During my internship at the UNV Arab States Regional Office this summer, I was tasked with a large project and a daunting amount of work. To be able to complete the project in two months and ensure high quality, I decided to employ the help of UN Online Volunteers.
The war against ISIL left Ninawa Governorate, the city of Mosul and many surrounding villages reduced to rubble. Houses were damaged, the supply of water and electricity was cut, schools were destroyed, bridges bombed, and roads were paved with grenade holes.
UNV and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are on the ground since early 2018, with funding support from the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO), to assist the communities affected by the humanitarian crisis. The Sengere community, located in the Adamawa State is one of them.
Ndachem Abubakar is one of the UN Community Volunteers who are deployed in 10 communities across crisis-affected North-East Nigeria, with a focus on Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States.
Jumpstarting economic recovery in the community of Sengere.
Guyaku, located in the Gombi Local Government Area of Adamawa State, is amongst the villages suffering from this humanitarian crisis. In the year 2013, the Guyaku village was attacked by insurgents. This led to the displacement of members of the community. In this situation, many have lost their lives, other their properties, leaving many women and children exposed to security threats and without any means of subsistence.
Despite the situation, Falmata Haruna Bwala did not hesitate to seize the opportunity offered by UNV to serve as a UN Community Volunteer on a UNDP project with funding support from the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO). She serves as a Village Supervisor in a region with many displaced and distressed communities, including the Mafoni community.
Falmata says that she has been inspired by one of Mahatma Gandhi’s quotes: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”.
What images come to mind when you think of a disaster? Search and rescue teams pulling people from the rubble? Relief camps filled with displaced families receiving aid from international organizations? These are the typical images we see in the media. However, they misrepresent the reality that the vast majority of people are rescued and helped by their fellow community members after a disaster.
Earlier this year, we launched our social integration strategy. Based on considerable research, it sets out a new definition of social integration – emphasizing that it is about more than simply the degree of contact between people but also includes promoting equality and improving people’s levels of activity and participation in their local communities.
But encouraging social integration is a meaningless exercise unless people are provided with opportunities to come together. Volunteering does just that.
Xinzhuang is in Changping District of Beijing. Located at the foot of the Yanshan Mountains, this area has about 2,000 residents, 60% of whom are non-locals. The “newcomers” settle here to take their children to a local school. The rest of the population are mostly farmers, as the village is one of the main suppliers of strawberries to Beijing. Xinzhuang village is a typical rural community with basic public services for waste and sanitation. But things changed after an incident in the village.
For almost five decades, advocates in civil society and the United Nations have been raising awareness and advocating for the protection of our environment on World Environment Day. The theme for 2018 is beating plastic pollution, and the host country for is India, where UN Environment this year is helping to highlight the environmental challenges the country faces, and support the efforts to address them.