficiaries across Moldova in 2020.
UN Youth Volunteer Florence Homberger helps pack boxes with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provided by UN Women for beneficiaries across Moldova in 2020.

Boosting skills to support women and girls during COVID-19

In another home office situation in Moldova, UN Youth Volunteer Florence Homberger (fully funded by Switzerland) is busy answering emails and calls, preparing analytical papers and conducting research... all with the Knowledge Management and Monitoring and Evaluation sections of UN Women. Florence shares how she manages to perform successfully, despite the challenges of the lockdown.

During her first months of assignment, Florence contributed to ad hoc tasks, like gathering gender-disaggregated data concerning COVID-19 together with the Bureau of Statistics in the country or assisting with drafting concept notes for new projects.

Furthermore, UN Women also actively provided Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during the pandemic all over Moldova and once, as help was needed, many colleagues and Florence were personally helping to pack hundreds of boxes for different beneficiaries.

After the first wave of the pandemic, but still remotely, Florence was also able to work on the tasks she was originally engaged for and was closely engaged in the midterm review of UN Women's work over the last 2.5 years in Moldova and determining areas for adjustment in the next years. Furthermore, she started a knowledge management culture at UN Women, compiling Knowledge Products, PPE on Knowledge Management strategy, listing and sharing them under the colleagues.

Florence says that her ability to work independently without losing motivation helped her the most.  

I had the experience of working remotely in a law firm in my past and used this. Furthermore, I had to be flexible and openminded to find a way to start contributing during COVID-19. --UN Youth Volunteer Florence Homberger

Before joining the UN, Florence studied law, specialized in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, and worked at a donor foundation in projects to support women and girls. This is how she directly observed the difficulties faced by women worldwide in their everyday life and realized that women are the backbone of any family or any society, regardless of the culture. Florence has devoted her energy to help women overcome the obstacles in their way.

As the COVID-19 crisis has disproportionally affected women and girls, UN Women has been developing a gender-balanced approach to respond, and Florence got a lot of tasks to do right away. "Not one day looks like the other," she shares. "There are reporting papers and research to prepare, and I work regularly with different colleagues on various topics."

For Florence, the most impressive thing during her assignment is the team spirit that her office shows despite the pandemic and all virtual interaction. Also, she was impressed with the immense load of work that the whole team was able to perform during this difficult time and is still achieving. 

As a UN Youth Volunteer, Florence was able to collaborate closely with different sections of UN Women and learnt to work with regional offices and headquarters.

You have time to grow and learn from all kinds of people if you are a volunteer, especially during a pandemic. Yet, inherently, volunteerism is giving back to society. Through volunteering, we can use our time and efforts for something meaningful. --Florence Homberger